The members of the AMAR QUARTETT, based in Zurich, are: Anna Brunner and Igor Keller, violins, Hannes Bärtschi, viola, and Christopher Jepson, cello. On the occasion of Paul Hindemith's 100th birthday in 1995, the Hindemith Institute in Frankfurt awarded the ensemble the historic name AMAR QUARTETT. Under this name Hindemith founded in 1922 a quartet named after its principal violinist, Licco Amar.
Since its creation the AMAR QUARTETT has been showing passionate engagement for Paul Hindemith's work. This engagement is documented by the recording of all seven string quartets as well as many other important works of chamber music. The AMAR QUARTETT combines time-honoured tradition with the conscious promotion of contemporary music in its programming. Thus the AMAR QUARTETT regularly commissions new works from both well-known and lesser-known composers, with priority consideration given to Swiss composers.
As an innovative string quartet the AMAR QUARTETT places special emphasis on winning a new audience beyond the connoisseurs for this most royal genre of chamber music. Examples are high-quality interdisciplinary projects involving multimedia theatre, ballet or jazz musicians. Moreover, in Switzerland the AMAR QUARTETT made a name for itself by holding extraordinary events such as "Hommage an Hindemith".
Stylistically appropriate interpretation and technical perfection paired with artistic expression are the AMAR QUARTETT's hallmarks.
During its studies 1998-2001 with the Alban Berg Quartet in Cologne, the ensemble has won numerous international awards, such as Bubenreuth, Graz, Migros Kulturprozent, Geneva, London Millennium Award. In the summer of 2002 the AMAR QUARTETT had successful debuts at Londons Wigmore Hall and at the Lucerne Festival. Debuts in the Tonhalle Zurich, the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Hall, the Divonne Festival, the Menuhin Festival Gstaad and the Styriarte Graz followed. In the summers of 2003 and 2004, the quartet played and gave masterclasses at the Summer Academy of Music Kurt Pahlen in Lenk. It teaches at the International Masterclasses for chamber music in Bubenreuth as well. In July 2009, the ensemble was invited to the Kammermusikfest Lockenhaus (Austria).