Barbican Quartet Unveils Debut Album, “Manifesto on Love”

by Madonna

The Barbican Quartet, composed of violinists Amarins Wierdsma and Kate Maloney, violist Christoph Slenczka, and cellist Yoanna Prodanova, has launched their inaugural album, “Manifesto on Love,” featuring compositions by Leoš Janáček and Robert Schumann.

Released under Genuin Classics, the album showcases Janáček’s “Intimate Letters” String Quartet No. 2 and Schumann’s String Quartet Op. 41 No. 3.


Known as Janáček’s “manifesto on love,” “Intimate Letters” resonates deeply with the album’s thematic core. The juxtaposition of Schumann’s sweeping melodies with Janáček’s nuanced textures and impassioned outbursts provides a poignant exploration of human longing for connection and unity.


Additionally, the album includes Dobrinka Tabakova’s “The Ear of Grain” and Schumann’s “Drei Duette Op. 43 No. 2 Lied,” specifically “If I were a bird.”


The Barbican Quartet gained acclaim by clinching First Prize at the 71st ARD International String Quartet Competition, alongside accolades such as the Best Interpretation prize for Dobrinka Tabakova’s commissioned work, the Genuin Classics CD production award, the GEWA prize, and the Henle Urtext prize.

The name “Barbican Quartet” carries dual significance: evoking a defensive fortification around a city or castle, it symbolizes the quartet’s mission to explore, evolve, and uphold the tradition of string quartet performance. Moreover, the quartet has strong ties to London, where they debuted at the Barbican Center in 2015.

Founding members Amarins, Christoph, and Yoanna crossed paths at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, initially bonding over chamber music for pleasure before embarking on a more serious musical journey together. Now an international ensemble representing four nationalities and fluent in seven languages collectively, they divide their time between London and Munich.

The quartet’s accolades include winning First Prize at the 2019 Joseph Joachim International Chamber Music Competition and the 2018 St Martin in the Fields Chamber Music Competition. Their debut at Wigmore Hall in 2017 was made possible by the Maisie Lewis Award, and in 2018, the Royal Philharmonic Society honored them with the Albert and Eugenie Frost Prize. Selected as St John Smith Square Young Artists for 2020 and featured as Park Lane Group artists in 2016, the Barbican Quartet continues to captivate audiences worldwide with their distinctive musical voice and dedication to the chamber music tradition.


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