©️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 all the major venues, andabroad amongst other venues, in the Louvre in Paris, the Luxemburg Philharmonie and in the Chambermusic series of the Gewandhaus in Leipzig.

The quartet also performed on numerous international festivals in the Netherlands such as the Utrecht International Chamber Music Festival, the Stift Music festival and on festivals in Portugal, Germany, Norway, Denmark, Switzerland and France.

The Animato participated in the 2020 String Quartet Biennale in Amsterdam Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ, and just made another appearance in the 2024 version.

In 2023 the Kersjes Prize of € 50.000,-  the most important state prize for classical chamber music talent, was given to these 4 musicians! From the jury report: “Four players, each maintaining and using their individual expression, have developed a multi-layered and intense playing as a quartet with a wide palette of colours”.

In 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 2023 they collaborated with violist Nils Mönkemeijer in festival Gut Hasselburg (D), where they received the 1st prize and the Audience prize!

In 2017, the Animato 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.

Untill 2022, the Animato was ‘artist in residence’ of the Dutch String Quartet Academy (NSKA). The development both as musicians and as a quartet has also greatly benefited from lessons and mentorship of some of the most recognized players in their disciplines, such as Eberhard Feltz, Marc Danel, Anner Bylsma, Jan-Willem de Vriend, Alfred Brendel, Gerhard Schultz and Vera Beths.

With pianist Hanna Shybayeva, the quartet 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:

  • Selected by Festival Mecklenburg Vorpommern to present themselves in their your »Young rising Stars« program.
  • Collaboration with violist Nils Mönkemeijer in Bremen.
  • Piano quintets with pianist Hanna Shybayeva (Bartok en Schumann), with Thomas Beijer (Brahms) and with Hannes Minnaar (Dvorak)
  • Performance in the Concertgebouw with clarinet quintets by Rihm and Brahms with Jelmer de Moed

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: Stateprize Kersjes, € 50.000, for classical chambermusic talent
  • 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