Background and Early Years
The Quatuor Bozzini had its origins in 1994 when sisters Stéphanie (viola) and Isabelle (cello) Bozzini, then students at the Université de Montréal, formed a chamber group with other colleagues. Known as the Quatuor Euterpe, they explored the standard repertoire but increasingly developed a deep interest in new music.
They received grants including from the Canada Council for the Arts (1997/8), and became active performing, recording and commissioning Canadian compositions. Naturel Musiques Montréal-Liege (ATMA Classics ACD2 2362) a collaboration between the Conservatoire de Musique de Montréal and the Conservatoire Royal de Liege featured microtonal works by Belgians (Henri Pousseur, Paula Dufresne) and Canadians (Bruce Mather, Michel Gonneville, Jean-François Laporte). It includes a live recording (1998) of Laporte's exploratory De la matière première. On this occasion Euterpe Quartet violinists were Pascale Gagnon and Sophie Laville.
By 1999 violinists Clemens Merkel and Geneviève Beaudry had become regular members of the ensemble, now the Quatuor Bozzini.
In 2000-2001, they gave some thirty concerts and launched an initial season at the Chapelle Historique du Bon-Pasteur and Oscar Peterson Hall (Concordia University). In 2001, the quartet toured Switzerland, Germany and the USA and were awarded the Prix Opus - Discovery of the year from the Conseil québécois de la musique.
In 2002, violinist Nadia Francavilla replaced Geneviève Beaudry, who was replaced by Mira Benjamin in 2011.
The Quatuor Bozzini have continued to present an annual concert season in Montréal that includes the Série qb, the Salon des compositeurs (Composers' Salon) and the week-long Composer's Kitchen featuring workshops and mentoring for new composers.
The quartet created its own recording label, Collection QB, in collaboration with Dame/ Actuelle CD in 2004. Among the many Canadian composers recorded are Jean Lesage, Claude Vivier, Tim Brady, Owen Underhill, and Michel Gonneville. They have frequently appeared on CBC and foreign radio.
To further cement their commitment to avant garde and non traditional presentations the Quatuor Bozzini has commissioned hundreds of works including by Michael Oesterle (Daydream Mechanics (2001); Denys Bouliane (Rumore sui, 2002/3); Louis Dufort (Miniatures, 2006); and Christopher Butterfield (Trip, 2008). They have presented the premieres of at least the same number of works by Canadians Brady, Nicholas Gilbert, Cassandra Miller, Cléo Palacio-Quintin, the Swiss Jürg Frey and others.
Awards and International Touring
Among its awards the Bozzini Quartet counts Opus prizes from the Conseil québécois de la musique: International Outreach (2007), Contemporary Disc of the Year (2004); as well as the German Ernst von Siemens Musikstiftung (2007); and the German Records Critic's Award: Quarterly Critics Choice (2009).
They have toured Europe, the US, and South America and performed at festivals in Germany, Norway, Austria, the Netherlands and France. Canadian performances have included for Music Toronto, and at the Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival.
The Bozzini Quartet began a residency at Concordia University (Montréal) in 2002. They have remained in a long term artistic partnership with Concordia at Matralab - an avant garde interdisciplinary art project aiming to bridge the gap between emerging art forms.
In 2012 the quartet performed at the Musée des beaux-arts' Salle Bougie in a tribute concert to Canadian painters artists Ozias Leduc, Paul-Emile Borduas and Jean-Paul Riopelle, including Simon Martin's Icebergs and the Midnight Sun.
Portrait Montréal. Vivier, Jean Lesage, Malcolm Goldstein CQB 0401, 2004
Steve Reich: Different Trains, CQB 0502, 2005
Arbor Vitae. James Tenney. CQB 0806, 2008
A Chacun sa miniature. Emerging artists, CQB 1113, 2011
Still Image. Own Underhill. CMCCD 17472, 2012.