After several years of playing chamber music together in different combinations, including as a string quartet since the summer of 2002, Antje Weithaas, Daniel Sepec, Tabea Zimmermann and Jean-Guihen Queyras founded the Arcanto Quartet.
In addition to their love of music and their mutual friendship, the members of the Arcanto Quartet share the desire to dedicate themselves to the great enjoyment and the high demands of string quartet playing.
The Arcanto Quartet’s debut concert took place highly successfully in June 2004 in Stuttgart. In season 2004/05, they gave their debuts at the Beethovenhaus Bonn, Vredenburg Utrecht, Théâtre du Châtelet Paris, Conservatoire Royal Brussels, Ludwigsburger Schlossfestspiele and Leif Ove Andsnes’ Chamber Music Festival in Risør, Norway. Highlights of season 2005/06 were their London debut in February 2006 at London’s Wigmore Hall, followed by – among others – concerts at the Alte Oper Frankfurt, Concertgebouw Amsterdam and in Milan, as well as tours in in Israel (2008), Japan (2009), and North American (2010).
Antje Weithaas studied with Werner Scholz at the Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler in Berlin. Between 1987 and 1991, she won competitions in Graz, Leipzig and Hanover. In recent seasons, she has appeared with such renowned orchestras as Los Angeles Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, Bamberger Symphoniker, Danish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra and the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields. She works with leading conductors including Vladimir Ashkenazy, Sir Neville Marriner, Yakov Kreizberg, Sakari Oramo and Ingo Metzmacher. In addition to playing the core repertoire, she is dedicated to works of contemporary composers such as Schnittke, Gubaidulina and Tippett. Chamber music plays a central role in Antje Weithaas’s music making and she has worked with artists such as Lars Vogt, Christian Tetzlaff and the late Boris Pergamenschikow. Antje Weithaas was professor for violin at the Universität der Künste Berlin since October 1999 and moved to the Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler in 2004.
Daniel Sepec studied with Dieter Vorholz in Frankfurt as well as Gerhard Schulz in Vienna and took part in master classes with Sandor Végh and the Alban Berg Quartet. Since 1993, Daniel Sepec has been leading Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, regularly appearing as a soloist under conductors like Daniel Harding, Thomas Hengelbrock, Frans Brüggen and Trevor Pinnock. Attracted to the richness of expression in Baroque music, Daniel Sepec has increasingly become fascinated by the Baroque violin. He regularly leads the Balthasar-Neumann-Ensemble, an original instruments ensemble, under the baton of Thomas Hengelbrock. As guest leader, he has performed with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Camerata Bern and Camerata Academica Salzburg, as soloist with the Academy of Ancient Music under Christopher Hogwood and the Wiener Akademie under Martin Haselböck. He played Biber’s Rosenkranz Sonatas on Baroque violin at the Vienna Konzerthaus and at the Innsbruck Festwochen der Alten Musik. As a chamber musician, he is regularly invited to the Schubertiade Schwarzenberg.
Tabea Zimmermann studied with Ulrich Koch at the Freiburg Musikhochschule and with Sándor Végh at the Salzburg Mozarteum. Between 1982 and 1984, she won the competitions of Geneva, Budapest and Paris. As a viola soloist, she regularly works with the most distinguished orchestras, from Berlin Philharmonic and London Symphony to Israel Philharmonic and Orchestre de Paris. She has recorded the most important viola repertoire to great acclaim. Performing contemporary music is a major aspect of her artistic activities and works she has recently premiered include Ligeti’s Sonata for Viola solo, which was dedicated to her, as well as the viola concertos by Sally Beamish, Wolfgang Rihm and Heinz Holliger. Tabea Zimmermann is much in demand as a chamber musician and has worked with such well-known partners as Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Hartmut Höll, Christian Tetzlaff and the Alban Berg Quartett. Following professorships in Saarbrücken and Frankfurt/Main, she has been teaching at the Hochschule für Musik “Hanns Eisler” in Berlin since 2002.
Jean-Guihen Queyras studied Cello in Lyon, Freiburg and at the Juilliard School in New York. He was solo cellist of Ensemble InterContemporain Paris with whom he recorded György Ligeti’s cello concerto for Deutsche Grammophon. As a sought-after chamber musician and soloist, he has played in such prestigious concert halls as Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Wigmore Hall London, Palais des Beaux-Arts Brussels, Suntory Hall Tokyo and Carnegie Hall New York. Jean-Guihen Queyras has appeared with such major orchestras as Orchestra della RAI Torino, Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, Sinfonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France and Orchestre de Paris. His chamber music partners include Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Lars Vogt, Emmanuel Pahud and Jean-Yves Thibaudet. In November 2002, Jean-Guihen Queyras was awarded the City of Toronto-Glenn Gould International Protegé Prize in Music and Communication by Pierre Boulez and the Glenn Gould Foundation Toronto, Canada. Since 2001, Jean-Guihen Queyras has been professor at the Musikhochschule Trossingen.