The Kneisel Quartet was a string quartet musical ensemble established in Boston, in the U.S. state of Massachusetts in 1885. It existed until 1917, and in its time became recognised as the leading string quartet in the United States. It also performed in Europe.
The personnel of the Kneisel quartet was as follows:
- Franz Kneisel (1885–1917)
- E. Fiedler (1885–1887)
- Otto Roth (1887–1899)
- Karel Ondříček (1899–1902)
- J. Theodorowicz (1902–1907)
- Julius Röntgen (1907–1912)
- Hans Letz (1912–1917)
- Louis Svećenski (1885–1917)
- Fritz Giese (1885–1889)
- Anton Hekking (1889–1891)
- Alwin Schroeder (1891–1907)
- Willem Willeke (1907–1917)
Origins and performances
The Kneisel quartet was founded soon after Franz Kneisel first arrived in Boston, as concertmaster of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Kneisel's training under Joseph Hellmesberger, Jr. may have given an important stimulus to the decision to form the quartet. The quartet remained settled at Boston, performing at venues such as Chickering Hall, until 1903. In January 1894 It gave the premiere in Boston and second performance in New York of Dvořák's "American" String Quartet. In 1903 the quartet's operational base moved to New York City. It ceased activity in 1917 owing to the high demand of teaching upon Kneisel's time. The farewell concert was given on 3 April 1917 in New York.
Charles Ives considered a certain performance by the Kneisel Quartet "effeminate", and he was inspired to write a more virile quartet, which became his String Quartet No. 2.
- A. Eaglefield-Hull, A Dictionary of Modern Music and Musicians (Dent, London 1924).
- Boston Globe, Dec. 1, 1889
- Gervase Hughes, 1967, Dvořák: His Life and Music, p. 172
- The Love Family Papers at Irving S. Gilmore Music Library, Yale University correspondence of Helen Love Scranton, secretary to Franz Kneisel.
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