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The Gringolts Quartet was founded in 2008 at Schloss Elmau and is based in Zurich. All four of the ensemble’s members had previously become acquainted at the International Musicians Seminar in Prussia Cove, England. The Quartet takes its name from first violinist Ilya Gringolts, who was born in 1982 in Leningrad. In 1998 he won the Premio Paganini and also garnered two special awards at this renowned competition. Since then Gringolts has performed as a soloist with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, the Israel, London, and Los Angeles Philharmonics, and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra; he has moreover played on several occasions in the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA. His wife, Armenian violinist Anahit Kurtikyan, is a pupil of Tibor Varga. Previously she was a member of the Amati Quartet, and she has played chamber music with Rudolf Buchbinder, Steven Isserlis, David Geringas, Eduard Brunner, and Paul Meyer. She also plays in the Zurich Opera Orchestra, where she leads the second violin section. Romanian violist Silvia Simionescu has won competitions in Brescia and Osaka and has performed with such artists as Joshua Bell, Carolin Widmann, Raphaël Oleg, and Bruno Giu-
ranna; since 1999 she has been an active member of the Menuhin Festival Piano Quartet. She is a professor on the faculty of the Music Academy of Basel. German cellist Claudius Herrmann, a pupil of David Geringas who, like Anahit Kurtikyan, also played in the Amati Quartet, is principal cellist of the Zurich Opera Orchestra. As a soloist he has performed with the Hamburg Symphony, the Stuttgart Philharmonic, and the Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra Moscow. This season the Gringolts Quartet will also perform at the Kassel Music Festival and at the Auditori de Barcelona. In 2011 the ensemble released a recording of the complete string quartets as well as the piano quintet of Robert Schumann.