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Biography

The Leipziger Streichquartett, or Leipzig String Quartet, has emerged as one of the foremost string quartets of its time. With a broad repertory that includes the complete outputs of Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn, and Brahms, as well as individual works by Dvorák, Bruckner, Ives, Schoenberg, Cage, and many others (about 300 works by nearly 100 composers), the quartet has attracted a large audience of both traditional and adventurous listeners, thus placing many of the more than 50 recordings among the top-selling releases in the genre.

The Leipzig String Quartet was founded in 1988 as the New Leipzig String Quartet. The New was dropped from the name in 1995. Three LSQ members – Andreas Seidel (violin), Ivo Bauer (viola), and Matthias Moosdorf (cello) – were first chair players in the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra. All three remained with the orchestra until 1993, when they retired to concentrate on chamber music activities. The fourth member of the ensemble is violinist Tilman Büning.

In 1989 the LSQ became core members of the Ensemble Avantgarde, a group directed by pianist/composer Steffen Schleiermacher that is devoted to modern music performance. The LSQ and Ensemble Avantgarde established the Musica Nova series in 1990 at the Gewandhaus to carry on championing modern music. The following year the LSQ formed another series at the Gewandhaus called Pro Quatuor, to focus on a range of works, including many from both the First and Second Viennese Schools, the best of which were performed in concert there from 1993 to 2000. In the 1990s the LSQ grew in popularity throughout Europe, in part because of its participation with five other quartets in a massive Beethoven quartet project: the Beethoven quartet cycle was performed in 15 European cities during 1996-1997 as a means of promoting unity and friendship throughout the continent.

By this time LSQ's recordings were also drawing positive reviews in Europe and abroad. The group had begun recording exclusively for the German label MD&G Records in 1992, and by 1997 had finished the complete Schubert quartets. That same year it began recording all the Beethoven quartets, the last release issued in January 2007. The LSQ has concertized at many of the most important concert halls in Europe, the Americas, Israel, Australia, Japan, and Africa, and has generally drawn a positive response.

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