The year 1994 marked the foundation of the Henschel Quartet’s international career, when cellist Mathias Beyer-Karlshøj joined the founding members Christoph, Markus, and Monika Henschel, and the ensemble members devoted themselves exclusively to the string quartet.
In 1995 the quartet won multiple prizes at the international competitions of Evian, Banff, and Salzburg, and the following year won 1st prize and the gold medal at the Osaka International Chamber Music Competition. Successful debuts in the world’s musical capitals, including an acclaimed BBC live broadcast standing in for the Juilliard Quartet, led their way to the forefront of international chamber music.
“This is, no question, one of the best groups in the world, a great string quartet.” Los Angeles Times
The Henschel Quartet’s musical journey has included many remarkable highlights over the years. The quartet played at the official re-opening of the Anna-Amalia Library in Weimar (a UNESCO World Heritage site), and travelled to Brussels as a Cultural Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany. In March 2010 the quartet was privileged to perform at the Vatican in the presence of Pope Benedict XVI. The quartet has regularly been invited to the Royal Palace of Madrid to perform on the four Stradivari of the royal collection. In June 2012 the Henschel Quartet was invited to perform Beethoven’s complete string quartets in the prestigious Suntory Hall in Tokyo – the first European quartet to do so in twenty years. In the same year Monika Henschel became the president of the newly-formed Association of German String Quartets and in 2013 Christoph Henschel was appointed Honorary Professor at the University of Augsburg.
Their career continues to go from strength to strength, with performances around the world at the major concert venues and festivals. To mark their 20th Anniversary in 2014, the Henschel Quartet’s concert at St. John Smith’s Square, London was broadcast live by BBC Radio 3. During 2015 they returned to the UK with performances at Leamington International Music Festival and the RNCM Chamber Music Festival; they also made their debut in Oxford, giving a concert for the Oxford Chamber Music Society at the historic Holywell Music Room. Other recent highlights include performances in Amsterdam, Munich, Yokohama and Tokyo (Geidai University).
In February 2016 the quartet welcomed the celebrated violinist Catalin Desaga as a new member.
The Henschel Quartet’s recordings have been awarded many prizes, including the Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik and several CD of the Year Awards (IMW). Their CDs have been recommended in such prominent titles as Gramophone Magazine, the Sunday Times, and the Süddeutsche Zeitung.
The Henschel Quartet regularly accepts invitations to teach at world-class institutions, from Yale University in the USA to the Royal Northern College of Music in England and the University of Melbourne in Australia. The quartet is also engaged in an on-going dialogue with the Bavarian Ministry of Culture in relation to youth music projects in the quartet’s home city of Munich.
Since 2006 the Henschel Quartet has been contributing as an Ambassador of SOS Children’s Villages.
Tashmina Artists represents the Henschel Quartet in the UK. Please also see the quartet’s website.