Jordan Victoria, violin
Alexandre Vu, violin
Tangui Parisot, viola
Jérémy Garbarg, cello
What is this Arod? A forgotten composer, a mythical city, a mysterious acrostic? Not at all. The Arod Quartet has taken as its guardian a horse imagined by Tolkien in The Lord of the Rings. A symbol of strength and ardour (its name means “agile, swift”), it also embodies a spirit of freedom and companionship since it is ridden bareback, without reins, by the elf Legolas. This bow community was born in 2013 at the Paris Conservatory. All the members of the quartet studied there, benefiting in particular from the teaching of Jean Sulem. Initially a group of students seeking to place their fingers on beautiful pages of the repertoire, the ensemble chose the FNAPEC competition as a trial run, which crowned some of the greats such as the Modigliani and Ysaÿe quartets. The Arod Quartet won the highest prize (2014), which opened the doors to the ProQuartet – European Chamber Music Centre residency.
Working at the Conservatoire with the Quatuor Ébène, then on a regular basis with the Quatuor Artemis at the Chapelle Musicale Reine Élisabeth in Brussels, the quartet, now resident at the Fondation Singer-Polignac, has set itself a new and ambitious challenge with the 2015 Carl Nielsen International Chamber Music Competition in Copenhagen. In order to prepare for this competition, the quartet turned to Mathieu Herzog, violist of the Ebène Quartet and now conductor, who became its true mentor. With him, he refined his technique and musicality but also learned to better tame a constantly shared daily life. This competition, which he approached with serenity and pleasure, remains one of Arod’s great memories, as he won the First Prize and two interpretation prizes.
When the quartet decided to tackle the Everest of competitions, the ARD in Munich, it was only natural that Mathieu Herzog should come back to give them a helping hand. Hard work and daring paid off as he won the First Prize, the supreme award given only seven times between 1959 and his victory in 2016. At the age of three, he thus followed in the footsteps of his previous prizewinning masters, the Tokyo, Artemis and Ebony Quartets. Pushed into the spotlight by this coup, the Arod Quartet, named BBC New Generation Artist from 2017 to 2019 and ECHO Rising Star for the 2018-2019 season, continues its flamboyant momentum. Only five years after its first chords in a Conservatory rehearsal room, it is in demand on all continents and in the most prestigious concert halls: Philharmonie de Paris, Wigmore Hall in London, Philharmonie de Berlin, ElbPhilharmonie de Hambourg, Concertgebouw d’Amsterdam, Bozar Brussels, Oji Hall in Tokyo and no less than Carnegie Hall in New York for its first tour in the United States.
From Gramophone to Le Monde, via The Strad and Diapason, critics have praised both the Arod Quartet’s rare energy in concert and the quality of its recordings, the first devoted to Mendelssohn, the second created as a musical kaleidoscope with Mathilde Zemlinsky at its centre.
The quartet willingly works with artists such as Elsa Dreisig, Adam Laloum, Jérôme Pernoo, Antoine Tamestit, Alexandre Tharaud and Camille Thomas. More than just a performer, it is also a driving force behind the music of tomorrow: in 2017 it created Al Asr, the first string quartet by Benjamin Attahir, which it commissioned with La Belle Saison and ProQuartet.