Bohemian Quartet

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The Bohemian Quartet (; known as the Czech Quartet after 1918) were a Czech string quartet of international repute that was founded in 1891 and disbanded in 1934.


The Quartet was founded in Budapest by three pupils of Antonín Bennewitz (Karel Hoffmann, Josef Suk and Oskar Nedbal) and a pupil of Hanuš Wihan (Otakar Berger); Bennewitz and Wihan were both teachers at the Prague Conservatory. Wihan had himself studied at Prague, and was cellist of the chamber quartet of Ludwig II in Munich, becoming Professor at Prague in 1888. He replaced his student Otakar Berger as cellist in the quartet when Berger died prematurely. Wihan then directed the Quartet until 1913 when the strain of touring obliged him to retire from it and resume his teaching. His place was then taken by Ladislav Zelenka (b. 1881), who since 1911 had been playing with the Ševčik-Lhatsky Quartet. The group made repeated tours in Europe, especially with the quartets of Dvorak and Smetana, and were noted for their warm tone and fiery rhythms. In 1922 the four members were appointed professors at the Prague Conservatory.

Many key contemporary works were written for and/or first performed by the Bohemian Quartet. Most notably, this included works by Antonín Dvořák and Leoš Janáček, such as Janáček's second string quartet, subtitled "Intimate Letters".


1st violin

2nd violin

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