In twenty-three years, Matangi has grown into one of the most prominent and versatile ensembles in the Dutch music landscape and on international stages. The four musicians are all independent and idiosyncratic. What unites them is an unbridled creative curiosity. To new music styles, to unknown repertoire, to unexpected collaborations with other art forms from cabaret to dance.
Since its founding in 1999 at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague and the Rotterdam Conservatory, the quartet has never limited itself to one musical style. It has always embarked on new adventures, from classical to jazz and from dance to pop.
The Matangis shared the stage with top classical musicians such as Maarten Koningsberger, Tania Kross, Paolo Giacometti, Severin von Eckardstein, Quatuor Ébène. But they also ventured into crossover projects, with comedians Herman van Veen and Youp van ‘t Hek, with bandoneon player Carel Kraayenhof, with jazz trumpeter Eric Vloeimans and pianist Martin Fondse, jazz pianist Michiel Braam, DJ Kypski, jazz vocalists Mathilde Santing. and Ruben Hein and singer-songwriters Lori Lieberman and Tom McRae. With such groundbreaking excursions outside classical music, Matangi knows how to warm a new audience to the string quartet. The quartet played at various festivals, such as the Delft Chamber Music Festival, the Grachtenfestival, Festival d’ Aix-en-Provence, the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, Festival de Carthage in Tunisia, the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai, the International Conservatoire Festival in St Petersburg, North Sea Jazz and the Liberation Festival Utrecht.
With their own (Un)heard Music Festival, held annually in The Hague, the Matangi’s surprise listeners with music that they often do not know at all. They put works that are rarely or never heard on the Dutch concert stage in the spotlight, and they also make connections with better-known repertoire.
In 2002 the quartet received the prestigious Kersjes van de Groenekan Prize, which is awarded annually to exceptional talent in Dutch chamber music.
All four musicians play on instruments of Dutch craftsmanship. The cello and first violin have been loaned by the National Musical Instruments Fund.
Matangi released several CDs with Challenge Records International, Matangi Music, Deutsche Grammophon. NRC Handelsblad wrote about their CD, Canto Ostinato Strings Attached (2020): “Matangi is emerging as the ideal interpreter. Anyone from this quartet who has ever heard Beethoven’s further composed Fourteenth String Quartet knows that these strings can weave a hypnotic long arc of tension. They also manage to evoke that addictive enchantment in the Canto Ostinato.”