Alma Quartet was formed in 2014 and quickly gained reputation as one of the most thrilling ensembles in Holland. Their debut album: Schulhoff Complete String Quartets, released on Gutman Records, has received stellar international praise. The Gramophone claimed "this set shoots straight to the top" and also admired the quartet for being "capable of the most seductive playing."
The album was chosen for the 2017 Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik 'Bestenliste' and was also featured on several German national radio stations including Deutschlandfunk and SWR2, the latter hailing Alma's Schulhoff cycle as the "new reference recording".
Their latest album: Korngold String Quartets Nos. 2-3 has recently been released on Challenge Records and has been ranked among the Top40 best albums of 2021 by De Volksrant claiming "Alma Quartet plays Korngold with a touch of soft nostalgia."
Belgian newspaper De Standaard gave it a 5-star review claiming "the Amsterdam foursome plays formidable [...]" and "the result sounds as thrilling as a live concert."
BBC Radio 3 celebrated their "uncompromising and emphatic performance style" as well as saying that it's "like close-up magic, listening to this."
NRC Handelsblad stated "the foursome [...] shows the listener in one go the most beautiful flowers along the deepest abysses" and Het Parool praised the quartet for their "enchanting masters level playing" and finds that "the result commands great admiration."
Spanish magazine Ritmo gave it 5 stars and claimed their recording is "the best available [...] for understanding the expressive world of Korngold." And ultimately, BBC Music Magazine found that there is "a wonderful delicacy and intimacy, with a vivid sense of characterisation."
Alma Quartet: Dutilleux and Glass, released exclusively on vinyl, has equally enjoyed critical praise. The quartet is noted for their "collective antenna for sophisticated timbres" by De Volkskrant, and for their "carefully forged unity" by De Telegraaf.
Their album: Debussy, Ravel and Dutilleux was given the highest ranking by Luister Magazine and stated that “Alma Quartet plays with desired liveliness, great rhythmic precision and exceptional sound.” De Volkskrant claimed "[...] it has fire, is rhythmically razor-sharp and a sensuality of the unashamed kind with a beautiful, glowing depth."
As well as performing the classical repertoire, the quartet is keen on collaborating with artists of other genres such as composer and jazz pianist Rembrandt Frerichs with whom they recently released an album. According to De Volkskrant they play "[...] with a lot of flair and finesse."
The quartet can also be heard on the next album of pop singer Nana Adjoa and they collaborate intensely with techno producer Henrik Schwarz on a multitude of projects.
On their album CCMYK, they explore the possibilities of seamlessly fusing newly composed electronic and classical music into a new language. A new project is currently being developed and will be recorded in December 2022.
The quartet has performed at prestigious concert halls including Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, Müpa Budapest, Konzerthaus Berlin, Tonhalle Düsseldorf, De Doelen Rotterdam, Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ Amsterdam, Sociedad Filarmónica de Bilbao, Süreyya Opera House Istanbul, Tianjin Grand Theatre, Harbin Concert Hall, Wuhan Qintai Concert Hall, as well as clubs and theaters such as Philharmonie Haarlem, Diligentia Den Haag, Volksbühne Berlin, Temple Beijing, Musis Arnhem, Paradiso Amsterdam, Bimhuis, Melkweg Amsterdam, Kulturbrauerei Berlin and Střecha Lucerny Prague.
They have played during captivating events such as String Quartet Biennale Amsterdam, Schumannfest Düsseldorf, Classical Music Rave, XJazz Festival Berlin, Down The Rabbit Hole, Shoeless Festival, Pop-Kultur Festival Berlin, Theater Spektakel Zurich, TEDx and Uitmarkt Amsterdam. They are also frequent guests at major (international) live radio and television shows including Spiegelzaal, Podium Witteman and ARTE.
Alma Quartet has collaborated with diverse artists such as Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Lisa Batiashvili, Denis Kozhukhin, Philip Glass, Nico Muhly, Samuel Adams, Milica Djordjevic, Jörgen van Rijen, Hauschka, Henrik Schwarz, Dauwd, Rembrandt Frerichs, Ramon van Engelenhoven, New Cool Collective, Dominique Vleeshouwers, Nana Adjoa, Arifa, Mees Dierdorp, Sarah Neutkens, Nicolas van Poucke, Dominic Seldis, Alexander Bedenko, Nino Gvetadze, Aidan Mikdad, Jorinde Keesmaat and Frank Lammers.