Kairos Quartett

The Berlin-based Kairos Quartet was founded in 1996 and focusses on music of the turn of our century. Landmark compositions since 1950 and world premieres are at the heart of the quartet's activity which also includes samples of the Western musical tradition, that of other cultures (e.g. South-East Asia), or compositions employing media (electronics, video, speech, or the scenic/spatial aspects.

The Kairos Quartet takes great care in the selection and combination of pieces, sometimes even curating their own concert series as was the case with "Five Windows onto the String Quartet Since 1950" or “On the Sound Path” (2013 in London, Assisi, Berlin) – both mainly financed by the HKF (Culture Funds of Berlin).

The quartet has developed close professional relationships with many composers all over the globe. Through alternative concert formats, workshops, master classes, and lectures on new music and performance practice the Kairos Quartet reaches out to music students and the general public; workshops for music students and young professionals have so far taken place as part of festivals, or in schools of music, in Austria, Germany, Mexico, Norway, Poland, and Switzerland.

After its successful debut at the Internationale Ferienkurse in Darmstadt 1996 the quartet was invited to numerous international festivals of such different leanings as Ultraschall, MaerzMusik (both in Berlin), Eclat Stuttgart, Huddersfield, Berliner Festwochen, Wien Modern, Salzburger Festspiele, Klangspuren/TransArt, Warsaw Autumn, Ljubliana Festival, Festival d’Automne, and the Festival de Cervantino. The Quartet performed in Austria, Belgium, China, Cyprus , Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Russia, Slovenia, Switzerland, and in the Ukraine.        For 2019 the Kairos Quartet plans a portrait CD of the Chinese-German composer Xiaoyong Chen, and another one with more recent string quartets by Georg Friedrich Haas. 

Radio productions and live recordings were made by most major German radio corpora­tions as well as foreign ones such as BBC, DRS, ORF, and RAI.

The quartet's nine CDs have populated various best-of lists and one of them received the German Record Critic’s Award (1/2005). In 2001 it was the first ensemble to become fellows at the Academy Schloss Solitude.

The many artistic partners of the Kairos Quartet include baritone Dietrich Henschel, Mayumi Miyata (sho), the sound poet Michael Lentz, actress Martina Gedeck, the Schlagquartett Köln, the Vokalsolisten of the SWR, pianist Jan Gerdes, and the musicians of Slowind.

last update: 12/2018