Bozzini Quartet

Since 1999, Quatuor Bozzini has been an original voice in new, experimental and classical music. Their skew is radically contemporary, propelling the hyper-creative Montréal scene, and beyond. Not content to parlay received wisdom, the quartet cultivates an ethos of risk-taking, and boldly venture off the beaten track. Quatuor Bozzini stands out with their “extraordinary playing.” (Alex Ross, The New Yorker). With rigorous qualitative criteria, they have nurtured a vastly diverse repertoire, unbiased by the currents of fashion. This has led to close to two hundred commissioned pieces, as well as over three hundred premiered works. A Quatuor Bozzini concert is an intensely shared experience, with meticulous and sensuous attention to detail.

Praised by its “intense musicality and immense sensitivity” (Musicworks, Canada), Quatuor Bozzini was qualified in the Bandcamp Daily as “one of the most daring string quartets of the entire world.” The group presents an annual concert series in Montréal and also tours extensively in Canada, the US, South America and Europe. Notable festivals and venues include MärzMusik (Berlin), Ultima (Oslo), Huddersfield (UK), Klangspuren (Austria), Tsuda Hall (Tokyo), Musiekgebouw (Amsterdam), November Music (Netherlands), Présences (France), Kortrijk (Belgium), TimeSpans (NYC), Porgy&Bess (Vienna) and Other Minds (San Francisco). To ensure continual development in their art, the quartet’s musical laboratories, the Composer’s Kitchen, Performer’s Kitchen and Bozzini Lab, work to mentor and support new generations of composers and performers. The quartet runs its own recording label, Collection QB, and has issued critically acclaimed albums, many of which have become reference recordings in the discipline. They also have issued albums with Edition Wandelweiser, Another Timbre, Wergo-Deutscher Musikrat, Centrediscs and ATMA Classique.

In 2018, Quatuor Bozzini was awarded the “Performer of the Year” Opus Prize by the Conseil québécois de la musique. Finalist to the 28th Grand Prix (Conseil des arts de Montréal, 2012), Quatuor Bozzini is also the recipient of three Opus Prizes “International Outreach” (2007), “Contemporary Disc of the Year” (2004), and “Discovery of the Year” (2001) as well as the Étoile-Galaxie Prize from Radio-Canada (2001), the Förderpreis Ernst von Siemens Musikstiftung (2007), the German Record Critics Prize for Arbor Vitae (2009) and the 2014 Friends of Canadian Music Award.

In Montréal

In the press

Festival International de Musique Actuelle de Victoriaville 2016, Part 1

Mike Chamberlain, All About Jazz, May 24, 2016

The 32nd edition of the Festival International de Musique Actuelle de Victoriaville began with a performance of new compositions by Norwegian guitarist / composer Kim Myhr with Montréal’s Quatour Bozzini in the town’s new cultural space, Carré 150, an impressive $28 million structure that stands on the site of the former Cinema Laurier, one of the performance homes for the festival for many years.

If we’re looking for themes, the first two days’ concerts featured the human voice and by extension, the notion of breathing and the breath mechanism. Both the Bozzini / Myhr ensemble and the Julie Tippetts / Martin Archer Ensemble that followed included vocalists who incorporated poetry and song into the performances. The music of Bozzini and Myhr, who did two pieces, one by Christian Wolff and the other by Myhr, was spare and slow-moving, but insistent and hypnotic, with Angell reciting the poetry of the British poet Caroline Bergvall. The following performance, the Montréal-based vocalist Erika Tippetts / Archer group was performing live for the first time ever, despite the fact that they have been making music in the studio for a decade and a half. Their music is very much in the prog- rock sphere, with elements of the blues, a big bass sound and electric keyboards underpinning the group sound and providing a strong foundation for Tippetts’ soaring voice. (…)

The three performances on Friday evening all featured Quebec and Canadian musicians. Electric bassist / composer / educator Eric Normand lives in the small town of Rimouski, Quebec, where he leads a group called GGRIL, comprised mainly of amateur musicians from the Rimouski area. In starting GGRIL a few years ago, Normand has created an enormously important community music project that is reinvigorating the improvised music scene in Quebec. GGRIL were joined at Victo by veteran Montréalers Jean Derome and Joane Hetu and Ensemble SuperMusique, for an improvisation conducted by French guitarist / composer / improviser Olivier Benoit. There was no vocalist; it was the music itself that breathed and vibrated to the rhythm of the breath and beating of the heart. Benoit’s choice of moves for the musicians was impeccable, as the hour-long piece built up slowly to two climaxes, the tension palpable throughout. This was easily the best improvisation by a large Quebec ensemble heard here in many years. (…)

This was easily the best improvisation by a large Quebec ensemble heard here in many years.