Mary Ellen Woodside, Violin
Edouard Mätzener, Violin
Allessandro D’Amico, Viola
Rafael Rosenfeld, Violoncello
„In an age remarkably rich in string quartets of high quality, the Merel Quartet is, in my opinion, one of the very best “(Alfred Brendel). Commended for their stylistic awareness, maturity of expression and command of form, the Merels have been captivating audiences since 2002. An exceptionally communicative quartet, the Merel Quartet have received unanimous praise: „a young ensemble of wonderfully devoted and tonally excedingly well-matched musicians“ writes the Wiener Zeitung (Vienna) and the Neue Zürcher Zeitung (Zürich) lauded the Merel Quartet for playing „...with utmost expressivity and a subtle sense of form, tone and rhetoric“. The Merel Quartet has performed extensively in Europe in venues like the Wigmore Hall, Berlin Konzerthaus and Tonhalle Zürich, the Menuhin Festival Gstaad, Ittingen Whitsun Concerts, Lucerne Festival, Salzburger Festspiele and Kunstfest Weimar. Known for their vivid performances, the quartet has excited audiences in Italy, France, Germany, England, Poland, the Czech Republic and Switzerland. The Merel Quartet enjoys collaborations with artists like Juliane Banse, Ruth Ziesak, Jörg Widmann, Denes Varjon, Natalia Gutman, Nobuko Imai, and Alfred Brendel. The Merels perform an extensive repertoire spanning three centuries from Bach and Purcell through to contemporary masters like Kurtág, Saariaho and Holliger. They have commissioned and premiered works by David Philip Hefti, Martin Jaggi, Helena Winkelman and Roland Moser.
Frequent live radio performances on Swiss Radio SRF2 and Radio Suisse Romande as well as German Radio SWR2 have brought the Merel Quartet added recognition. The quartet’s debut album including works by Schumann, Janacek and award-winning Swiss composer David Philip Hefti was praised as the „outstanding CD-Premier of a first-rate quartet“ (Neue Zürich Zeitung am Sonntag). Since 2015, the Merel Quartet founded and are Quartet in Residence of the chamber music festival „Zwischentöne“ in Engelberg, Switzerland. Guest artists have included Alfred Brendel, Yura Lee, Ruth Ziesak, Juliane Banse, Denes Varjon, Reto Bieri, Robert Hungerbühler and Marie-Claude Chappuis. Performances of works by Fanny and Felix Mendelssohn on the Merel’s second album also received high acclaim. „Permeated with a feverish intensity, with close attention to detail and exquisitely balanced illumination of the voices“ and „their sound, agile and transparent, with a wide range of tonal colors, is irresistable“ writes Thomas Bopp of Das Orchester. Cathy Fuller, in her show „New and Notable Releases“ on Boston Public Radio WGBH proclaimed „This is a stunning recording, brimming with life and longing and sustained by an intelligent sense of line. The quartet’s devotion to bringing across each of the two quartets as complete unfolding constructions makes the experience all the more poignant. Gorgeous.“ The quartet’s most recent recording featuring Mendelssohn’s Octet and the Quartet op.12 was released in September 2019 on the Solo Musica label.