Concertgebouw Young Talent Award for Leonkoro Quartet
String quartet makes strong Impression at debut, immediately winning Young Talent Award from the Concertgebouw
8 March 2023 – The Leonkoro Quartet has won the Concertgebouw Young Talent Award 2024. The string quartet from Germany made such a debut impression in the Recital Hall in September 2023 that there was no doubt for the management of the Concertgebouw. Here, a young string quartet manifested itself at the level of the world’s top musicians with ‘rare refinement and an unprecedented understanding of repertoire’. The award, also made possible by the main sponsor Van Lanschot Kempen, will be presented in September 2024 at a gala dinner in the Concertgebouw. On Thursday 6 February and Saturday 8 February 2025, the Leonkoro Quartet will return to the Recital Hall in the series World-Famous String Quartets.
Previous winners have included pianists Lucas and Arthur Jussen (2011), violinist Noa Wildschut (2013), soprano Laetitia Gerards (2014), recorderist Lucie Horsch (2015), pianist Aidan Mikdad (2017), pianist Nikola Meeuwsen (2019), singer Nai Barghouti (2021) and the National Women’s Youth Choir (2023).
Simon Reinink, managing director of the Concertgebouw: ‘At the stunning debut of the Leonkoro Quartet, they demonstrated refinement, a deep understanding of repertoire, and above all, an unprecedented level of talent. Coupled with their individual qualities and their willingness to explore beyond conventional boundaries, makes them well-deserving winners of the Concertgebouw Young Talent Award.’
The Leonkoro Quartet: ‘The first moment we arrived here we felt welcome, from the reception to backstage to the audience. It is then a great honour to receive the Young Talent Award and be associated with a venue with such great history, acoustics, beauty and warm audiences. We look forward to the next chapter in our relationship!’
Maarten Edixhoven, chair of Van Lanschot Kempen’s board of directors: ‘On behalf of Van Lanschot Kempen, I would like to extend my sincere congratulations to the Leonkoro Quartet for winning the Concertgebouw Young Talent Award. It is truly an achievement to receive this recognition, and we are proud to sponsor this prize. The Leonkoro Quartet has demonstrated exceptional talent, and we look forward to following them on their musical journey. Congratulations and much success in the future.’
About the Leonkoro Quartet
The Leonkoro Quartet, founded in Berlin in 2019, takes its name from the Esperanto title of Astrid Lindgren’s children’s book, The Brothers Lionheart, which juxtaposes death and solace – a recognisable theme for musicians in a lot of quartet repertoire.Brothers Jonathan and Lukas Schwarz, respectively the violinist and cellist, complement the inner voices of Amelie Wallner (second violin) and Mayu Konoe (viola).The quartet has also achieved success outside the Netherlands: in 2022, it won the International String Quartet Competition at Wigmore Hall in London (where it also received nine out of the twelve other awards, including the best Haydn interpretation and the best performance of a nineteenth-century work) and the Concours International de Quatuors à Cordes de Bordeaux. Additionally, in 2022, the Leonkoro Quartet was also included in the BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artists Programme and received the Merito String Quartet Award.A year earlier, the string players had already won the audience prize and the second prize at the international Premio Paolo Borciani competition, as well as the first prize at the chamber music competition supported by the Berlin-based Alice-Samter-Stiftung Foundation. Following joint chamber music training under Heime Müller (Artemis Quartet) at the Musikhochschule Lübeck, the quartet continued their studies with Günter Pichler (Alban Berg Quartett) and at the Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofía Madrid. Their current mentors are Eckart Runge and Gregor Sigl (Artemis Quartett) and pianist Alfred Brendel.In the autumn of 2023, the quartet released their debut album featuring recordings of Ravel’s String Quartet in F major and Schumann’s String Quartet no. 3.During the 2023/2024 season, the Leonkoro Quartet will perform at venues including the Philharmonie in Berlin, Konzerthaus in Vienna and in Leeds, where it holds a residency. The quartet will also embark on an extensive tour of Japan. On 27 September 2023, the quartet performed for the first time in the Recital Hall with compositions by Webern, Shostakovich and Beethoven.