October 31, 2014

The Ebène Quartet introduces new violist Adrien Boisseau

The 23-year-old newcomer will replace Mathieu Herzog from January 2015.

The acclaimed string quartet Quatuor Ebène welcomes a new player into the fold from January 2015, as founding violist Mathieu Herzog embarks on a new direction in his musical career with a focus on conducting.

At just 23 years old, the incoming Adrien Boisseau will be the youngest member of the French foursome that includes Pierre Colombet and Gabriel Le Magadure (violins) and Raphaël Merlin (cello). The group is renowned for its youthful élan and versatility – “a string quartet that can easily morph into a jazz band”, as The New York Times put it – from the groundbreaking album of Debussy, Ravel and Fauré (Gramophone Recording of the Year 2009) to smooth samba with guest vocalist Stacey Kent on this year’s best-selling Brazil.

A student of Tabea Zimmermann, Boisseau was named Young Artist of the Year at the 2014 International Classical Music Awards, the jury deeming him “a particularly mature and introspective musician” while praising his “skillful technique and the beauty of his sonority”. As a soloist with the Kronberg Academy, he has performed and worked with Yuri Bashmet, Gidon Kremer and other masters of the instrument.

“We are delighted that Adrien will be at our side for the quartet’s next thrilling musical adventures in the years to come…” The Ebènes said of their new recruit in a statement. “We sincerely thank Mathieu Herzog for his many years of intensive work and rich collaboration, and wish him every success on his new path.”

The latest disc featuring Herzog on viola is the Ebène Quartet’s landmark live recording with the legendary pianist and chamber musician Menahem Pressler (Beaux Arts Trio) on the occasion of his 90th birthday. The group joined him in vibrant, life-affirming performances of Dvořák’s Piano Quintet in A Major and Schubert’s ‘Trout’ Quintet for an ecstatically received concert at the Salle Pleyel in Paris. Herzog will also be heard on disc in two of the Ebène’s collaborations yet to be released: with Philippe Jaroussky on the album Green: Mélodies françaises sur des poèmes de Verlaine (February 2015) and with Natalie Dessay, also in an album of French mélodies, in September 2015. The first Ebène Quartet album with Adrien Boisseau in his new role will be devoted to Schubert.