The Quatuor Diotima is one of the most in-demand chamber ensembles in the world today; it was formed in 1996 by graduates of the Paris national conservatory (Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris).
The quartet’s name evokes a double musical significance: Diotima is at once an allegory of German romanticism - Friederich Hölderlin gives the name to the love of his life in his novel Hyperion- and a rallying cry for the music of our time, brandished by Luigi Nono in his composition Fragmente-Stille, an Diotima.
The Quatuor Diotima has worked in close collaboration with several of the greatest composers of the late twentieth century, notably Pierre Boulez and Helmut Lachenmann. The quartet regularly commissions new works from the most brilliant composers of our time, including Toshio Hosokawa, Miroslav Srnka, Alberto Posadas, Mauro Lanza, Gérard Pesson, Rebecca Saunders and Tristan Murail.
Reflected in the mirror of today’s music, the quartet projects a new light onto the masterpieces of the 19th and 20th centuries, especially Beethoven, Schubert, the Second Viennese School (Schoenberg, Berg and Webern), as well as Janáček, Debussy, Ravel and Bartók.
In the quartet’s rich discography one finds amongst others, notably, the recording of all six string quartets by Béla Bartók (Naïve, 2019), their interpretations of the Second Viennese School (Naïve, 2016) and the definitive version of the Livre pour Quatuor by Pierre Boulez (on Megadisc). Their recordings are regularly praised and awarded by the international musical press: French magazine Diapason’s Diapason d’Or (five awards including two Best of the Year), Classica (Best of the Year), Télérama, Grammophone (Editor’s Choice), The Strad, and many others.
In 2016 the quartet launched the “Diotima Collection” devoted to the works of major composers of our time. In 2021, the quartet released three musical portraits of Gérard Pesson, Enno Poppe and Stefano Gervasoni and one of Mauricio Sotelo. On the occasion of the centenary of György Ligeti's birth in 2023 the quartet releases a monograph devoted to the composer.
The Diotima Quartet was the first quartet in residence at Radio France from 2019 to 2021.
After a 14-year territorial residency in the Centre Val-de-Loire region, the Diotima Quartet has found a new home in the Grand Est region, sharing strong cultural links with Germany and Switzerland, which resonate with the quartet's repertoire and partners in Europe. This residency allows the quartet to develop its Academy in partnership with the Cité Musicale-Metz inviting young composers and string quartets, a chamber music series in Strasbourg as well as an educational residency at the Ecole Nationale de Lutherie in Mirecourt, while amplifying the presence of chamber music throughout the region, of which the string quartet is one of the emblematic disciplines.
Very active in teaching and training young artists, the Diotima Quartet has recently been an Associate Artist at the Aix-en-Provence Festival Academy, an Artist in Residence at the University of Chicago and has been invited to give masterclasses at the University of California in Los Angeles, the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris, the Casa del Quartetto in Reggio Emilia and York University.
The Quatuor Diotima appears regularly in the world’s finest halls and concert series. They perform this season notably at Philharmonie de Paris, Berlin Philharmonie, Cologne Philharmonie, Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, Konserthuset Stockholm, Madrid Círculo de Cámara, Lugano Musica, Granada Festival and Vienna Konzerthaus amongst others. The quartet will also be on tour in Japan, Taiwan and in South Corea and will perform in the most important festivals for contemporary music such as Wien Modern, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, IRCAM and Musica Strasbourg.
New works to be premiered this season include amongst others a concerto for string quartet and orchestra by Bruno Mantovani with the Orchestre National de France, two works for string quartet and electronics by Mauro Lanza and Sasha Blondeau, as well as new pieces by Lisa Streich, Olga Neuwirth and Misato Mochizuki.
The Quatuor Diotima is subsidized by the French ministry of Culture and the Région Grand Est and receives support from the SACEM, the Institut Français, the Spedidam, the Adami, as well as private donors.
The Quatuor Diotima is a member of the PROFEDIM, Futurs Composés and FEVIS professional organizations.