The Berlin Philharmonic Piano Quartet was established in 1985 as a chamber music ensemble of the Berliner Philharmoniker. After 30 successful years, a new generation took over. The ensemble introduced itself with its new members for the first time in the Chamber Music Hall in September 2015. Together with founding member Rainer Mehne they performed Frank Martin’s Piano Quartet, thus demonstrating that they wanted to carry on the artistic spirit of the original ensemble. Today the Quartet consists of three members of the orchestra – violinist Luis Esnaola, violist Matthew Hunter and cellist Knut Weber – as well as the renowned pianist Markus Groh.
The four musicians devote themselves to the genre of the piano quartet, which is less prominent than the string quartet. This fascinating combination has inspired nearly every great composer since the time of Viennese Classicism. An impressive body of literature comprising a vast number of works has been composed for this genre. In addition to the more familiar quartets of Classicism, Romanticism and Modernism, the repertoire of the Berlin Philharmonic Piano Quartet also includes unknown compositions and rediscovered works.
During their last US tour, the musicians presented a new composition by the American film composer Danny Elfman, who wrote a five-movement work for the Berlin Philharmonic Piano Quartet which was commissioned by the Lied Center for Performing Arts in Lincoln, Nebraska, and the Berliner Philharmoniker Foundation. A recording of this quartet was released by Sony Classics in spring of 2019; the German premiere will take place in February 2020.