"Each sound, each phrase, each newly-conceived repeat seemed to be clear of dust, re-examined and lovingly re-polished," was the judgement of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung after a 2005 concert by the Berlin-based Kuss Quartet.
The Kuss Quartet came to prominence in 2002 with first prizes from the Deutscher Musikrat and the Borciani String Quartet Competition in Reggio Emilia, Italy. It reaches beyond chamber-music aficionados by combining innovative programming with verbal commentary. The quartet appears regularly in the Watergate nightclub in Berlin's hip Kreuzberg area, performing for an enthusiastic young audience before handing over to the evening's DJ. With its refreshing approach to the genre of the string quartet, and its masterpieces, the players aim to take members of their audience on a voyage of discovery and rediscovery.
The breadth of the Kuss Quartet's repertoire is exemplified in its Sony BMG release Bridges, which juxtaposes transcriptions of Renaissance composers (Lassus, Bennet, Dowland) with works by Adès, Kurtág and Stravinsky. "This gives rise to a compelling array of different colours," declared the leading German music magazine Fono Forum, giving the CD a five-star rating for both performance and sound.
The Kuss Quartet has previously visited the Lake District Summer Music festival in 2009 and 2011.
*See the panel on the right for details of the Quartet's two concerts in the 2015 LDSM festival.