FCG Section: Music

Kopelman Quartet

Founded in 2002 by experienced chamber musicians steeped in the standards and style of the classic Russian school, the Kopelman Quartet carries forward a rich inheritance of technical excellence, lyricism, grace and musical integrity.

Mikhail Kopelman, Boris Kuschnir, Igor Sulyga and Mikhail Milman all graduated from the Moscow Conservatoire in the 1970’s, this institution’s golden age, when the students regularly worked with musicians and teachers such as David Oistrakh, Dmitri Shostakovich and Mstislav Rostropovich. These strong musical influences have remained with the members of the Kopelman Quartet.

Mikhail Kopelman, first violin, was the renowned leader of the Borodin Quartet for twenty years, playing with artists including Sviatoslav Richter. Boris Kuschnir is a distinguished teacher whose pupils include Julian Rachlin and Nikolai Znaider. Igor Sulyga and Mikhail Milman played for twenty years with Vladimir Spivakov in the Moscow Virtuosi, his string quartet and in chamber music. Boris Kuschnir and Igor Sulyga worked with Dmitri Shostakovich on his late quartets.

The common roots and background of the musicians enabled the Kopelman Quartet quickly to grow to maturity, and their Edinburgh Festival concert, just one year after their foundation, received extraordinary reviews, referring to “every hallmark of distinguished musicianship” and “great humanity in the finesse of their playing”.

A significant chamber ensemble, with no change in personnel since its foundation, the quartet has played at many major international venues, including the Musikverein, Vienna, and the Dom Muziki, Moscow, and appears regularly at venues such as the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam and the Wigmore Hall, London. Chamber music partners have included Elisabeth Leonskaja, Mischa Maisky and Julian Rachlin.

The Kopelman Quartet records for Nimbus Records and has also recorded for Wigmore Live. In 2017, Nimbus will release a live recording from the quartet’s Edinburgh Festival debut in 2003.

The Kopelman Quartet’s tours have taken the ensemble to many distinguished venues in Europe, Russia and America. Festivals in which they have played include the Edinburgh International Festival, the Valladolid Festival, the Zurich Festival, the Colmar Festival, Prague Spring Festival, December Nights, Moscow, and the Ravinia Festival in the United States. Future engagements include the Wigmore Hall, London, and the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, as well as concerts in Spain, Portugal, Italy and Belgium.