So, what is this “Arod”? A forgotten composer, a mythical city, amysterious acrostic? Why
not, indeed. In fact, Le Quatuor Arod chose as their tutelary figure a knight imagined by
Tolkien in The Lord of the Rings. A symbol of strength and ardour (his name means “agile,
swift”), he also embodied a spirit of freedom and companionship given that the elf Legolas
provided him with a bareback horse, without reins.
This community of the bow was born in 2013 at the Conservatoire de Paris. All the members
of the quartet studied there, benefiting in particularfrom the teaching of Jean Sulem.
Starting out as a group of students, burning to get their fingers onthe finest pages of
therepertoire, the ensemble chose as their first outingthe FNAPEC competition, which has
crowned such great string quartets as the Modigliani and Ysaÿe. The Quatuor Arod won the
first prize there (2014), which for them opened the doors of the ProQuartet residency–the
European Centre for Chamber Music.
After working at the Conservatoire with the Quatuor Ébène, then very regularly with the
Quatuor Artemis at the Chapelle Musicale Reine Élisabeth in Brussels, the quartet took up a
residency at the Fondation Singer-Polignac then gave itself a new, ambitious challenge with
the Carl Nielsen International Chamber Music Competitionin 2015. To prepare as best as
they could, they turned to the person who was to become their real mentor: Mathieu
Herzog, the violist of the Quatuor Ébène, now a conductor. With him, they refined their
technique and their musicality, but also learned how better to cope with a constantly shared
daily life. This competitor, which they entered with both serenity and pleasure, remains one
of the greatest memories of Arod, because they won the First Prize as well as
When the quartet decided to take on the Everest of competitions, the ARD in Munich, quite
naturally Mathieu Herzog was there to give them a fillip. This work and this daring paid off
because they won the First Prize, a supreme accolade which has been awarded only seven
times since 1959 and their victory in 2016. Now at the stately age of three, they were
following in the footsteps of such previous masterful winners as the Tokyo, Artemis and
Pushed into the limelight by this exploit, the Quatuor Arod was made the BBC New
Generation Artist from 2017 to 2019 and the ECHO Rising Star for the 2018-2019 season,
before continuingtheir glittering career. Just five years after their first harmonies in a
rehearsal roomat the Conservatoire, they are sought for across the five continents and in
the most prestigious concert halls: the Philharmonie de Paris, the Wigmore Hall in London,
the Berliner Philharmonie, the ElbPhilharmonie of Hamburg, the Concertgebouw of
Amsterdam, Bozar in Brussels, the Oji Hall in Tokyo and none other than Carnegie Hall in
New York for their first tour of the USA.
From Gramophone to Le Monde without forgetting The Strad and Diapason, critics have
alsohailed the rare energy of the Quatuor Arod in concert as well as the quality of their
recordings, the first of which was devoted to Mendelssohn, and the second created like
amusical kaleidoscope centred around Mathilde Zemlinsky.
The quarter also enjoys working with such artists as Elsa Dreisig, Adam Laloum, Jérôme
Pernoo, Antoine Tamestit, Alexandre Tharaud and Camille Thomas. More than just being
performers, they are also driving on the music of tomorrow: in 2017, they premiered Al Asr,
Benjamin Attahir’s first string quartet, commissioned by La Belle Saison and ProQuartet.