"Quartetto Nero (...) produced a unique and fascinating sound which gave an extra dimension to the skill and artistry of the performers."
— Mylor & Flushing "The Magazine"
Quartetto Nero is a young and dynamically developing string quartet, producing its unique and intriguing sound by playing on the original period instruments (or their copies) as well as using gut strings and various models of bows, appropriate for music of different eras. All this distinguishes the ensemble from other string quartets not only on Polish, but also European musical market. Quartetto Nero is dedicated to exploring and searching for the authentic sound of music written in baroque, classical and romantic times, by using characteristic instruments of those eras as well as through historically informed interpretation of the pieces. The ensemble also reaches for even later repertoire, fully exploring the time frame in which gut strings were in use. What has a very special place in the quartet’s field of interests is Polish music, rarely performed nowadays. The idea of the ensemble is also to bring the audience closer to the history of a string quartet as a chamber music group.
Quartetto Nero is the winner of the 1st and Special prize in the Early Music Ensemble Competition in Poznan in Poland (2016) and also a finalist of an international competition XVIII. Biagio-Marini Wettbewerb in Neuburg in Germany (2017) and the Stanisław Moniuszko International Competition of Polish Music in Rzeszów in Poland (2019). In 2019 the members of the quartet were awarded the “Young Poland” scholarship for outstanding artistic achievements.
The ensemble already has a very vibrant concert schedule, performing in Poland and abroad – e.g. during the Fringe concert series of the Utrecht Early Music Festival (Festival Oude Muziek, Netherlands, 2018) and twice during the International Early Music Festival ECOS (Festival Internacional de Música Antigua de Sierra Espuña, Spain, 2018 & 2019). In 2019 Quartetto Nero established cooperation with Polish early music festival Misteria Paschalia. As a result, the quartet performed a prologue concert to this festival and also participated in the „Misteria Paschalia in tourneé” concert series, which took place during Kromer Biecz Festival and Musica Poetica Festival. In December 2019 the very first CD of Quartetto Nero was released, containing music of Polish romantic composers - S. Moniuszko and K. Kurpiński.
The members of the quartet are graduates of the Academy of Music in Krakow (Poland), Mozarteum University in Salzburg (Austria) and Conservatory of Music G. B. Martini in Bologna (Italy). The ensemble was established in 2015 in Krakow (Poland) and, since the very beginning, has been tutored by Sirkka-Liisa Kaakinen-Pilch at the Academy of Music in Krakow. The ensemble has also participated in masterclasses with e.g. Manfredo Kraemer and Paolo Pandolfo.
The name of the ensemble refers to a multi-dimensional symbolism of the colour black. Blackness is associated with good taste and elegance, equated with luxury, sophistication and stylishness. It’s both the colour of modernity and tradition, containing numerous, often opposite, meanings. In the European culture it signifies mourning; in China it symbolizes happiness. In Japan it is the colour of nobility, age and experience, while in the culture of Ancient Egypt and Indians – of life. In art and daily life, black is frequently used for emphasizing the atmosphere of mysteriousness, dignity, drama or formality. Despite its distinctive character, it perfectly matches almost every other colour.
A violinist especially fascinated with historically informed performance of music from early Baroque and Romanticism. Her main field of artistic fulfillment is performing with Quartetto Nero, a string quartet of period instruments. She finished her studies of modern violin (2015) and baroque violin (2018) at the Academy of Music in Cracow (Poland). The most significant impact on shaping her artistic personality had the encounters with such masters as Sirkka-Liisa Kaakinen, Lucy van Dael, Leila Schayegh, Alessandro Tampieri, Paul McCreesh and Zbigniew Pilch. One of her most valuable experiences was taking part in the Bach Academy in Świdnica (Poland, 2014), where she worked and performed with musicians of Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin. As a soloist, chamber and orchestra player, she took part in numerous early music festivals in Poland and abroad, including ECOS Festival Internacional de Música Antigua de Sierra Espuña (Spain), Innsbrucker Festwochen der Alten Musik (Austria), ‘Music in Paradise’ Festival (Poland), the Fringe concert series during Festival Oude Muziek (Netherlands), International Bach Festival in Świdnica (Poland). She is a permanent member of Musicae Antiqua Collegium Varsoviense and Wroclaw Baroque Orchestra. She also performed e.g. with Gabrieli Consort&Players and Kore Orchestra. She recorded numerous albums, one of the most significant being “Jarzębski et consortes” with a chamber ensemble of Capella Cracoviensis. She has already performed in China, Japan and most European countries. In 2019 Agata Habera got the „Young Poland” scholarship for outstanding artistic achievements.
