Akhtamar

Biography

Akhtamar, an Armenian legend. The name of the quartet is a reference to the Armenian Miniatures by Komitas/Aslamazyan, which the ensemble has performed with passion since its foundation.

Formed in Brussels in 2014, the ensemble was one of the six quartets selected for the “tremplins jeunes quatuors” of Paris’ Philharmonie in 2016 and in the same year won the second prize in the Musiq’3 festival. In 2021, the quartet won third prize in the International Johannes Brahms Competition.

The Akhtamar Quartet performs in prestigious concert halls and festivals all around Europe: Radio France Festival in Montpellier, the Concertgebouw in Bruges (Be), the MonteLeón Festival (Sp), as well as venues in Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, the Baltic States… and of course in Armenia.

In 2020, the quartet released its first CD: “légende arménienne”. The label Cypres Records produced the recording of Komitas’ miniatures and “un quatuor arménien” by Eugénie Alécian, dedicated to the Akhtamar quartet. Regularly broadcast on national radios (Musiq’3, France Musique, SWR2 in Germany…), “légende arménienne” as been awarded four stars by the prestigious BBC Music Magazine and Classica Magazine, four “diapasons” in Diapason Magazine, and is one of the five nominees in the classical music category of the Octaves de la Musique 2021.

The Akhtamar Quartet is very keen on working with contemporary composers. Several composers such as Roger Boutry, Eugénie Alécian, Jan Kuijken and Judith Adler de Oliveira have asked the musicians to interpret and record their works.

The quartet attaches great importance to bringing classical music everywhere and to everyone. They have several sets which they perform in establishments like schools, hospitals, homes and psychiatric institutes. These solidarity concerts have won recognition since “The Dream Makers” (a show for young audiences) became a finalist in the YAM awards 2021 (Young Audiences Music).

The quartet has received substantial support for their solidarity projects such as “Music 4 Armenia” – a 20 concert tour with free entrances in Armenia that took place in the fall of 2020, after the war. “Harmonies of Dreams” is a concert series for patients in psychiatric hospitals in Belgium created in collaboration with healthcare professionals.

The Akhtamar quartet was part of “ProQuartet” before joining the ECMA. They have the privilege of attending courses at the “Joseph Haydn Institut” at the University of Music in Vienna.

The Akhtamar Quartet is supported by the Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles, Wallonie Bruxelles International, the Concertgebouw Bruges, Le Dimore del Quartetto, the Boghossian Foundation, and the Centre National de Musique.

Album available on:
http://www.cypres-records.com
(order the CD via: info@cypres-records.com)

You can also listen to it on streaming platforms: https://orcd.co/mae3ovo

New recording: coming soon!

In 2022, the Akhtamar Quartet will be recording its second album, featuring Debussy’s Quartet opus 10 and Judith Adler de Oliveira’s new piece, “Enluminures”.

In partnership with the Arsonic music hall in Mons, this CD will be released by the Cypres label at the beginning of 2023.

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FIRST VIOLIN

Coline Alecian

Coline studied in Paris with Dominique Juchors, then at the Royal Conservatoire of Brussels. She perfected her playing with Stephan Picard in Berlin.

Coline is the founding member of the quartet and comes from a family of musicians. Her Armenian origins formed the initial tie between the group and Armenia, a country rich in musical heritage. Devoted to the continuous development of the quartet, her ideas for Akhtamar continue to proliferate together with the nuances of her sound.

She plays a 2007 violin by François Varcin.

SECOND VIOLIN

Jennifer Pio

Jennifer first studied the violin at the Conservatory of Colmar and then at the Royal Conservatoire of Brussels.

Jennifer joined the quartet in 2016. She quickly embraced the project Akhtamar in its entirety, managing program notes and applications together with delighting in the role of second violinist of a string quartet. Passionate about literature, she weaves her musical interpretations like a novelist weaves a storyline.

She plays a 1920 Milanese violin by Celestino Farotto.

VIOLA

Ondine Stasyk

Ondine studied at the Conservatory of Colmar before entering Thérése-Marie’s viola class in the Royal Conservatory of Brussels.

