Mathilde Borsarello Herrmann, violin
Bleuenn Le maitre, violin
Cecile Grassi, viola
Guillaume Martigné, cello
Psophos ….. Greek word that carries a breath, designates the sound matter, the noise in its first state, the origin of the sound. 2020 marks a renewal for the Psophos Quartet with the arrival of Mathilde Borsarello Herrmann, the blossoming of various projects carried by a common will to share, transmit and give body and soul to the music.
Founded in 1997 at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Lyon, the quartet then went on to perfect its skills with the Ysaÿe Quartet and, under the aegis of Walter Levin in Basel, enriched its knowledge. Master classes with the great quartets Amadeus, Berg, LaSalle, Hagen, within the Proquartet will forge the Psophos’ passionate commitment. The Quartet has subsequently won numerous international prizes, from Osaka, Florence and London to the 1st Grand Prize of the Bordeaux International String Quartet Competition in 2001. It was also the first French quartet to be selected by the BBC’s prestigious New Generation Artist in London and was nominated in 2005 for the Victoires de la musique. They were invited to perform in prestigious venues such as the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Wigmore Hall in London and the Mozarteum in Salzburg. The “Folles journées” (Nantes, Tokyo, Lisbon, Warsaw), the “Prom’s” and many other festivals mark out his career and offer him the opportunity to play with great musicians such as Bertrand Chamayou, Juliana Steinbach, Renaud and Gautier Capuçon, Nemanja Radulovic …
Curiosity leads the Psophos Quartet to new artists, actors and directors. For three years, the Psophos Quartet is in residence at the Athénée Théâtre Louis Jouvet in Paris where it produces its own series of chamber music concerts. They performed at the Théâtre National de Chaillot and the Opéra de Lyon, notably with the choreographer and dancer Philippe Decouflé. In collaboration with Christophe Malavoy, he created the show “Qui se souviendra” which toured for a year in Paris and in France. The quartet has recorded numerous albums, all of which have received awards from the music critics. A beautiful encounter with Jean-Marie Machado and Dave Liebman led them to jazz with “Painting notes in the air”, for which they recorded the album Media Luz. Recent recordings include the first quartets of Brahms and Dohnanyi, as well as the disc “Chansons perpétuelles”, the result of a magnificent collaboration with the Canadian contralto Marie-Nicole Lemieux. The variety of the Psophos Quartet’s discography is indicative of the desire of its members to constantly feed off different musical worlds and to be at the crossroads of their desires.
Their latest recording, “Constellations”, a tribute to French composers, is an evidence of enchanting sounds: Ravel, Debussy, Dutilleux. Pierre Gervasoni for LE MONDE:
“the journey of these three islands of independence is exhilarating under the bows of the Psophos Quartet. Ravel’s hymnal force reaches us in an anthological interpretation carried by the lightness and depth of a breath that never runs out. Debussy’s authoritative grandeur imposes itself with tact. As for Dutilleux, he benefits from a glow-worm activity that pushes the notion of play to the point of intoxication. ”
The Psophos Quartet attaches great importance to the influence that music can have if it is shared by all. After having supported the Rive association in the fight against AIDS by giving charity concerts in the Indian Ocean for years, the Psophos Quartet has also committed itself to the Paris Mozart Orchestra to play in suburban schools and prisons throughout the year.
In 2019 the Quartet has joined forces with the Artie’s collective to travel to Cambodia to meet the children of the association “Pour un sourire d’enfant” and to introduce them to classical music. … “because music is there, on earth, it exists beside us, like a friend, and the fullness of its evidence gives us the courage to live, to write, to continue. “Vladimir Jankélévitch.