The Quartet

To be a string quartet between classic and modern, 
with the highest demand to represent and serve the 
music literature - this is what the members of the 
Hába Quartet, who have been playing together for 
more than one decade, are always aiming for. 
The history of the ensemble now stretches back for 
more than fifty years. Founded in Prague in 1946 by 
the violinist Dušan Pandula, the Hába Quartet´s focus 
even then was on collaboration with important 
contemporary composers such as Martinů, Berio, 
Bialas and Yun, and especially with the leading 
composer of the microtonal school, Alois Hába, who 
gave his name and also dedicated the last twelve of 
his seventeen quartets to the ensemble. During the 
period of the communism politic in the fifties, Alois 
Hába was disfavored and therefore, the Hába Quartet 
was also under political pressure. They changed the 
ensemble's name to Novák Quartet in order to pursue 
it's international career. This however, didn't keep the 
quartet from performing Hába's works as often as 
possible. 
In 1968, the quartet disbanded after Dušan Pandula 
defected to West Germany. Sixteen years later, he 
re-formed the quartet in 1984, this time in Frankfurt 
with his pupil Peter Zelienka.
The quartet sees itself as the direct successor and 
bearer of the long-standing tradition of the Hába 
Quartet. This allows the ensemble´s members (Sha 
Katsouris and Hovhannes Mokatsian - violins, Peter 
Zelienka - viola and Arnold Ilg - cello) to make Alois 
Hába´s works accessible with a high degree of 
authenticity.
 The Hába Quartet does not only specialize in 
contemporary music, but their repertoire also covers 
various epochs and many rarely played pieces. The 
recordings of the string quartets of Nicolai Roslawez, 
Leos Janácek and Bedrich Smetana are highly 
acclaimed by critics. The ensemble´s versatility has 
been demonstrated in extensive concert activities 
nationwide and abroad, including broadcasts and 
performances at major festivals such as Salzburg, 
Graz, Munich, Hannover, Berlin, The Hague and 
Prague.
During a successful concert tour to China, the 
ensemble members were involved in intensive 
teaching activities. Since 2002 the Hába Quartet has 
their own concert series at St. John´s Church in 
Kronberg/Taunus. Their latest projects are recordings 
of the complete string quartets of Alois Hába and the 4 
Flute quartets of W. A. Mozart with Sebastian Wittiber, 
Solo Flutist of the Frankfurt Radio Symphony 
Orchestra. Both recordings will appear in the near 
future.

English