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Borodin Quartet (original)

The Borodin Quartet was formed in 1945 by students from the Moscow Conservatory; it was originally called the Moscow Philharmonic Quartet before the name was changed in 1955. The cellist, Valentin Berlinsky, has been with the Quartet since its earliest days and the violinist Andrei Abramenkov joined in 1974. Igor Naidin learnt the art of quartet playing from previous members of the ensemble, among them the violist Dmitri Shebalin, whom he eventually replaced. Ruben Aharonian, who has been leader of the Quartet since 1996, has won prizes at international competitions including the Enescu, Montreal and Tchaikovsky Competitions. The Borodin Quartet owes its affinity with Russian repertoire to an early close relationship with Shostakovich, who personally supervised the players’ study of each of his string quartets. The ensemble has subsequently remained true to the Russian tradition, while at the same time exploring in depth the wider string quartet repertoire. As the Quartet celebrated its sixtieth anniversary season in 2004 – 05, Beethoven became a dominant theme in its concert programmes, with performances of the complete Beethoven quartet cycle at venues including the Amsterdam Concertgebouw and Vienna Musikverein and at the City of London Festival.

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