It’s a wit­ti­ly mischie­vous con­cept, but in many ways also the most des­pai­ring of all the music on this bril­li­ant­ly con­cei­ved, pro­found­ly affec­ting release.”

(The Strad about the album„CRISIS“)

The Kuss Quartet has been set­ting new stan­dards for many years with its ambi­tious con­cept- based pro­gramming. Its mis­si­on is to offer uni­que expe­ri­en­ces to tra­di­tio­nal audi­en­ces and new lis­ten­ers alike.

Leader Jana Kuss and second vio­li­nist Oliver Wille have been play­ing side by side for over 30 years. With gre­at curio­si­ty, they and their long-stan­ding col­le­agues, William Coleman and Mikayel Hakhnazaryan, seek con­fir­ma­ti­on of the eter­nal “muss es sein?” of string quar­tet playing.

Thanks to a grant from the sta­te of Lower Saxony and Musik 21, the quar­tet has been able to com­mis­si­on seve­ral new works in the last ten years, expan­ding the string quar­tet reper­toire with com­po­si­ti­ons by Enno Poppe, Aribert Reimann, Manfred Trojahn, Bruno Mantovani, Iris ter Schiphorst Johannes Fischer and Mark Andre. This has attrac­ted coope­ra­ti­ons with the Concertgebouw and Muziekgebouw Amsterdam, Paris Biennale, the Wigmore Hall in London and Tokyo’s Suntory Hall. In the 23/24 sea­son, Francisco Coll’s “Codices” will be pre­mie­red in Basel and recei­ve fur­ther per­for­man­ces in Amsterdam, Berlin and Hanover.

The Kuss Quartett enjoys regu­lar col­la­bo­ra­ti­ons with musi­cal part­ners inclu­ding Miklós Perényi, Dénes Várjon, Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Sarah Maria-Sun, Maurice Steger and Johannes Fischer.

The most recent album, “KRISE” (Crisis), was released in January 2023 and explo­res the sub­ject of its title from dif­fe­rent per­spec­ti­ves in both well-known quar­tet reper­toire and spe­ci­al­ly com­mis­sio­ned works. The “KRISE” con­cert pro­gram­me can be heard exten­si­ve­ly in per­for­mance throug­hout the 23/24 season.


The cross-gen­re Beethoven pro­gram­me “Force and Freedom” was deve­lo­ped tog­e­ther with direc­tor Nicola Hümpel and her music and dance theat­re, “Nico and The Navigators”. Delayed by the pan­de­mic, the world pre­mie­re took place in November 2021 at the Konzerthaus Dortmund and was sub­se­quent­ly per­for­med at the Schwetzinger Festspiele and Radialsystem Berlin in 2022. The pro­duc­tion was film­ed by ARTE TV.

A fur­ther high­ly inno­va­ti­ve pro­ject was “KUSS@KOKON”. During the Corona pan­de­mic, an artist coll­ec­ti­ve con­sis­ting of dancers Yui Kawaguchi and Ruben Reniers, per­cus­sio­nist Johannes Fischer and slam poet Bas Böttcher deve­lo­ped new modu­lar con­certs with the Kuss Quartet, assis­ted by a “Reload” grant from the German Federal Cultural Foundation. Free from inhi­bi­ti­ons, the modu­les break the boun­da­ries of the­se artis­tic fields and expand them into new forms.


At the begin­ning of its care­er, the quar­tet was award­ed first pri­zes by the German Music Council and at the Borciani Competition. It also recei­ved a Borletti-Buitoni Award and was a “Rising Star” of the European Concert Hall Organisation.

Today, the Kuss Quartet inspi­res the next gene­ra­ti­on in fre­quent mas­ter clas­ses. William Coleman and Oliver Wille hold pro­fes­sor­ships in Salzburg and Hanover/Birmingham respec­tively, while Mikayel Hakhnazaryan tea­ches cham­ber music at the Hochschule in Karlsruhe and Jana Kuss at the Accademia Perosi in Biella (Italy).

Saison 2023 – 2024

We ask you kind­ly to print, repro­du­ce or publish this bio­gra­phy wit­hout making any chan­ges. Omissions and modi­fi­ca­ti­ons are per­mit­ted only after con­sul­ta­ti­on with the Konzertdirektion Goette.

Jana Kuss

Oliver Wille

William Coleman

Mikayel Hakhnazaryan

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