Kaja Nowak, violin (1989 Belgium/Poland)
Natalia Kotarba, violin (1990 Belgium/Poland)
Diede Verpoest, viola (1992 Belgium)
Julia Kotarba, cello (1990 Poland)
The Karsky Quartet was founded in 2018 by violinists Kaja Nowak and Natalia Kotarba, violinist and violist Diede Verpoest and cellist Julia Kotarba. Having played with one another in many different combinations, the four met as a quartet during the 2018 Resonances Festival Academy, where they were coached by Elisabeth Kufferath and Philippe Graffin, and again at the Rencontres Internationales Musicales d’Enghien, where they participated in masterclasses with Amy Norrington and David Waterman. Soon after they went on to take part in their first competition as a string quartet, the 4th International Music Competition Triomphe de l’Art in Brussels, where they were awarded the Grand Prix as well as the Special Prize for the alumni of the Royal Conservatory in Brussels.
Based in Brussels, their concert engagements since the inception of the quartet have brought them to Belgian venues as well as concert series and chamber music festivals in France, the Netherlands and the UK.
From January until June 2019 they will be joining the String Quartet Studio at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, working closely with violinist Donald Grant (Elias Quartet) and members of the RNCM’s Chamber Music faculty. In September 2019 they will be starting a two-year study programme focused on chamber music and co-organised by the European Chamber Music Academy. The RNCM being the quartet’s homebase, the programme involves exchanges with other prominent European conservatories as CNSMD in Paris and NMH in Oslo.
Karski Quartet takes its name from Jan Karski, the legendary World War II resistance-movement figure. Commited as he was to showing others the dramatic truth about the war, the Karski Quartet members strongly believe that every era needs heroes like him. Amid the serious difficulties which the whole human population is facing now, they find Karski’s profound compassion and uncompromising attitude an example to be emulated in art as well as in life.