A new association of German string quartets is campaigning for more ensemble residencies at the country's Musikhochschules and universities. The Verband Deutscher Streichquartette (German String Quartets Association), which officially launched yesterday, has nine founder members: the Auryn, Diogenes, Henschel, Klenke, Kuss, Leipzig, Mandelring, Minguet and Vogler quartets.

The organisation, which was initiated by the Henschel Quartet's violist Monika Henschel, claims to be the world's first association of string quartets. As well as aiming to improve working conditions for musicians, the association wants to develop teaching opportunities for professional quartets in the form of residencies at academic institutions. Unlike in the US and the UK, for example, very few German institutions have established quartets in residence.