RAGAZZE QUARTET Biography
Rosa Arnold – violin
Jeanita Vriens – violin
Annemijn Bergkotte – viola
Rebecca Wise – cello
The Ragazze Quartet plays classical and contemporary string quartet repertoire and is acclaimed for its musical enthusiasm, talent, versatility and dynamic presentation. The quartet collaborates with and performs alongside composers, musicians and artists working in a variety of disciplines and genres. While grounded firmly in the classical music tradition, the Ragazze Quartet is always in search of the ultimate cross-over, where the different disciplines are approached as equals, complementing and elevating one another.
In 2012 the Ragazze Quartet signed a contract with the renowned Channel Classics label. Their first two CDs Vivere and Česko have received high praise by the national and international press. Gramophone wrote: ‘Their biggest strength is an added quota of spontaneity, which keeps you consistently engaged.’ Their third CD FourFourThree, was released May 2016 en received the ‘Editor’s Choice’ Award in Gramophone.
The quartet graduated from the Dutch String Quartet Academy (NSKA) where the Ragazze
attended masterclasses given by leading musicians from the international string quartet world.
In 2013, the Quartet was awarded the prestigious ‘Kersjes Prize’, a scholarship of €50.000 given every year to a Dutch chamber music ensemble. That year the Ragazze were part of the Academy at the Verbier Festival in Switzerland and toured through China. In 2014 tours to Japan and Indonesia followed.
The Ragazze Quartet continues to perform regularly at chamber music venues throughout The Netherlands (such as the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Vredenburg Utrecht and Philipszaal Eindhoven), abroad (for the next years tours are planned to Japan, USA, Sweden and the UK) and can be heard regularly on radio and television.
The violin played by Jeanita is kindly lent by the National Music Instruments Foundation. The quartet owns four classical bows, built by Andreas Grütter, financed by the ‘Stichting Eigen Muziekinstrument.’
Last update: July 2016
About their cd ‘Cesko’:
De Volkskrant *****
‘In their hands, the Czech piece becomes a physical, rhythmic power that comes from deep within the Ragazze. Together they play chords as if their hands and arms are being mastered by on mind.’
Luister (een Luister 10)
‘Dvorak opus 106, a work Ragazze is united with, dead-accurate and intense.’
‘Their biggest strength is an added quota of spontaneity, which keeps you consistently engaged.’
‘..the Ragazze Quartet’s Channel Classics CD is mightily impressive’
The Guardian ***
‘An exhilarating Bohemian double bill’
‘The playing of the wittily named all-female Ragazze Quartet is fresh, light in texture, nimble and just occasionally a little ragged, but always spirited.’
About their cd ‘Vivere’
In Haydn’s op. 76 no. 2 and Schubert’s “Death and the Maiden,” they flirt with life, they play the rests, they play the expressive markings, too, and they find new breadth and breath in themes that are too often rushed or merely stormed through. In the Widmann, they are merely ferocious.
International Record Review
The Ragazze Quartet delivers an abruptly contoured and fittingly acerbic performance of Haydn, abetted by brisk tempos and a keen sense of the work’s structural needs.
Ragazze gives Schubert’s Death and the Maiden an energetic reading, playing up the dark dramatism for all its worth. In Widmann they are determined to destroy any sexist preconceptions of any of their listeners, Ragazze performed this quartet with all of the savage violence the composer intended for it; and, while it would have been nice to encounter it in the context of Widmann’s full cycle, this performance certainly made for an aggressively bold move in concluding a debut recording.
…the heritage of string quartet-playing is too authentic in it, and there is too much skill behind the kaleidoscoping of colours from phrase to phrase that loses nothing in its perfection of ensemble in the process.
Business manager: Roland Spekle (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Marketing & PR: Hester Mol (email@example.com)
Agency: Effacta Productions / Guido Nederlof (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Foundation Alleanza delle Ragazze
Chairman of the board: Albert Adams
Boardmembers: Maarten Mostert, Monique Mulder
Funds and sponsors
The Ragazze Quartet is supported by Performing Arts Fund NL, Amsterdam Fonds voor de Kunst and Foundation Alleanza delle Ragazze