The Dudok Quartet Amsterdam is forging a reputation as one of the most creative and versatile quartets of its generation.  With its mission of “sharing the heart of music”, the Dudok Quartet is committed to crafting unique and eclectic programmes in order to engage with its audiences in new and imaginative ways.

In repertoire ranging from Ligeti, Shostakovich and Weinberg through to Mendelssohn, Mozart and Beethoven the Quartet constantly strives to forge and explore new pathways and connections in music.  Their intelligent approach and flair for programming also sees them regularly perform their own arrangements of pieces and they have so far produced arrangements of composers including Gesualdo, des Prez and Brahms.  Collaboration is also a key part of the Quartet’s ethos and recent partners have included Pieter Wispelwey, Daria van den Bercken, Vladimir Mendelssohn, Erik Bosgraaf and Annelien Van Wauwe.

The Dudok Quartet has performed at many of the major European venues and festivals including the Vienna Konzerthaus, Beethoven Haus Bonn, De Doelen, Carinthischer Sommer Festival, Gergiev Festival, West Cork Chamber Music Festival, Festival Jeunes Talents, Festival Quatuors à Bordeaux and the Amsterdam String Quartet Biennale, as well as appearing regularly at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw and Amsterdam Muziekgebouw.  The Quartet made its USA debut in January 2018 at the Northwestern University Winter Chamber Music Festival, with future US plans including its New York debut at the Park Avenue Armory.  Highlights of the 2018/19 season include engagements in Milan, Mantova, Utrecht and Rotterdam, as well as returns to the Concertgebouw and Muziekgebouw in Amsterdam and performances at the Heidelberg String Quartet Festival.

In 2015 the Dudok Quartet released its first recording on the Resonus Classics label.  “Métamorphoses” explores the theme of musical innovation through works by Ligeti, Haydn and Brahms and was awarded Editor’s Choice in Gramophone, with the Quartet also being praised by The Guardian for its “lithe, lively sound and alert sense of structure and detail”.  The Quartet’s critically acclaimed second release in 2017, entitled “Labyrinth”, explores the use of counterpoint in works by Mozart, Ligeti and Bach.  Their most recent disc “Solitude” (2018) features works by Mendelssohn, Weinberg and Shostakovich curated around the theme of loss and loneliness, with The Strad praising the disc as “an intense listening experience that will have you on the edge of your seat”.

Other recent projects have included the world premiere of Kaija Saariaho’s opera Only the Sound Remains with Philippe Jaroussky and Dutch National Opera and a collaboration with director Rosabel Huguet re-imagining Beethoven’s Op 132 String Quartet for children.  Entitled “Quartet! A card game with Beethoven” the Quartet takes the project to venues including the Vienna Konzerthaus, Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, Flagey and De Doelen as part of their ongoing commitment to education and outreach work.

Having first met as members of the Ricciotti Ensemble, a Dutch street symphony orchestra, the Dudok Quartet studied at the Hochschule für Musik in Cologne with the Alban Berg Quartet and later at the Dutch String Quartet Academy with Marc Danel of the Danel Quartet.  Other important mentors include Eberhard Feltz, Peter Cropper (Lindsay Quartet), Luc-Marie Aguera (Quatuor Ysaÿe) and Stefan Metz. Winner of a 2018 Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award, other awards include prizes at the Bordeaux International String Quartet Competition and Joseph Joachim International Chamber Music Competition Weimar as well as the prestigious Dutch Kersjes Prize (2014).

 The Quartet performs on instruments generously on loan from the Dutch Musical Instrument Foundation (NMF); violins by Francesco Goffriller and Vincenzo Panormo, viola by Max Möller and cello by Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume.  The Quartet takes its name from renowned Dutch architect Willem Marinus Dudok (1884 – 1974). A great lover of music, Dudok came from a musical family and composed in his spare time, saying “I feel deeply the common core of music and architecture: after all, they both derive their value from the right proportions”.

Judith van Driel

As long as I can remember I wanted to play the violin. The first few years I played together with my sisters, later on I played with friends from youth orchestras. As concertmaster of the Ricciotti Ensemble I learned how to lead a group, but above all I experienced how amazing it can be to touch people with your music.

