A matched quartet of instruments by Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume is
the prize in a new quartet competition. The contest, open to
quartets with an average age of up to 28, is set to conclude on 13
July 2010 with the finals held at London's Wigmore Hall. The
winning quartet will receive the Vuillaume instruments on loan for
two years from the Swiss Global Artistic Foundation.
Vuillaume made his quartet in 1863 using wood from the same tree. The set is known as the 'Evangelist Quartet' because each instrument carries the name of a saint on its soundboard: John for the first violin, Mark for the second violin, Matthew for the viola and Luke for the cello. The Swiss Global Artistic Foundation acquired the quartet in early 2008 from French violin maker Etienne Vatelot, and later that year made its first loan of the instruments to the Paris-based Modigliani Quartet.