Artistic Director: Kirill Kraftzoff
Arrangements by Sergio Drabkin
Overture from the opera Il barbiere di Siviglia
Three highlights from music for Henrik Ibsen’s play Peer Gynt
Georgian Folk Suite
Blue Rondo à la Turk
Twelfth Street Rag
Antônio Carlos Jobim
Aria from Bachianas Brasileiras No 5, A. 389
Swing, Swing, Swing
The tango Oblivion
“It is not only the musicians of this quartet that are unique, but also their extreme aptitude, their unity and ability to fascinate the public.”
Neue Züricher Zeitung
The Rastrelli Cello Quartet is one of the most interesting and successful chamber ensembles on the contemporary music scene.
Despite the fact that the quartet is based in Germany, they are known in the music world as Russian musicians from St Petersburg. The architect Bartolomeo Rastrelli, in whose honour the ensemble is named, is a symbol of St Petersburg.
The Rastrelli Cello Quartet has long been a "flagship" among cello ensembles to which many of young musicians aspire. Dazzling performances of the classics equal to those of the finest string quartets in the world, sparkling jazz improvisations, the unforgettable sound of the quartet’s leader Kira Kraftzoff, the virtuoso skill of Kirill Timofeev and Mikhail Degtjareff, their very own “Rastrelli sound” which has long been appellative and the subtle humour of arrangements by the internationally acclaimed Sergio Drabkin – these are the things that form the calling card of the ensemble.
The quartet was the first in the world to prove that a quartet of cellists performing classical music could win the hearts of the wider public. It transformed attitudes to an ensemble of cellists from a mere experiment and raised it to an entirely different level, demonstrating that any music may be performed on the cello.
This is confirmed by their millions of fans and followers.
Without any exaggeration, the Rastrelli Cello Quartet is known throughout the world as one of the finest Russian ensembles. The quartet has toured to more than thirty countries, travelling from Alaska to Australia. The ensemble has appeared at almost every important festival in Europe and performed over seven hundred concerts, some two hundred and fifty of them in the USA.
The musicians are on an unceasing musical search. They are broadening their own repertoire which covers every style – from the baroque to rock, in which there is not a single work composed for four cellos.
The ensemble also looks for possibilities to combine the sound of cellos with other instruments. The Rastrelli Cello Quartet performs programmes with symphony orchestras and appears with such international stars as Giora Feidman (clarinet) and Gilles Apap (violin), performing both Vivaldi’s and Piazzolla’s The Four Seasons together with piano and violin and collaborating with renowned Russian rock and pop musicians such as Andrei Samsonov, Sergei Shnurov and Svetlana Surganova.