Graduated from the Academy of Music in Kraków (Poland), having studied baroque violin with Prof. Sirkka-Liisa Kaakinen-Pilch and Teresa Piech, PhD. Except that she has studied with Enrico Gatti at the Conservatory of Music G. B. Martini in Bologna (Italy) as a participant of the Erasmus+ Student Exchange Programme. She took part in many music projects and workshops in Poland and abroad (Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Italy, France, UK and USA). Meanwhile she had worked with following musicians: Stefano Barneschi, Marco Bianchi and Marcello Scandelli from Il Giardino Armonico; Leila Schayegh, Joshua Rifkin, Emma Kirkby, Susanne Scholz, Oliver Webber, Walter Reiter, Fabio Bonizzoni, Jos van Veldhoven, Benjamin Bayl. In 2017 she has received a scholarship from the fundation Academia Montis Regalis Onlus and has performed with the orchestra tutored by Olivia Centurioni, Enrico Onofri, Thibault Noally, Ophélie Gaillard and Alessandro De Marchi. In 2018 she has received a scolarship from the iCons Foundation and she performs with Theresia Youth Orchestra tutored by Claudio Astronio, Chiara Banchini and Alfredo Bernardini. She has performed on such music festivals as for example: Wratislavia Cantas in Wrocław, Mozart Festival in Warsaw, International Bach Festival in Świdnica (Poland), International Guitar Festival in Modra (Slovakia), Mantova Chamber Music Festival “Trame Sonore” in Mantova (Italy) and Innsbruck Festival of Early Music in Innsbruck (Austria). She is a member of the orchestra Musicae Antiquae Collegium Varsoviense and of the baroque orchestra Cornu Copiae and collaborates with the international baroque orchestra Il Giardino d'Amore, with which, among others, in 2016 she had recorded a CD ‘Enemies in love’ and had a concert tour in the United States (San Diego, Chicago, Rochester, Syracuse and New York City) and with a group Cappella dell'Ospedale della Pietà. She also plays the baroque viola.
Graduated from MA studies at the Academy of Music in Kraków, Poland, and postgraduate studies at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna, Austria, in the chamber music class of Prof. Johannes Meissl. In 2018 she graduated with honors (MA) from Mozarteum University in Salzburg in baroque cello class of Marco Testori. She developed soloist skills on musical interpretation courses at home and abroad, working with—among other teachers—Tomasz Strahl, Kazimierz Michalik (Poland), Claus Reichardt, Kristin von der Goltz (Germany), Suren Bagratuni (United States), Bruno Cocset (France). She has participated in many international festivals: Oudemuziek Festival in Utrecht (Holland), Ludwig van Beethoven Easter Festival, Festiwal Muzyki Polskiej in Kraków, 20° Festival Quartetto d’Archi (Italy), Bachwoche in Vienna (Austria), Internationales Klassikfestival im Allgau-Oberstdorfer Musiksommer (Germany), Tartini Festival in Piran (Slovenia), International New Music Festival in Darmstadt (Germany, 2014), International Contemporary Music Festival ‘Warsaw Autumn’, Mozartwoche in Salzburg (Austria). In 2012 as a member of Amber Quartet she won the special prize for the best chamber ensemble of the Oberstdorf Music Summer in Allgäu (Germany). She became actively interested in contemporary music, when her quartet had the honour of presenting the world’s first performance of pieces composed specifically for them by Zaid Jabri (2012) and Alessandro Grego (2013). In 2017 she performed a piece “Try to listen to this without crying #1” composed by Piotr Peszat for baroque cello, harpsichord and audio playback. Katarzyna Cichoń collaborates with various baroque orchestras, e.g.: Capella Cracoviensis (Poland), Wiener Akademie, Bach Consort, Orchester 1756 (Austria), Warsaw Chamber Opera. Since 2012 she has been a member of the international baroque orchestras Il Giardino d’Amore and Cappella di Ospedale della Pietà, with whom she appears both in Poland and abroad—e.g.: in the Netherlands, in Norway, in the United States, in Canada and China.
Graduated from the Academy of Music in Kraków under Prof. Magdalena Szczepanowska (modern violin) and also Prof. Sirkka-Liisa Kaakinen-Pilch and Zbigniew Pilch, PhD (baroque violin). Her interests cover diverse eras: both the early baroque and the newest music. As for baroque music performance, she has worked with masters of that genre, including Lucy van Dael, Alessandro Tampieri, Joshua Rifkin and Paul Esswood. She performed during some early music festivals, for example: Bach Festival in Świdnica, Annum Festival, Mozart Festival. She cooperates with ensembles: Il Giardino d'Amore, Capella di Ospedale della Pieta, Orchestra Famd.pl. Contemporary music takes a special place in her repertoire. She works with many young composers, premiering their pieces and also performs works by well known authors. With Spółdzielnia Muzyczna (Musicians' Community) Contemporary Ensemble and string quartet Sine Nomine Ensemble she took part in festivals: Warszawska Jesień (Warsaw Autumn), Elementi, Audio Art Festival.