Praised for their warm sound and powerful stage presence, the Esmé Quartet was formed in 2016 at the Hochschule für Musik in Cologne, Germany by four musicians who had been friends since their youth.  The Quartet has rapidly gained a worldwide reputation as a chamber ensemble of exceptional artistry and achievement.  In spring of 2018, the quartet won the first prize as well as sweeping four special prizes at the prestigious Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition in London, and in the same year it became HSBC Laureate of the Académie du Festival d’Aix.  This recognition followed prizes at the Trondheim International Chamber Music Competition and the 55th Possehl Musikpreis Lübeck.  In October 2020, the quartet was awarded the first Hans-Gál Prize by the Academy of Sciences and Literature Mainz, and Villa Musica.
The Esmé Quartet was named the first Artists-in-Residence at the Lotte Concert Hall, Seoul, Korea for the 2020-2021 season.  Recent performances include appearances at the Lucerne Festival, Wigmore Hall, the Flagey Musiq3 Festival in Brussels, Auditori Barcelona, Opéra de Lille, and as the quartet in residence at the Aix-en-Provence Festival, the McGill International String Quartet Academy in Montreal, the Heidelberg String Quartet Festival and Classic Esterházy in Eisenstadt.  Their first CD “To Be Loved” of works by Beethoven, Unsuk Chin, and Frank Bridge on Alpha Classics, was released in January 2020 and was named one of the best classical CDs of 2020 by WQRX Public Radio in New York City.  Their second CD “Yessori” Sound from the Past, of works by Mozart, Tchaikovsky, and Soo Yeon Lyuh also on Alpha Classics, was released in March 2023. The Quartet takes its name “Esmé” from the old French word for “beloved.”


Nickson Room, Zelman Cowen Building, UQ School of Music