Our (hi)story

The Arcadia Quartet

“The Arcadia Quartet take us through different emotions with lovely textural colour and a technical adroitness that is quite outstanding, especially their bowing skill. Each of the players display exceptional musicianship and agility creating gravity and substance producing commanding performances.”

Chimeo, 2023

Winners of the 2014 Osaka International Chamber Music Competition, the 2012 Wigmore Hall London International String Quartet Competition, the 2011 Almere International Chamber Music Competition and the 2009 International Chamber Music Competition Hamburg, Arcadia Quartet was rapidly establishing itself as one of the most exciting string quartets of their generation. 

Formed in 2006 while students at the Gheorghe Dima Music Academy in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, the quartet finished their postgraduate studies at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna and became Alumni members of the European Chamber Music Academy. They have performed all over the world, including at the Budapest Spring Festival, the International George Enescu Festival (Bucharest), Cité International des Arts (Paris), Alte Oper Frankfurt, Pollack Hall (Montreal), The Royal Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), Wigmore Hall (London), Suntory Hall (Tokyo), Izumi Hall (Osaka), Musikverein (Vienna), Aldeburgh Festival, Konzerthaus Berlin, North Norfolk Music Festival, Salle Gaveau (Paris), Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, in Tel-Aviv, in Beijing, and throughout the United Kingdom.

The Arcadia Quartet made their BBC Radio 3 debut with a concert broadcast live from the Wigmore Hall in March 2015 and in the following month they were invited to become Quartet-in-Residence at the prestigious Tinerimea Română National Art Centre in Bucharest, playing six concerts a year broadcast by Romanian Radio.

Over the years, the Arcadia Quartet has collaborated with many internationally renowned artists such as Marin Cazacu, Diana Ligeti, Amit Peled, Remus Azoiței, Sarah Chang, Robert Levin, János Bálint, Seiya Ueno, Ad Libitum Quartet, Con Tempo Quartet, Belcea Quartet and Lawrence Foster.

The Arcadia Quartet’s debut disc of works by Mendelssohn and Brahms was released by Fontenay Classics in 2009, attracting critical acclaim. Ensemble Magazine wrote about their “intimate performance, exceptional sonority and expressive power which leaves a deep impression on the listener.”

Their recording of Janáček Quartet No. 1 and No. 2 was released on Orchid Classics in October 2013. The Sunday Times wrote of “a beauty that pierces the heart, and that both works are played with searing intensity by the fine young Romanian quartet.” The Financial Times wrote that “they create a mood of edgy expressionism that, in its violent swings and chromatic stresses, is shockingly direct and dramatic, like an opera – or a nightmare, that the result is an assault on the senses, piercing the heart of this unsettling music.”

The Arcadia Quartet started recording for Chandos in September 2017, launching their collaboration with the complete Bartók string quartets. The double CD was welcomed by the musical press worldwide including 5 star reviews in Diapason and Classica, and was named Disc of the Week by BBC Radio 3, one of the best albums of October 2018 by WQXR-FM in New York, and Disc of the Month by Classica in January 2019.

Another extraordinary project is on the way with the recording of all 17 Quartets of Mieczysław Weinberg.

The first volume (Quartets Nos. 2, 5, 8) was released in January 2021 and has been included in BBC Music Magazine’s survey of the best chamber music recordings of 2021, receiving a 5-star review. It was named Record of the Week on BBC Radio 3’s Record Review, and was included in the Westdeutscher Rundfunk’s Die Alben der Woche in March 2021 edition, also receiving a 5-star review. Weinberg Volume 1 received the German Record Critics’ Award in Spring 2021 and was nominated for the 2022 International Classical Music Awards (ICMA) in November, becoming a finalist in the Chamber music category.

The second volume (Quartets Nos. 1, 7, 11) was released in May 2022 receiving 5 star reviews by Limelight Magazine, BBC Music and The Sunday Times, who also named it one of the best albums of 2022. Volume 2 has been favourably reviewed by The Strad, named Recording of the Month by Limelight Magazine and also nominated for Recording of the Year 2022 and for the 2023 International Classical Music Awards (ICMA).

The third volume (Quartets Nos. 4 and 16) was released at the end of March 2023 and has been awarded the Diapason d’Or, and also shortlisted for the Gramophone Awards and nominated for the 2024 International Classical Music Awards (ICMA).

The penultimate disc in the series was recorded at the end of April 2024 with the final volume to follow in 2025.

The Quartet founded their own chamber music workshop in 2021, the Arcadia Chamber Music Classes, with the desire to share their experiences with future generations of musicians and to promote classical music at the highest level. Organised annually, this series of master classes and concerts is dedicated to string chamber ensembles and aims to offer guidance, support, and encouragement to young musicians in their professional development, enriching the local community through the art of chamber music.