Borodin Quartet


Borodin Quartet Photo credit: Andy Staples

For more than 60 years, the Borodin Quartet has been celebrated for its insight and authority in chamber music repertoire. Revered for its searching performances of Beethoven and Shostakovich, the quartet's particular affinity with Russian repertoire was stimulated by a close relationship with Shostakovich, who personally supervised its study of each of his quartets. The Quartet's cycles of the complete Shostakovich quartets have been performed all over the world, including Vienna, Zurich, Frankfurt, Madrid, Lisbon, Seville, London, Paris, Ottawa and New York. In addition to performing quartets, the members of the quartet regularly join with other musicians to explore further the chamber music repertoire. Their partners have included Yuri Bashmet, Elisabeth Leonskaja and Christoph Eschenbach. For its 60th Anniversary Season, the group performed cycles of the complete Beethoven quartets at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw and Vienna Musikverein. Concerts honoring the quartet's contribution to musical history were performed in Moscow, at London's Wigmore Hall and the Théâtre des Champs-Elysees in Paris. The ensemble was also heard in Madrid, Rotterdam, Brussels, Geneva, Munich, Lisbon, Barcelona, Athens, Cologne, Istanbul, Zurich, Berlin, Moscow, Vancouver, New York, Los Angeles, and London, playing music of Mozart, Schubert, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky, Shostakovich and of course Borodin. The CD label Chandos released the complete Beethoven quartets as part of the 60th anniversary celebration. The quartet's first recording on the Onyx label, featuring Borodin, Schubert, Webern and Rachmaninoff, was nominated for a Grammy in 2005 for Best Chamber Performance. The Borodin Quartet has produced a rich heritage of recordings over several decades, for labels including EMI, RCA and Teldec. Among its Teldec recordings, those of Tchaikovsky's Quartets and Souvenir de Florence, Schubert's String Quintet, Haydn's Seven Last Words and a disc of Russian Miniatures. The Tchaikovsky disc was honored with a Gramophone Award in 1994. Formed in 1945 by four students from the Moscow Conservatory, the ensemble later changed its name from the Moscow Philharmonic Quartet to the Borodin Quartet. Andrei Abramenkov became a member in 1975; Ruben Aharonian and Igor Naidin joined in 1996; Vladimir Balshin joined the Quartet in August 2007.