Works for String Quartet by Hajime Koumatsu, Igor Stravinsky, Dan Visconti, and Kevin Volans.
* World Premiere recording of Dan Visconti's Ramshackle Songs
* Included on the first-round ballot for the 2015 Grammys - Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance (Classical), Best Engineered Album (Classical), Best Contemporary Composition (Classical)
The heart of the Kontras Quartet mission has always been to celebrate that which we have in common, regardless of those traits which make us appear different on the surface. Our name may seem to go against this mission, given that Kontras means “contrasts” in Afrikaans, but we have found that diversity can enhance our lives and broaden our perspective in a way that is uplifting, and exciting. When we earnestly share the things about ourselves that define our personal histories (such as music from our various cultures), and respond with curiosity, a remarkable thing happens: we find ourselves learning to understand each other better. And when we understand each other, then we have more in common, and more to cherish.
The four of us grew up on four different continents, yet bonded over our passion for good music and a desire to share that passion with anyone who would listen. We set out as a group to present fine, diverse music from our home countries that could be appreciated in any culture, and chose repertoire with the intention that our first album would feature one piece each from Russia, South Africa, Japan and the United States. As the project slowly came into focus, we knew this would be an album about origins: the sacred thing in each of us that, when shared, demonstrates our desire to relate in a spirit of friendship.