WHO WE ARE
"Rarely have one heard Dvorak played with such youthful energy... [it was] compelling in a way that almost made the stucco dislodge from the ceilings of the old mansion”
– Peter Dürrfeld, Kristeligt Dagblad
Sparks often fly when we come together to play as a quartet. We are probably rather temperamental and passionate musicians, each in our own way, but when the music flows and the four temperaments unite, that is when we remember why we love to play quartet.
Copenhagen Piano Quartet has a mix of old Danish viking blood and Slavic and Eastern European genes, and we have found it to be a very effective cocktail. The quartet consists of Benedikte Damgaard, violin (DK), Kristina Fialova, viola (CZ), Adam Stadnicki, violoncello (PL/DK) and Neel Teilmann, piano (DK). Our gathering point is in Copenhagen, and that is also where it all started in 2010 when we found each other during our studies at the Royal Danish Academy of Music and entered an intense period of training with our teacher and mentor, chamber music professor Tim Frederiksen. We have shared a bunch of experiences since then such as concerts, competitions, tours and master classes, and we have been fortunate enough to receive praise along the way, encouraging us to dig deeper and deeper into the literature of our ensemble.
It is also fair to say that we are quite lucky to have access to the excellent repertoire that exists for piano quartet. It may not be big, but in return it consists of more than a few shining diamonds: three master pieces by Brahms, works by Schumann, Dvorak, Mozart, Beethoven – and our newest discovery: three great quartets by Danish/German composer Friedrich Kuhlau which we have recently recorded on CD.
It is not only in our own personal heritage that we have found a mix between Nordic and European traditions, we also try to let it be apparent in our choice of concert programs, just as we try to find the space for both the classics and brand new works.
In our opinion, classical music is more relevant in today’s fast paced society than ever. If you allow yourself the time to find your way into the universe of classical music, you will find that it is all about expressing the grandest and at the same time most universally human emotions: life and death, passion, joy, desperation, resignation and unbelievable beauty. That is what we wish to communicate to our audience!
- Benedikte, Kristina, Adam & Neel
I consider myself a quite versatile pianist. At the time being I focus mostly on playing chamber music, but I also love the solo piano repertoire and when I get the opportunity, I never turn down a nice lied program. I was born in Denmark, and got my musical education from The Royal Academy of Music in Copenhagen with Amalie Malling and Jens Elvekjaer as my main teachers, as well as from the Sibelius Academy in Finland, where I studied with Eero Heinonen. In addition to the soloist class program we did as a quartet, I also have a post degree from the soloist class in solo piano from RDAM. As a 19-year old I won the Danish Steinway Competition, and since then, I have performed as a soloist with several Danish orchestras. But the special thing about playing chamber music, and especially quartet, is the feeling of creating something bigger and better than you can by yourself and really pulling together. The feeling of riding on a wave - that the music carries you beyond your own limits – is really something that makes all the hard work worth it. Read more (in Danish): www.neelteilmann.dk
My passport has beautiful stamps from interesting corners of the world. Playing chamber music has a special place in my heart and it has taken me through Scandinavia, Australia, Germany, Italy, France, Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Belgium, Vietnam and China. It all began many years ago when Gunnar Tagmose taught me how to turn the violin properly, and later how to tell tales through it. As a 15 year old I had my first of many experiences with playing as a soloist together with orchestra, and as an 18 year old I won the Jacob Gade Violin Competition. At the Royal Danish Academy of music I enjoyed eight years of thrilling inspiration with violin professor Serguei Azizian and in 2014 I graduated from the Soloist Class. RDAM was also the place where I met my quartet colleges, and where we together began exploring the vast possibilities of sound and expression in quartet playing. You can read much more about that in our separate quartet text. Besides from the two CD’s I recorded with CPQ for Dacapo Records, I released a duo CD in 2017 with music by Karol Szymanowski and Richard Strauss and with Emil Gryesten at the piano.
Chamber music has been an ever existing part of my life since I was very young. My love of this kind of music originates from the wordless communication that music is; a sort of telepathy of the moment between the players ... you play together but never in quite the same way and the music is living only in that moment. It is a profound and existential beauty that leads you to search for and love the unexpected.
I am a graduate of both the Brno Conservatory of Music, the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, the Royal Danish Academy of Music in Copenhagen, and Hochschule für Musik Carl Maria von Weber in Dresden. I’ve participated in many competitions and had the pleasure of bringing home prizes from Michael Spisak International Viola Competition, Talents for Europe, ACT London, Forbest Competition, The Danish Soloist Competition and different solo competitions of the conservatories. In 2012 I had my debut as a soloist at the Tivoli Festival in Denmark, and since then I have played with most of the Czech orchestras as well as with orchestras abroad, for instance in Tonhalle in Zürich 2014. In May 2015 I presented a solo recital at the Prague Spring International Music Festival and over the years, I have recorded five CD’s, for the Czech label Arco Diva and for the Danish label Dacapo.
For me playing piano quartet is a subtle way of communication. It is a challenge to join four different views, but it’s necessary in order to gain a great result - and it is the only way to make great chamber music which is full of life, colors and freshness. More: www.kristinafialova.cz
I have a Polish background, but was born in Berlin, and moved to Denmark at an early age, where I’ve studied at The Royal Danish Academy of Music, with Morten Zeuthen as my teacher, and made my debut from the soloist class in 2014. My studies also brought me to Conservatoire Nationale de Musique in Paris and Manhatten School of Music in New York. As a chamber musician I have travelled and performed around Europe and as a soloist, my latest performance was the Haydn C-major concerto with conductor Adam Fisher and the Danish National Chamber Orchestra. I also enjoy playing as an orchestra musician, and I have done so both in La Scala in Milano, the Malmö Opera and in Copenhagen Phil. Apart from working with the quartet, I also since 2013 have a regular position in Athelas Sinfonietta Copenhagen, playing mostly contemporary music.
Chamber music really is the essence of playing together. Compared to the orchestra, the responsibility for every part in the quartet is so much bigger, and demands a much higher concentration – but I love the intense energy it gives us on stage. When you finish a tricky solo and get a smile from one of the others, you know that you’ve done something right.