Jakub Fišer - 1st violin
Štěpán Ježek - 2nd violin
Jiří Pinkas - viola
Štěpán Doležal - violoncello
The Bennewitz Quartet is one of the top international chamber ensembles, a status confirmed not only by their victories in two prestigious competitions – Osaka in 2005 and Prémio Paolo Borciani, Italy in 2008, but also by the acclaim of the critics. As early as 2006, the German Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung wrote: "... the music was remarkable not just for its clarity of structure, but for the beautiful tonal palette and purity of intonation in its execution. Only very rarely does one experience such skillfully crafted and powerful harmonies... Great art."
The quartet currently performs at major venues both in the Czech Republic and abroad. For the recent season the group has been named the quartet in residence of the Czech Philharmonic Chamber Music Society where they will give three concerts in the Dvořák Hall of Rudolfinum. They will tour Italy, Japan, USA and South Korea. The musicians will return to Wigmore Hall London, they are invited to the new Elbphilharmonie Hamburg together with the phenomenal Czech piano player Lukáš Vondráček and they will have their debut in the famous Bilbao Philharmonic Society performing Weinberg’s piano quintet with Alexander Melnikov.
The fruits of their long-term cooperation with the Coviello Classics label include a recording of Leoš Janáček’s two string quartets and Béla Bartók’s fourth. The critics’ response was very positive. The magazine Fono Forum was impressed by the "fiery temperament". The second recording in the series, released in spring 2010, contains both of Bedřich Smetana’s quartets. The website Klassik.com called it "simply phenomenal". Their next project was a recording of Dvořák’s complete Cypresses cycle, on the Hänssler Classic label and the Dvořák project continued in 2015 when the quartet released the quartets op.51 and op.106 under the SWR Music / Naxos label. The recording became the Choice of the Harmonie magazine and the Editor’s choice.
The Bennewitz Quartet was founded in 1998. Thanks to their participation in various masterclasses, the members have had the opportunity to gain experience and inspiration from numerous eminent musical personalities, most notably Rainer Schmidt (Hagen Quartet) and Walter Levin (La Salle Quartet). In 2003 the Queen of Spain presented them with the diploma for outstanding student performance at the Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofía in Madrid. A year later, the quartet were awarded the Czech Chamber Music Society prize.
The quartet is named after violinist Antonín Bennewitz (1833-1926), who was a seminal figure in the creation of the Czech violin school.
The Bennewitz Quartet is kindly supported by the Viennese string manufacturer Thomastik-Infeld.