« The French players of the Psophos Quartet, probably the best young string group in Europe, attacked this miniature fantasy on three notes with the same passion, faultless intonation and ensemble precision we heard in Schumann, Beethoven and Dutilleux. »
– Geoff Brown, The Times
Eric Lacrouts, Bleuenn Le Maitre, Cécile Grassi, Guillaume Martigné
Winners of the Grand Prix at the Bordeaux International String Quartet Competition in 2001, the Psophos Quartet was founded by students of the Conservatoire national supérieure de Paris. Trained and mentored in Basel by the great Walter Levin, the quartet was strongly influenced by his passion commitment and musical rigour.
The Quartet was the first French quartet chosen to be part of the prestigious BBC Radio 3 ‘New Generation Artists’ scheme from 2005-2007 and was also named ‘Best Ensemble of the Year’ at the 2005 Victoires de la musique.
The quartet has performed in prestigious halls and festivals all over Europe including the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, the Wigmore Hall, London and its trajectory has been further enriched by appearances at the Folle Journée festivals in Nantes, Tokyo, and Lisbon, at the BBC the Proms and many other renowned festivals. These performances have given the quartet the opportunity to share the stage with musical personalities including Renaud and Gauthier Capuçon, Nicholas Angelich, Bertrand Chamayou, Cédric Tiberghien, Vladimir Mendelssohn, Emmanuelle Bertrand and Nemanja Radulovic.
In 2009 the quartet welcomed two new members, Eric Lacrouts (violin) and Guillaume Martigne (cello), a change that has proved to be enriching both artistically and on a human level. The balance provided by these new forces gives the ensemble a new serenity that perpetuates its maturity and its high standards.
Driven by a wide-ranging artistic curiosity, the quartet works with leading artists from diverse fields. A collaboration with Jean-Marie Machado and Dave Liebman brought them to the jazz world with Painting notes in the air and they have performed at Théâtre National de Chaillot in Paris and Lyon Opera with choreographer Philippe Decouflé.
For three years the Psophos Quartet was Quartet in Residence at the Theatre Athénée Louis Jouvet in Paris, where is presented its own series of chamber music concerts inviting such artists as Bertrand Chamayou, Vladimir Mendelssohn, Jean-Marc Luisada, Nils Moenkemayer et Jörg Widmann.
The quartet has toured extensively in Asia, West Africa, the Middle East (Syria, Libya, Iran, Jordan etc) and throughout Europe, where, as well as giving concerts in the most
prestigious halls it was able to share its musical experiences with young musicians through master classes and pedagogical events.
The quartet has recorded many discs (Mendelssohn, Berg, Schoenberg, Ohana, Bacri, Dvorak …) which have all been hailed by the music press, receiving the ‘Choc’ in La Monde de la musique.’ Most recent CDs include a major collaboration with Marie-Nicole Lemieux on her latest recital disc and a recording of Dohnanyi and Brahms’ First String Quartets which Gramophone Magazine praised saying ‘again, the Psophos Quartet are up there among the best.’