Borletti-Buitoni Trust
BBT Artists Rewarding Musical Excellence
Kuss Quartet
String Quartet
BBT Fellowship 2003

Kuss Quartet - Biography

The Kuss Quartet was supported by Borletti-Buitoni Trust between 2003 and 2006, when this page was last updated.  For up to date materials please visit

The Kuss Quartet was founded in 1991 at the Hanns-Eisler Academy in Berlin and has played in its current formation since October 2001. The Kuss Quartet’s teachers include the Alban Berg Quar­tet, Walter Levin of the LaSalle Quartet as well as Martha and Paul Katz – formerly of the Cleveland Quartet – who invited the young musicians to study with them at Boston’s New England Conservatory. In 2002, in addition to winning the prize of the Deutsche Musikrat, it also received First Prize in the renowned Borciani Competition. One year later, it was selected by the European Concert Hall Organization (ECHO) for the Rising Stars programme and debut in the Concertgebouw Am­ster­dam, Carnegie Hall, the Cologne Philharmonic, the Musée du Louvre Paris, Wigmore Hall London, the Teatro della Pergola in Florence and the Mozarteum in Salzburg. These debuts were followed by invitations which took the quartet on tours of the USA, Japan, Australia and South Africa. The Quartet chose a very special juxtaposition of works for its first CD in 2003: Adorno’s Zwei Stücke and Schönberg’s String Quartet, Op. 7. In August 2005, it released a recording with early and late works by Mozart and Mendelssohn on Oehms Classics. In addition to concerts, the Kuss Quartet makes a point of engaging audiences – both young and old – in discussion. Visits to schools, concerts for children as well as discussion concerts are a regular part of its work. A broad cooperation with the rbb (a cultural radio program) enables the Quartet to present evening programmes with guests from other arts in the Berlin club Café Moskau under the title Kuss plus.

Last updated: February 2006

Happily, there is an impressive array of organisations for the promotion and support of young artists. The Borletti-Buitoni Trust offers something, however, that is quite unique. It is an award that by nature supports artists in the crucial stage between initial breakthroughs and successes, and the period where one becomes fully established in the musical world. This period is often forgotten about and can cause huge problems, where the enormous costs of publicity, travel (a five-ticket affair for the beleaguered quartet and cello) and all sorts of other unforeseen costs are often not covered by the concert fees of young artists. What a wonderful, insightful foundation, unprecedented in the intelligence and imagination with which it is run. Helping young artists develop as serious musicians of integrity despite the difficulties of a modern and commercial world.

Photographs by Neda Navaee