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15 Questions to The Quarrel Quartet

img  Tobias

Hi! How are you? Where are you?
QQ: We are on a train to Hannover, where we are playing a concert tonight. 

What's on your schedule right now?
QQ: We are expanding our repertoire and preparing for the recording of our first CD, which was a part of our award in the Competition in Weimar.

What is your earliest musical memory?
Magda: standing on a chair and conducting to Oistrach's (vinyl) recordings
Ania: Thats father was tormenting me with "I just call to say I love” by Stevie Wonder.
Karolina: My grandma was singing in a church choir... and I didn't like it.
Eunyoung: Haydn C  Major  Concerto with Mischa Maisky.

Was there a deciding moment, which made you want to become an artist?
Ania: I was 5, and I was singing a popular Polish tune in a folk-group, I enjoyed it so much, I knew I wanted to perform!
Eunyoung: It was gradual, but I think for me the thought that I want to be a musician came when I met a good teacher.
Karolina: there was no one deciding moment, but for me it was the contact with great  musician and observing their way of living, that inspired me to want to be like them. 

How satisfied are you with life as an artist?
Eunyoung: Generally - very, I just don't like the travelling... 
Karolina: More and more.
Ania: We are basically just working a lot, and very hard. But we know how to have fun!
Magda: It's sometimes a little crazy, but it's incredibly rewarding to see, that someone enjoyed our playing.

What constitutes a good live performance in your opinion? What's your approach to performing on stage?
QQ: The quality of performance depends of course a lot on our preparation, but it's the energy on  stage - that is between us four, and between us and the public, that makes the final effect. It is very important to have a good contact with the public. That's why in our concerts we often speak a few words about the pieces we're performing.

How do you balance your emotions and the intentions of the composer in your interpretation?
QQ: First, we try to thoroughly read the score in order to understand what the composer wanted. Reading a little bit about the composer himself can also be very helpful. Then we discuss the best ways to express, what we think the composer’s  idea was. Each of us has some picture in head and trying out and combining our ideas takes the most time in our preparations. But it allows us to develop our common interpretation and make the piece "our own". 

How would you describe and rate the scene for classical music of the country you are currently leaving in?
QQ: We all moved to Germany because of the level of musical life in this country. Not only do we have the possibility to work with the best teachers here, but also the public on our concerts is, on the one hand, more demanding but on the other also more engaged in our performance.   

Do you consider it important that more young people care for classical music? If so, how, do you think, could this be achieved?
Ania: Music makes us better people, I think it is best, when already small children have contact with music - not only by listening, but also by playing some instrument. It develops general sensibility. One way to get to young people is being open to new media (like, say, Youtube). There is a lot of space in the world for all sorts of communication.
Karolina: It is important for two reasons: firstly: what Ania said - it makes people more sensitive and secondly, of course for us as musicians it is important to have people we can play for. If young people show no interest in classical music, concert halls might be empty in a few years!
Magda: I find cultural education as such very important for every human being. People who have no contact with classical music miss out on a  whole spectrum of feelings they don't even know exist.

How would you rate the importance of the internet and new media for you personally?
Continuing our answers for the previous question - it is now the best way to get to young people. Many of them come across classical music online. For us it is also important because internet is the main way of communicating with the world. We  hardly ever use the "traditional" post office!

What is your view on the relationship between musical education and music?
Magda: Musical education must function on two levels: General music education at schools and professional education. Without the first, the second doesn't make sense, because if there is no public, nobody needs musicians.

You are given the position of artistic director of a concert hall. What would be on your program for this season?
Magda: I would give one concert in a month to debuting young musicians. As to reperoire - I find mixing "hits" and unknown a good way to introduce new pieces to a more conservative public.
Karolina: I find it important to allow the public to listen to all sorts of classical music - I would try to keep balance between chamber, symphonic and vocal music. Old and new.
Ania: I think, that concert hall directors could show a little more trust in the public, putting in the program works that are less often played, more demanding.
Eunyoung: Shostakovich!

How would you describe your relationship with your instrument?
Ania: Everyday there is an evolution. I think that my instrument gives me the best opportunity to express myself. I am just very happy playing the viola.
Magda: Rocky. We have our ups and downs. But the violin seems to have always been in my life, so even in moment of frustration, it’s  hard to imagine life without my instrument.

Have you ever played a different instrument? If so, how good were you at it?
Karolina: At the school I was forced to play the piano and at the beginning I didn't like it at all, but after a while I started to love it and if I have some time to spare I like to play some piece of Bach, just for fun.
Magda: As Karolina, I played the piano when I was at school, but not on a professional level. I enjoyed it a lot.
Ania: First of all, I played the violin for a long time, I even started my studies at the Academy in Poznan with this instrument. But my great passion was singing(mostly jazz) and I even considered doing it professionally.
Eunyoung: Since I was 4 I played the piano, when I was 8 I even won a 2nd prize in a competition! Also, I played the recorder a little.

Picture by Anette Daugardt

Quarrel Quartet

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