Kaja Nowak & Natalia Kotarba, violins – Diede Verpoest, viola – Julia Kotarba, cello
„… fresh and gripping…” – The Sunday Times
Rapidly gaining recognition on the international music scene for its deep and passionate interpretations of works ranging from Haydn to 21st century repertoire, the Karski Quartet was formed in Belgium in 2018 and performs in a wide range of venues througout Europe.
The quartet’s founding members are violinists Kaja Nowak and Natalia Kotarba, violinist and violist Diede Verpoest and cellist Julia Kotarba. Having played with one another in many different combinations, the four met as a quartet during the 2018 Resonances Festival Academy. Soon after they were awarded the Grand Prix as well as the Special Prize for the alumni of the Royal Conservatory in Brussels at the 4th International Music Competition Triomphe de l’Art in Brussels.
Since the inception of the quartet their mentors have been David Waterman, Philippe Graffin and Amy Norrington. In January 2019 the quartet joined the String Quartet Studio programme at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, working closely with Donald Grant (Elias Quartet), Petr Prause (Talich Quartet), Pavel Fischer (ex – Škampa Quartet) and Simon Rowland-Jones (ex – Chilingirian Quartet). Starting in September 2019 Karski Quartet will also be Artist in Residence at the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel in Waterloo/Brussels, studying with members of the Artemis Quartet and Miguel da Silva.
Karski Quartet takes its name from Jan Karski, the legendary World War II resistance-movement figure. Commited as he was to showing others the dramatic truth about the war, the Karski Quartet members strongly believe that every era needs heroes like him. Amid the serious difficulties which the whole human population is facing now, they find Karski’s profound compassion and uncompromising attitude an example to be emulated in art as well as in life.i