The famous recorder quartet presents unbelievable acoustic sensations.
Karel van Steenhoven
Program: "Suites and Sweets"
In 1978, while still students at the Sweelinck Conservatory Amsterdam, Daniel Brüggen, Bertho Driever, Paul Leenhouts and Karel van Steenhoven founded the Amsterdam Loeki Stardust Quartet. Their efforts toward exploring the boundaries of the recorder consort were rewarded at the 1981 Musica Antiqua Competition in Bruges when they, challenging the competition rules with the performance of an unusual arrangement of a Stevie Wonder song, emerged as the winners of the competition. With it the Quartet also won the recognition as a serious ensemble of unparalleled virtuosity.
Today, the Quartet enjoys an international career. The group has appeared at the early music festivals of, among others, Berlin, Utrecht, London, Barcelona, Moscow, Sapporo, Boston, San Antonio and Berkeley and regularly tours throughout Europe, to North America, Australia, New Zealand and Japan. In addition to the 'classic' consort music of the Renaissance and Baroque periods, the Quartet's repertoire includes significant works of the twentieth century. Since many composers have been inspired to write for the Quartet, a new repertoire has been created which proves the instrument to be also an important voice of our time. In the summer of 2001, Paul Leenhouts decided to leave the ensemble and the Quartet has been performing since then with its new member, Daniel Koschitzki, who recently was the first-prize winner in the “Moeck/ SRP Solo Recorder Playing Competition“ in London.
The many recordings (for L'Oiseau-Lyre, Decca and Channel Classics) have confirmed the group's reputation as the world's most innovative and exciting recorder consort; two of the recordings won the prestigious Edison Award (the jury wrote: "It is the intense musical rendering, the tremendous dedication and the apparent enjoyment in the playing that immediately draws the attention to the music itself").
The recording "Pictured Air" was released in 1997 and it is dedicated entirely to music written for the ensemble, and reviewers have described the CD as "brilliant". The 1999 released recording of Bachs "Art of the Fugue" has been hailed by critics as "a magnificent document"(Luister), "Bach at his best" (Early Music Magazine), and Fanfare says "These men play their recorders with ravishing delicacy and skill".
The Quartet has also been involved in the development of recorder instruments, consort instruments in particular. By now the group has assembled a unique collection of over a hundred Renaissance, Baroque and modern recorders, ranging from the 8-inch sopranino to the sub-contrabass, measuring over nine feet. The Amsterdam Loeki Stardust Quartet has published a series of new recorder music for the Moeck Verlag.
Amsterdam Loeki Stardust Quartet... From wher comes this name? Bertho Driever tells:
The quartet was founded in Amsterdam, hence Amsterdam and Quartet. LOEKI was the name of a little lion-puppet on Dutch television who appeared in between commercials with a short funny act. The appearance of the lion was always accompanied by a short melody, which everyone in Holland knew and could whistle. We arranged this melody for four recorders and played it as a joke in a concert. Hence Loeki.STAR was the name of the company who broadcasted the commercials, hence Stardust (we liked the dust).