The quartet attained its professional level with the arrival of Ondine in 2014. She has steadily built up the quartet’s network and forged relationships with invaluable talents: narrators, video-makers, sound engineers, social media managers and translators… Ondine is often the head of the Akhtamar family!

She plays a 19th-century French viola.

CELLO

Cyril Simon

Cyril studied in Paris with Frédéric Borsarello and further improved from Marie Hallynck’s teaching in the Royal Conservatory of Brussels.

Cyril is the newest arrival to Akhtamar, joining in 2019. A happy father to two children, he furthers his sense of fulfilment through the role of quartet musician and has brought maturity to Akhtamar’s sound.

He plays a 1924 cello by François Vial.

Videos

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Portfolio

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In the press

“The Akhtamar quartet favors tenderness and melancholy. By its lightness and its sophistication (…) this chamber music interpretation is defined by its intimate and sometimes naive character.”

“Exquisite, charming, and powerful, at the same time. Bravo! for this young Belgians of the highest level! A perfect closing concert for an exceptional edition!”

“The sparkly and talented Akhtamar quartet is off to a flying start!”

↓ CLICK HERE TO SEE OUR PRESS CLIPPINGS ↓

Show (radio) – France Musique – June 2021 – FR
Show (tv) – Առաջին Ծրագիր – June 2021 – AM
Show (tv) – Tsayg – June 2021 – AM
Show (radio) – Musiq3 – April 2021 – FR
Show (radio) – Radio Arménie – April 2021 – FR
Show (radio) – Musiq3 – July 2020 – FR
Show (radio) (1:16:50) – SWR2 – March 2020 – DE
Show (tv) – LRT – March 2020 – LIT
Show (tv) – Festival Monteleón – December 2019 – ES
Show (tv) – Babel Café – April 2019 – BE
Show (radio) (30′) – France Musique – November 2018 – FR
Show (tv) (2’15 ») – BFM TV – September 2018 – FR
Show (radio) – France Culture – July 2017 – FR
Show (radio) – Musiq’3 – November 2014 – BE

Article – France Arménie – July 2022 – FR
Article – Le Point commun – February 2022 – FR
Article – Zindering festival – December 2021 – NL
Article – La Lettre – July 2021 – FR
Article – France Arménie – July 2021 – FR
Article – Armenian Mirror Spectator – June 2021 – EN
Article – Galatv – June 2021 – AM
Article – Iragir – June 2021 – AM
Article – LaLibre – June 2021 – FR
Article – Alakyaz – April 2021 – FR
Article – Armenews – April 2021 – FR
Article – RTBF – March 2021 – FR
Article – RTBF – November 2020 – FR
Article – Nouvelles d’Arménie Magazine – November 2020 – FR
Article – Mfa – September 2020 – AM
Article – Point culture – September 2020 – FR
Article – DNA – September 2020 – FR
Article – Cultuurpakt – August 2020 – NL
Article – BBC Music Magazine – May 2020 – EN
Article – Larsen – FR – May 2020 – FR
Article – MusicWeb International – April 2020 -EN
Article – musicalifeiten – February 2020 – NL
Article – RTBF – January 2020 – FR
Article – Nouvelle République – November 2019 – FR
Article – Le dauphine – August 2018 – FR
Article – Ancy-Le-Franc – June 2018 – FR
Article – Les Colibris – May 2018 – BE
Article – Le dauphine – April 2018 – FR
Article – Dernières Nouvelles d’Alsace – December 2017 – FR
Article – Dernières Nouvelles d’Alsace – December 2017 – FR
Article – l’Alsace – December 2017 – FR
Article – DAAC – October 2017 – FR
Article – L’Alsace – August 2017 – FR
Article – Festival Radio France Montpellier St-Georges d’Orques – July 2017 – FR
Article – Festival Radio France Montpellier Vendargues – July 2017 – FR
Article – Krant van West-Vlaanderen – May 2017 – NL
Article – Dernières Nouvelles d’Alsace – April 2017 – FR
Article – Dernières Nouvelles d’Alsace – April 2017 – FR
Article – Ophicléide – April 2017 – FR
Article – Tagblatt – June 2016 – DE
Article – Dernières Nouvelles d’Alsace – March 2016 – FR
Article – Sud info – December 2015 – BE