The Schumann Quartet has received critical acclaim for their “Fire and energy. The Schumann Quartet plays staggeringly well... without doubt one of the very best formations among today’s abundance of quartets… with sparkling virtuosity and a willingness to astonish” (Harald Eggebrecht in Süddeutsche Zeitung).
A highlight of the 2019-20 season is the final year of the group’s participation in The Bowers Program at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in New York City, which they started back in December 2016. Furthermore, the quartet will go on tour twice in the US, will give guest performances at festivals in Germany, Switzerland, France, and the Netherlands, and will also perform concerts in the musical metropolises of London, Munich, Madrid, Hamburg, and Berlin. In addition, the ensemble is part of the opera production “Inferno” at Opera Frankfurt and is looking forward to their annual concerts as part of a long-term residency at the Robert-Schumann-Saal in Düsseldorf.
The group's album Intermezzo (2018), featuring works of Schumann, Reimann, and Mendelssohn Bartholdy in collaboration with Anna-Lucia Richter, has been hailed enthusiastically both at home and abroad and received the Opus Klassik Award in the quintet category. It is celebrated as a worthy successor to the quartet’s award-winning Landscapes album, in which the quartet traces its own roots by combining works of Haydn, Bartók, Takemitsu, and Pärt. Among other prizes, the latter received the Jahrespreis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik, five Diapasons, and was selected as Editor's Choice by BBC Music Magazine. The quartet won the 2016 Best Newcomers of the Year Award from BBC Music Magazine for its previous album, Mozart Ives Verdi.
The three brothers Mark, Erik, and Ken Schumann have been playing music together since their early childhood. In 2012, they were joined by violist Liisa Randalu, who was born in the Estonian capital, Tallinn, and grew up in Karlsruhe, Germany. The four musicians enjoy the way they communicate without words: how a single look suffices to convey how a particular member wants to play a certain passage. The quartet has studied with Eberhard Feltz and the Alban Berg Quartet, and collaborated with partners such as Sabine Meyer and Menahem Pressler.