Besides my studies in Amsterdam with Kees Koelmans and Peter Brunt I also spent a year in Vienna to study with Günter Pichler from the Alban Berg Quartet.

As a violinist you can develop yourself in many directions. For several years I have been teaching children aged 6 to 19, from whom I learn just as much from them as they learn from me.

I got the chance to participate in the Academy of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. That was an incredible experience.

Nevertheless I got more and more convinced about the fact that playing in a string quartet was all I ever wanted.

As a string quartet you are independent, you can do whatever you decide. It is wonderful to have fun on stage with the four of us and to make the audience a part of our story.

When I have a solo, I am able to take all the freedom I need, because I know that my colleagues will always be there to support me.

Since September of 2017, I have been performing on the “Douglas Kane-violin”, built by Francesco Goffriller around 1725, on generous loan from the Dutch Musical Instruments Foundation (NMF)

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Marleen Wester

If I was told correctly, I was fascinated by the violin since I was three years old. The idea of sound, produced by something as simple as a bow crossing a string, could reach into your heart was something that fascinated me from that moment on. I never imagined playing in a string quartet as extensively as we do now when I studied the violin in Amsterdam, with Lex Korff de Gidts and Peter Brunt. The conservatory seemed more like a playground to me, in which I wanted to try out all the rides. During my studies I played baroque violin and viola d’amore, but also a lot of contemporary music, which became a real specialization. I always like to be at home in many fields, which also led to me playing music theater performances for children.
Playing chamber music was always a dream, but finding a group which works together greatly is a big difficulty. Telling a story and transmitting a feeling to the audience are things that have always been of great importance to me, whatever formation I played and whatever curious music was on the stand. I take great pleasure in doing so trough the string quartet now, having all of this great and diverse repertoire at our disposal.

Since November of 2017, I have been performing on a violin built by Vicenzo Panormo in 1810, kindly loaned to me by the Dutch Musical Instruments Foundation (NMF)

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Marie-Louise de Jong

Born in Roermond, I started playing the violin at age five, switching to viola completely when I was seventeen. After finishing my studies with Marc Tooten at the Maastricht Conservatory, I went to study in Freiburg for my masters-degree with Wolfram Christ. At this moment I’m studying with him still, for my Konzertexamen. During the last couple of years I played as a principal violist with the National Youth Orchestra and the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra. With the latter I saw pretty much every concert hall in Europe during no less than ten amazing tours with great conductors and soloists. From childhood however I was fascinated by chamber music and hence I always played in smaller ensembles. For several years I have been doing so with the Belgian St. George Quintet and can not wait to discover all the wonderful repertoire for string quartet!

Marie-Louise plays on a viola built by Jean Babtiste Lefèbvre (± 1760), which was acquired by the Dutch Musical Instruments Foundation (NMF) and made available for her to play in 2019.

David Faber

I received my first cello lessons when I was five years old. My true love of music really started flourishing when I began to play in large orchestras at age twelve. Playing the vivacious late-romantic and twentieth-century repertoire, giving many special concerts and meeting new people on tours made it more and more clear to me that I wanted to become a cellist. The final decision to fully devote myself to music was made because of my experiences with the Ricciotti Ensemble.
I had some catching up to do, because I spent my first years after high school studying law. I mastered the art of playing the cello during six years of study with Floris Mijnders in The Hague and with Dmitri Ferschtman in Amsterdam. After that I was free to fully commit my newly acquired capabilities to the string quartet.
The string quartet keeps pushing your limits as a musician. Being surrounded by three very talented and inspiring fellow musicians, it never occurs to you to not fully engage while playing. Besides that, the full potential of the cello is used in a string quartet. From thorough basses, heavy enough to carry the other three, via close-harmony until a solo played on great heights, the string quartet has brought me all and will continue to do so.

Since October of 2017, I have been performing on an instrument built by  Jean Baptiste Vuillaume in Parijs around 1850, on generous loan by the Dutch Musical Instruments Foundation (NMF).

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