Moscow National Quartet


The Moscow National Quartet was founded in 1993 by the violinist Elena Denisova with the aim of preserving and promoting the string quartet repertoire. It comprises of well known string players of the highest rank, each one of them a winner of major international prizes as a soloist.

As a quartet the four musicians achieve an intensity of expression through their highly harmonious interplay. The ensemble impresses through its sensitivity, subtle intonation, brilliant unison in bow movements and extraordinary interpretations.

The members of the Moscow National Quartet are:

  • Elena Denisova / 1st violin
  • Boris Pavlovsky / 2nd violin
  • György Gulyas / Viola
  • Grigory Alumyan / Cello

Elena Denisova was born in Moscow and began music lessons at the age of four. She studied under two of David Oistrakh’s favourite students, Valery Klimov and Oleg Kagan, and in 1990 she began a remarkable career which has led to collaborations with numerous famous orchestras, such as the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra London, the Munich Symphoniker, the Budapest Radio Orchestra, the Mozarteum Orchester Salzburg and the Trondheim Symphony Orchestra. She also plays with the two ensembles she has founded herself: the Collegium Musicum Carinthia and the Gustav Mahler Ensemble.  
She has performed as a soloist at countless festivals, for example the Carinthischer Sommer, the Bodensee Festival, the Flanders Music Festival, the Hörgänge and Klangbogen festivals in Vienna, the Ljubljana Festival, the Russian Winter festival in Moscow, the Concerti di Primavera in Parma, and many others.
Elena Denisova regards herself an ardent "ambassador of tonal magic" and this credo underlies and informs all of her interpretations of both the Classical and the Modern. Various contemporary composers have dedicated works to her and she has immortalised these in numerous recordings. Her CD “Wien um 1900“ [“Vienna around 1900”] with works by Robert Fuchs and Alexander von Zemlinsky gained international praise and rave reviews, as did her chamber music version of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, performed on four historical violins from the Baroque period. Her most recent CD, a recording of Haydn’s violin sonatas – with her husband, the pianist and conductor Alexei Kornienko – features no less than eight world premieres. The violinist collaborates with Machold “Rare Violins” and Thomastik-Infeld strings, she is a jury member of numerous international violin competitions and she also teaches at the Austro American Institute in Vienna. Elena Denisova has been artistic director of the Woerthersee Classics Festival since 2002.

The first concerts of the Moscow National Quartet in Austria and Germany met with an enthusiastic reception from public and critics alike. The major German newspaper FAZ wrote: "...the realisation of the instrumental part by the Moscow National Quartet was subtle and gripping."

The ensemble has performed in the Vienna Konzerthaus, at the Nordlyd Festival in Trondheim, the Chopin Festival in Gaming and at Le Printemps du Bresle in Normandy. They have made a recording of the complete chamber music works of Dmitri Shostakovich with Radio 3 (FRT3) in Brussels. As the composer and producer Boudewijn Buckinx wrote: "Their performance of the fifteenth string quartet for example stood out as unforgettable; fortunately it has been captured in a recording and so the memory remains alive."

The ensemble has had a fruitful collaboration with the Belgian soprano Lena Lootens and the pianist Alexei Kornienko. Richard A. Prilisauer wrote after a joint concert: "Just a few weeks after the Schubertiade festival the Moscow National Quartet proved themselves to be a chamber music ensemble of the highest order, especially with the great Kornienko as pianist. This is probably the finest ensemble to emerge in recent years. They played with remarkable intensity and wove all of their many individual ideas into a harmonious whole. The audience broke into thunderous applause."

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„… gaben eine eindrucksvolle Kostprobe ihrer technischen Fähigkeiten am Instrument, die eine individuelle Interpretation erlaubte.“
„… das Ensemble spielte mit bewundernswerter Hingabe und gestaltete aus all den Einfällen ein einheitliches Ganzes.“


V. Arzoumanov ( *1944 ) – Quartett No. 4 op. 192
T. Bjørklund – „Cantos“ for string quartett ( 1994 )
J. Brahms – Quartett G minor op.25
E. Böttcher – Introduction and Allegro
G. von Einem ( 1918-1996 ) – String quartett No. 5 „ Festina Lente“ op. 87
N. Fheodoroff – String quartett No. 2 ( 1994/97 )
E. Firsowa – „Misterioso“ ( in memoriam I. Strawinsky ) for string quartett
A. Glasunov – 5 Novelletes op. 15
M. Glinka – Quartett in D major ( 1824 )
B.P. Johansen – „On A Spring String“ for string quartett ( 1996 )
O. Messiaen – Quartett for violin, clarinette, cello and piano
W.A. Mozart –Piano quartett Es major KV 493
T.D. Schlee ( *1954 ) – String quartett No. 2 op. 21

D. Schostakowitsch – Quartett No. 1 C major op. 49
Quartett No. 2 A major op. 68
Quartett No. 3 F major op. 73
Quartett No. 4 D major op. 83
Quartett No. 8 C minor op. 110
Quartett No. 14 Fis major op. 142
Quartett No. 15 Es minor op. 144

F. Schubert – Quartett D minor „Der Tod und das Mädchen“ D 810
I. Strawinsky – Three pieces for quartett ( 1914 )
P. Tschaikowsky – Quartett No. 2 F major op. 22

New pieces for string quartett ( N. Artcibuscheff, F. Blumenfeld, A. Glasunow, A. Liadow, M. D´Osten-Sacken, N. Sokolow, J. Wihtol )

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