©️Foppe Schut en Ragnar Våga Pedersen

Inga Våga Gaustad, violin
Tim Brackman, violin
Elisa Karen Tavenier, viola
Pieter de Koe, cello

Seen as the most promising young string quartet in the Netherlands, the Animato Quartet is known for its passionate, spontaneous playing and powerful on-stage presence. Founded in
2013, their programs combine both classical pieces drawn from string quartet standards and bespoke, contemporary compositions. In their programmes, the four musicians combine both classical string quartet repertoire works string as, sometimes especially created, contemporary compositions.

Within the Netherlands the Animato performed in Het Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Tivoli-Vredenburg in Utrecht, Diligentia in The Hague, Muziekgebouw Eindhoven, Rotterdam/Doelen. The quartet also performed on numerous world-class events such as the Utrecht International Chamber Music Festival and on festivals in Portugal, Germany, Norway, Switzerland and France. The Animato participated in the 2020 String Quartet Biennale in Amsterdam Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ during the 2020 String Quartet Biennale, and will make another appearance in the 2024 version.

In June 2022, the Animato Quartet received the Dutch Classical Talent Audience Award after a special tour playing in thirteen of The Netherlands major halls. The jury was duly impressed with the foursome, stating:: “Four top players with a vibrant energy, they captivate you from the first note! …..This quartet is the great promise of the Dutch string quartets”.

In 2022 at the 9th International Joseph Joachim Chamber Music Competition in Weimar, the quartet received the Special Prize for an exceptionally talented ensemble. In September 2021, at Trondheim’s famed International Chamber Music Competition, the Animato Quartet won both third prize and a Special Jury Prize. The Quartet was invited to participate in the prominent Verbier Festival Academy 2022 and was selected as one of only ten quartets to compete in the prestigious Banff International String Quartet Competition (Canada) in August/September 2022.

In 2017, the quartet was selected from many applicants to receive the String Quartet Stipendium of Het Kersjes Fonds, one of the largest private culture funds in the Netherlands supporting young talent. This festive event resulted in a presentation and performance in the Kleine Zaal of Het Concertgebouw, Amsterdam.

Being ‘artist in residence’ as part of the post-grad program of the Dutch String Quartet Academy (NSKA), the Animato is honoured to work with inspiring artists and coaches like Marc Danel and Eberhard Feltz. Their development both as musicians and as a quartet has also greatly benefited from lessons by some of the most recognized players in their disciplines, including Anner Bylsma, Jan-Willem de Vriend, Alfred Brendel, Gerhard Schultz and Vera Beths.

With pianist Hanna Shybayeva, they recorded in 2020 and 2021 both Beethoven’s Piano Concerto nr. 1 in a transcription for string quintet as well as Piano Concerto nr. 4.

Some future plans highlighted:

  • Collaboration with violist Nils Mönkemeijer in festival Gut Hasselburg (D)
  • Piano quintets by Bartok and Schumann with pianist Hanna Shybayeva
  • Performance in the Concertgebouw with clarinet quintets by Rihm and Brahms with Jelmer de Moe

The Animato Quartet is both fortunate and grateful to play on beautiful instruments; Inga’s violin (Riccardo Antoniazzi) and Pieter’s cello (Joh. Th. Cuypers- The Hague, 1775-’80) are on loan from the Dutch Musical Instruments Foundation (NMF). Elisa Karen plays a viola by Daniel Royé, purchased with the support of Stichting Eigen Muziekinstrument (SEM).

Selected Awards and Prizes

  • 2023: Kammermusikpreis Kultur Gut Hasselberg / First prize and Audience prize
  • 2022: Banff International String Quartet Competition / Christine and David Anderson Prize
  • 2022: International Joseph Joachim chamber music competition / Special award for a particular talented ensemble
  • 2021: International Chamber Music Competition in Trondheim / Third prize and special jury prize
  • 2021: Dutch Classical Talent Award / Audience Prize /Tivoli Vredenburg
  • 2017: The Kersjes Foundation / laureate / String Quartet grant / Concertgebouw Amsterdam 2017: Storioni Toonzaal Prize / laureate
  • 2014: Grachtenfestival Conservatory Competition / Laureate / Concertgebouw Amsterdam
  • 2014: Festival Campos do Jordão / Award for Artistic Excellence / Sala São Paulo