AUDRONĖ VAINIŪNAITĖ (1st violin)
ARTŪRAS ŠILALĖ (2nd violin)
GIRDUTIS JAKAITIS (viola)
AUGUSTINAS VASILIAUSKAS (cello)
"…The ensemble performed Beethoven brilliantly: precise musical structures, austerity and simplicity – their interpretation lacked nothing that this music requires…"
Frankfurter Allgemeine, 1996
The creative work of the Vilnius String Quartet, now spanning more than four decades, has left a distinct trace on Lithuania’s cultural scene. Ever since their debut in 1965, members of the Quartet have consistently polished their musicianship to achieve a deep sense of unanimity, the ability to reveal the deepest layers of music’s meaning, a wide range of sound, colour and emotions, and a sensibility to all the different nuances of interpretation. These refined features of the Quartet have won accolades both in Lithuania and abroad as well as several important honours, including the first prize at the International String Quartet competition in Liege (1972), the Lithuanian National Arts and Culture Prize (2004) and the Baltic Assembly Prize (2005).
"…The musicians of the Vilnius Quartet are perfectly acquainted with the most diverse 20th-century musical idioms, and are able to combine technical means with powerful expression. The music played in this concert proved once more that the ensemble is ready to undertake new tasks, regardless of the artistic value of the music being performed and without just relying on time-tested recipes, but using their own artistic imagination and professional skills. Their perception of sound colour and rhythm, sense of texture, varied and lively intonation and balance between the ensemble and solo playing allowed to achieve remarkable artistic results…"
7 meno dienos, 2003
Named, in 1973, after the city of Vilnius, the ensemble has always felt its mission to put its namesake on the world map. Having toured in 50 countries throughout the world, the Quartet gives around 80 concerts each year in Europe, Central and South Americas, Asia and Africa. Vilnius String Quartet has represented Lithuania at numerous international festivals and prestigious events, such as December Evenings in Moscow, festivals of Bregenz, Echternach, Cervantes and Kuhmo, appearing regularly at the world’s top concert halls, such as the Merkin Hall in New York, Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow, Gewandhaus in Leipzig, Musikverein in Vienna, Bayerische Rundfunk in Munich, Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto, Salle Olivier Messiaen in Grenoble and Mozarteum in Salzburg.
"… As Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 15 was being played, we finally put our notebooks and pencils aside: the interpretation was so exciting. Hypnotised and astounded, the critics felt they could hardly breathe and were on the verge of crying: absolute music and Beethoven’s spiritual depth was conveyed with deep trepidation. The Vilnius String Quartet has accumulated the spirit of Beethoven and brought it to us. With love and gratitude we accepted this divine gift…"
Journal, 2004 (Luxembourg)
Averaging some 80 concerts a year, the Vilnius String Quartet specialises in the traditional string quartet repertoire, including all the classics, bus also performs contemporary works. Its vast repertoire of over 450 works boasts more than 150 quartets by contemporary foreign composers and about 100 works by Lithuanian composers (half of them being especially dedicated to the ensemble). Its deep comprehension of music from various epochs and styles enables the ensemble to employ a wide range of musical expression in interpreting Haydn, Beethoven and Brahms, Schulhoff and Schönberg, Schnittke and Cage. The Quartet has performed complete string quartets by Haydn and Beethoven and Mozart’s entire output for string quintet. They have accomplished many impressive concert series featuring music from the 18th-21st centuries. Thanks to its ample repertoire the Quartet has been repeatedly invited to the recording studios in many countries of the world. Its record credits currently include over 40 albums on various Lithuanian, Russian, German, French, Finnish, Swedish, British and American labels.