The Schumann Quartet was praised by the Süddeutsche Zeitung as playing “staggeringly well… with sparkling virtuosity and a willingness to astonish.” This season the quartet continues its three-year residency in The Bowers Program. The quartet also tours the U.S. and gives performances at festivals in South America, Italy, and Switzerland, as well as at Mozart Week in Salzburg and the Mozartfest in Würzburg. Other performances include concerts in the important musical centers of London, Hamburg, Berlin, Amsterdam, Florence, and Paris. The quartet’s current album, Landscapes, in which it traces its own roots by combining works of Haydn, Bartók, Takemitsu, and Pärt, has been hailed enthusiastically both at home and abroad, receiving five Diapasons and being selected as Editor's Choice by BBC Music Magazine. The Schumann Quartet won the 2016 Best Newcomers of the Year Award from BBC Music Magazine for its previous CD, Mozart Ives Verdi. The quartet's other awards include premier prix at the 2013 Concours International de Quatuor à Cordes de Bordeaux, the music prize of the Jürgen Ponto Foundation in the chamber music category in 2014, and first prize in the 2012 Schubert and Modern Music competition in Graz, Austria.
The 2016-17 season saw a tour to Japan, concerts at festivals such as the Rheingau and Schleswig Holstein Music Festival, and renewed engagements at the Tonhalle in Zürich, Wigmore Hall in London, and in Munich. Sabine Meyer, Menahem Pressler, and Albrecht Mayer also gave concerts with the quartet. The previous season the ensemble was quartet-in-residence at Schloss Esterházy, and gave the first performance of a string quartet by Helena Winkelman. The season also saw concerts in the Tonhalle Zürich, the Musikverein in Vienna, London's Wigmore Hall, and the Concertgebouw Amsterdam; a tour of Israel; and the quartet's US debut in Washington, DC. The quartet has performed at many festivals, including Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Lockenhaus, the Davos Festival, Menton Festival de Musique in France, Cantabile Festival in Portugal, the Rheingau Music Festival, and the Korsholm Music Festival in Finland. Other appearances include venues such as Kings Place in London, the Konzerthaus in Vienna, Palacio Real in Madrid, Teatro Verdi in Trieste, and the Muziekgebouw in Eindhoven, The Netherlands.
Brothers Mark, Erik, and Ken Schumann grew up in the Rhineland. In 2012, they were joined by violist Liisa Randalu, who was born in the Estonian capital, Tallinn, and grew up in Karlsruhe, Germany. The quartet studied with Eberhard Feltz and the Alban Berg Quartet, and served as resident ensemble for many years at the Robert-Schumann-Saal in Düsseldorf.