Antti Tikkanen, violin
Minna Pensola, violin
Atte Kilpeläinen, viola
Tomas Djupsjöbacka, violoncello
The four Finns approached the Haydn quartet so energetically that the work never sounded stuffy, but rather often very current with its clear, occasionally minimal lines, echo-like passages and short pizzicato notes which seem to appear from nowhere, whilst not losing the classical references to the fugue and its corresponding pathos. Despite the complexity and the moments of controlled frenzy, the interpretation was always so transparent that the details were clearly audible.
Meta4, formed in Finland in 2001, is one of the most internationally successful string quartets. The four musicians, who also share a close personal friendship, are united in their musical openness, curiosity and versatility. Musically, they are characterised by their “breathtaking vitality” (Badische Zeitung), a ”transparent, richly coloured sound” (Rondo), as a ”breath of fresh air” and for their “sense of humour" (Süddeutsche Zeitung).
The quartet received great acclaim for its performances at the Finnish National Opera and the Opéra de Paris in Kaija Saariaho’s chamber opera “Only the Sound Remains”. In the season of 2018/19, Meta4 will also perform this production at the Teatro Real Madrid and the Lincoln Center New York. A special highlight of the season 2018/19 will be the joint octet tour with the Gringolts Quartet, which will take the eight friends to the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, the Philharmonie Luxembourg, the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, the Sello Hall Espoo and the Louisiana Museum Copenhagen as well as to Rome, Trento, Trieste, Aquila and Vicenza. The quartet specialise in working with orchestras, leading programmes without conductor from the principal positions, in a kind of “four-wheel drive”. In this role, the Quartet has already worked with the Finnish Baroque Orchestra, the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra, the Tapiola Sinfonietta, the Swedish Musica Vitae as well as the Australian ACO Collective and further concerts are planned with, amongst others, Jyväskylä and Lahti Symphony.
In 2004, Meta4 won the first prize in the International Shostakovich Quartet Competition in Moscow, where they were also awarded a special prize for the best Shostakovich interpretation. In 2007, the Quartet won the first prize in the International Joseph Haydn Chamber Music Competition in Vienna. Later that year the Finnish Minister of Culture awarded Meta4 with the annual Finland Prize in recognition of an international breakthrough. They were selected as a BBC New Generation Artist for 2008‐2010 and in 2013 the Fund of Jenny and Antti Wihuri awarded the quartet with a special prize in recognition of its work. Meta4 also served as Artistic Director of the Oulunsalo Music Festival between 2008 and 2011, and as quartet‐in-residence at the Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival from 2008 to 2017. Meta4 performs regularly in key music capitals and concert halls around the world including the Wiener Konzerthaus, Wigmore Hall and Kings Place in London, Auditorio Nacional in Madrid, Cité de la Musique in Paris and Stockholms Konserthus.
Meta4 studied at the European Chamber Music Academy (ECMA) under Hatto Beyerle and Johannes Meissl. They have released three recordings on Hänssler Classic to date: Haydn’s String Quartets op. 55 1–3 (2009), which was awarded with the esteemed Echo Klassik Award 2010, and Shostakovich’s String Quartets 3, 4 & 7 (2012), which received the Record of the Year 2012 award from the Finnish Broadcasting Company YLE and the Emma prize (the Finnish Grammys) for Classical Album of the Year, as well as Béla Bartók’s String Quartets 1 & 5. Meta4 has also released two albums of Kaija Saariaho’s chamber music works (Ondine, 2013) and Sibelius’s String Quartet ‘Voces Intimae’ on LP (Berliner Meister Schallplatten, 2013).
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