Dimitri Murrath has been playing with the ensemble since March 2023

sihoo kim

The Esmé Quartet © Jeremy Visuals

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The German-based Esmé Quartet has named Dimitri Murrath as its new violist. Murrath has been playing with the group during its US tour in March 2023 and takes over from founding violist, Jiwon Kim.

’From the very first rehearsal, we felt such a deep musical connection that we were so happy to share our music together on stage with him,’ said the quartet on social media.

Belgian-American violist Murrath studied at the Yehudi Menuhin School, Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the New England Conservatory of Music. He has won several international prizes and awards including a first prize at the 2008 Primrose International Viola Competition and an Avery Fisher Career Grant in 2014. He studied with Kim Kashkashian, David Takeno and Natalia Boyarsky and counts Atar Arad as a major influence. He currently serves on the faculties at San Francisco Conservatory of Music and Bowdoin International Music Festival.

The Esmé Quartet, comprising violinists Wonhee Bae and Yuna Ha and cellist Yeeun Heo, formed in 2016. The quartet won the 2018 Wigmore Hall International String Quartet competition, which led to numerous international concert and festival appearances, including a quartet residency at the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence.

The quartet was named HSBC Winner of the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, also taking first prize at the 55th Possehl Music Prize in Lubeck in 2019, followed by Hans Gal Prize of the German Academy of Sciences and Literature in Mainz and the Villa Musica Foundation in 2020. Its debut album To Be Loved, comprising works by Beethoven, Unsuk Chin and Frank Bridge was released in 2020 on Alpha Classics.

Upcoming highlights for the quartet include performances at London’s Wigmore Hall, Stuttgart’s Liederhalle and the Teatro Vittoria in Turin. The quartet will appear at the 2023 Hong Kong Arts Festival, performing Absolute Jest for string quartet and orchestra by John Adams, accompanied by the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra.

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