Borletti-Buitoni Trust
BBT Artists Rewarding Musical Excellence
Royal String Quartet
String Quartet
BBT Fellowship 2005

Royal String Quartet - Biography

Royal String Quartet received support from Borletti-Buitoni Trust betwee 2005 and 2008, when this page was last updated. For an up to date biography please visit

Izabella Szałaj-Zimak violin
Elwira Przybyłowska violin
Paweł Czarny viola
Michał Pepol cello

Shortlisted by the Royal Philharmonic Society as one of the three most outstanding chamber groups to appear in the UK in 2006, the Royal String Quartet was established in 1998 and has since gained a reputation as one of the world’s most interesting and dynamically developing string quartets of the young generation. The Royal String Quartet has received numerous awards at competitions, including 1st Prize and the Grand Prix in Casale Monferrato (2000), 2nd Prize in Kraków (2003), Special Jury Prize in Kuhmo, Finland (2004) and 3rd Prize in Banff, Canada (2004). Upon graduation from the Music Academy in Warsaw, the Royal String Quartet worked with the Alban Berg Quartet at the Hochschule für Musik in Cologne (2001–2004). The ensemble has also worked with musicians from the Amadeus, Guarneri and Chilingirian Quartets. The Quartet was part of the BBC’s New Generation Artists scheme in 2004–2006. Since 2004 the Quartet has run its own chamber music festival in Warsaw, Kwartesencja. This year’s edition will take place from 3 to 7 October and will include artists such as Mark Padmore, Simon Lepper and Silesian Quartet. Kwartesencja has won a wide following and media recognition as the ‘Cultural Highlight of Year’. The Royal String Quartet has participated in many festivals in Poland and abroad (BBC Proms, City of London, East Neuk, Lichfield, Aldeburgh, Angela Hewitt’s Trasimeno, Next Generation in Dortmund, Valloires) and has performed with such artists as Angela Hewitt, Thomas Allen, Ann Murray, Antoine Tamestit, Christian Poltéra, Freddy Kempf, Cédric Tiberghien, Martin Fröst, Cédric Pescia, Llyr Williams and Ronald van Spaendonck. The Royal String Quartet has appeared at venues including Wigmore Hall and Cadogan Hall in London, Bridgewater Hall in Manchester, Le Grand Theatre in Bordeaux, the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, Vienna’s Konzerthaus, and the Lutoslawski Hall of Polish Radio, the National Philharmonic and the Royal Castle in Warsaw. The Royal String Quartet’s discography currently consists of 4 CDs and in Spring 2008 it will record its first international CD for Hyperion.

Last updated September 2007

It was one of the most significant events in our musical career to receive the BB Trust Fellowship. The award enables us to attend masterclasses (we still need to learn, although we teach!), to buy new cases for our instruments (the old ones really had hurt our shoulders…). One of the most important things is that it gives us freedom in planning the third edition of our own Chamber Music Festival Kwartesencja in Warsaw (8 -12 November 2006) – as there may be not enough budget from sponsors in Poland on time… The other thing – very important indeed – is the fact that the Trust announces the winners to hundreds of promoters and to the press, and gives first class PR. It is really extraordinary because it introduces us to a huge public all over the world and opens many doors.

Photographs by BlowUp, Lukasz Pepol