Jana Kuss - violin
Oliver Wille - violin
William Coleman - viola
Mikayel Hakhnazaryan - cello
With its unique approach to music-making, the Berlin-based Kuss Quartet ranks among the world's leading ensembles. 'Worlds away from shallow showmanship, its members constantly strive for interpretations of a ‘'revelatory nature', 'whose individuality (is derived) entirely from a deep and comprehensive exploration of the idiosyncrasies of each work.' (Frankfurter Rundschau).The Quartet's repertoire ranges from Haydn, Beethoven and Schubert to leading contemporary European composers such as Helmut Lachenmann and György Kurtág.
In 2002 the Kuss Quartet was awarded first prize in the Borciani-Competition. The following year they won the Borletti-Buitoni Award and were selected for the European Concert Hall Organisation's ’Rising Stars' program.
Tours have taken them throughout Europe, the U.S.A., Australia, South America and Japan. They have appeared at many of the leading concert halls of the world including Carnegie Hall, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Berlin Philharmonie, and the Wigmore Hall in London. Festival appearances include Salzburg, Edinburgh, Beethovenfest Bonn, Schubertiade Schwarzenberg, and Rheingau Musikfestival.
Next season performances include Tonhalle Hall Zurich, Muziekgebouw Amsterdam, the Liederhalle Stuttgart and London's Wigmore Hall. In June 2019 they will performing the complete Beethoven cycle in Tokyo's Suntory Hall.
In the U.S., they have performed at the Library of Congress, Frick Museum, Duke University, San Francisco Performances, Cleveland Museum of Arts, Indiana University, San Jose Chamber Music and Caramoor among others. The Quartet made their third appearance at Carnegie Hall in 2017 with a program featuring Beethoven, Haydn, Harrison Birtwistle and Thomas Ades.
Recordings for Sony and Onyx include the music of Tchaikovsky, Brahms, Schubert, Stravinsky and Schnittke. Their latest CD, featuring the music of Brahms and Schoenberg, has received considerable critical acclaim. Their 2012 concept CD, "Theme Russe", features Variations on a Russian Folk Song by Rimsky-Korsakov and includes 10 variations by composers who include Scriabin and Glazunov.
With it's "Kuss Plus" series in Berlin, the Quartet is also a pioneer of a concept based presentation of chamber music, These boundary-breaking performances combine music with literature and have led to numerous invitations to major European festivals with programs such as 'Ohne Grund nicht denken' (Brecht/Berg/ Beethoven), 'Traumbilder' (Heine/Mendelssohn/Schumann) 'Das Rauschen der Zeit' (Mandelstam/Stravinsky/ Tchaikovsky), and a program of Haydn Quartets with Laurence Sterne's Tristram Shandy.
The Kuss Quartet has conducted numerous masterclasses internationally and are committed to developing the next generation of chamber musicians. William Coleman and Oliver Willie both hold professorships at music colleges in Salzburg, Hannover and Birmingham, UK. As a result of a grant from the state of Lower Saxony, over the next four years the Quartet will commission new works from composers who include Aribert Reimann, Bruno Mantovani and Enno Poppe.
Major collaborations include Avi Avital, Paul Meyer, Marc Andre Hamelin, Misha Maisky, Mojca Erdmann, Pierre-Laurent Aimard and slam poet Bas Böttcher.