About Martinů Quartet
The Martinů Quartet, originally the Havlák Quartet, was formed in 1976 by the then students of the Prague Conservatoire. They put favorable circumstances to good use by intensive practice and study of the quartet repertoire, resulting in seven prizes at prestigious international competitions. They are prizewinner of the ARD Munich (Germany), Evian (France), Yehudi Menuhin (Portsmouth, Britain), and The Prague Spring competitions. These successes stood at the start-line of the Quartet’s brilliant international career, placing it firmly in the internationally respected Czech string-quartet tradition. The original Havlák Quartet changed its name in 1985 as a token of its commitment to promote the work of one of the great masters of Czech music, Bohuslav Martinů. Their efforts were rewarded by a MIDEM prize in Cannes in 2004 for the best CD of the year in the chamber music/solo category – the CD is the second of three NAXOS CDs with Martinů’s seven quartets and other chamber compositions. Although the main weight of its repertoire is centered on the music of the world’s great composers, the Quartet takes pleasure in seeking out neglected works and in giving first performances of pieces by contemporary composers. Martinů Quartet has received at MW Classical Music Web’s “CD of the Month’s” award for its recording of works by Sylvie Bodorová (Terezín Ghetto Requiem) and Ronald Stevenson. It is engaged in a long-term project of performing and recording the complete quartet output of the leading Czech composer resident in the USA, Tomáš Svoboda. Apart from its busy concert schedule, which takes in prestigious podiums at home and abroad, the Martinů Quartet plays on the Czech Radio, as it has done on the BBC, Radio France, ARD, and ORF.