Sebastian Casleanu - Violin
Dorothea Stepp - Violin
Martha Windhagauer - Viola
Alexander Kovalev - Cello
Winners of the overall 2nd Prize, the Peter Druce Audience Award as well as the Musica Viva Australia Prize at the 2015 Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition, the formerly Vienna-based and now Berlin based Giocoso String Quartet has emerged as one of the most promising and exciting young string quartets of their generation.
Founded in Vienna with the current formation since 2014, the Giocoso String Quartet has been the recipient of important chamber music prizes such as the Alban Berg Prize, Krenek Prize and Artis Prize at ISA Reichenau in Austria (2011), the HSBC Prize of the Aix-en-Provence Festival 2012 as well as the Vienna Windisch Chamber Music Prize in both 2012 and 2014. In 2016 they won the “Jeunesses Musicales Special Prize” at the world-renowned ARD International Music Competition in Munich, Germany.
As part of the Master’s Degree in Chamber Music, the group, whose members are citizens of Germany, Romania and the Netherlands, has worked extensively with the internationally renowned co-founding member of the Artis Quartet, Johannes Meissl at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna, Austria.
Furthermore, the Giocoso Quartet are recent alumni of the renowned European Chamber Music Academy (ECMA) – led by prominent professors Hatto Beyerle and Johannes Meissl –, which has provided them with multiple international concert opportunities on top of regularly organised masterclasses with internationally renowned artists.
As such, the Giocoso String Quartet has worked with numerous important personalities of the chamber music world such as, Günter Pichler, Hatto Beyerle and Gerhard Schulz of the Alban Berg Quartet, Rainer Schmidt (Hagen Quartet), Andras Keller (Keller Quartet), Miguel da Silva (Ysayë Quartet), Stefan Metz (Orlando Quartet), Petr Prause (Talich Quartet), Hariolf Schlichtig (Cherubini Quartet) as well as Michel Letiec, Eberhard Feltz, Ferenc Rados, Avedis Kouyoumdjian, , Evgenia Epshtein (Aviv Quartet), Shmuel Ashkenasi (Vermeer Quartet) and Dan Prelipcean (Voces Quartet).
The Giocoso String Quartet regularly gives acclaimed recitals all over Europe and Australia in countries like Germany, Austria, the UK, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Turkey, Romania, Switzerland and others. They have been guests at international chamber music festivals such as the Bordeaux and Aix-en-Provence Festival in France, the Beethoven, Styrian and Kalkalpen Chamber Music Festival in Austria, the Orlando Festival in the Netherlands, the Niedersachsen Festival in Germany, to name a few.
Highlights of the 2015/2016 season saw the Giocoso String Quartet play their debut in the illustrious Wigmore Hall in London, the Musikverein in Vienna and the Great Hall of the Romanian Atheneum in Bucharest as well as a tour through Brazil.In May 2017, the Giocoso was first heard in Asia, where they played in Tokyo, Japan and Seoul, South Korea.
Furthermore, as part of the Musica Viva Australia Special Prize, April 2018 was devoted to an extensive tour through Australia in an exciting collaboration with the world renowned Israeli mandolinist Avi Avital.
Additionally, for the 2016/17 season they have been selected by an expert jury for the next generation talent support program, the New Austrian Sound Of Music, where they receive extra support for all abroad appearances through a worldwide network of embassies and cultural forums.
The Giocoso String Quartet is also involved in bringing their music to those who cannot normally make it to the concert hall. In conjunction with the Yehudi Menuhin Live-Music-Now Foundation they have taken part in special social projects to present music to the elderly and the intellectually and physically disabled.
All four members of the Giocoso Quartet are prizewinning musicians, admired both as soloists and as chamber music players.