Since1983 the Modern String Quartet has belonged to the most influential ensembles of the European cross-over scene. As artists between classic, avantgarde and jazz the 4 musicians have shown again and again the huge variety of the possibilities of contemporary music, obviously going into the music thoroughly for the very moment. Obviously – because also for Joerg Widmoser (violin), Winfried Zrenner (violin), Andreas Hoericht (viola) und Thomas Wollenweber (cello) applies: after the game is before the game.
In more than 2.500 concerts, on 20 albums so far and last not least in the context of countless exciting cooperations with artists like Konstantin Wecker, Tony Williams, Matt Glaser, Wolfgang Dauner, Charlie Mariano, Klaus Doldinger, Joe Haider, Mercedes Sosa or Joan Baez the many times awarded quartet has shown its extraordinary championship. Whether in Europe, North America, Africa or Asia – with the tremendous energy that is released by their music, the virtuous gang of four from Munich/ Germany continuously fascinates listeners all over the world.
According to the motto: “We perform everything that we did not learn from our teachers“ the members of the Modern String Quartet circle the secret core of their art and venture into spheres unheard of so far. Early on they had already developed a distinctive way of ensemble playing, and on this basis worked out a diverse repertoire. The art of free improvisation and the respectful handling of notated compositions show the quartet the way into the unknown and fascinating territories of sound.
An unequivocal dogmatic allocation of the ensemble to the field of modern classical music or the world of jazz is definitely not possible: as a string quartet, Joerg Widmoser, Winfried Zrenner, Andreas Hoericht und Thomas Wollenweber relate on the one hand to the high quality and tradition of classical chamber music, but on the other hand they belong as a jazz group to Duke Ellington’s description of contemporary music: “Music at the right spot, the right time, with the right people”.
The Modern String Quartet fulfills this task with a broad repertoire consisting of numerous original works alongside works of Johann Sebastian Bach, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart or Igor Stravinsky, as well as pieces by Philip Glass and Steve Reich. In addition, the ensemble plays songs by George Gershwin, John Lennon and Paul McCartney, Sidney Bechet, Miles Davis, to name only a few.
Against this background it becomes clear: for the Modern String Quartet “crossover“ is not only a word. Its all about creative crossing of borders, artistic movement and intellectual agility. The four strings celebrate an innovative development of chamber music concepts on the grounds of tradition in a never-ending work in progress.

the musicians

Joerg WidmoserJoerg Widmoser, violin
Winfried Zrenner, violin
Andreas Hoericht, viola
Thomas Wollenweber, cello

music festivals

  • Münchner Opernfestspiele (2015)
  • Kammermusiktage Herrenchiemsee (2013)
  • Bodenseefestspiele (2013)
  • Festival Tonfolgen Bonn (2012&2013)
  • White Lights Festival New York City (2011)
  • Palatia Classic Festival Schloss Villa Ludwigshöhe Edenkoben (2011)
  • Festival van Vlaanderen Kortrijk (B) (2011)
  • Festival van Vlaanderen Mechelen (B) (2011)
  • Ruhrtriennale Jahrhunderthalle Bochum (2010)
  • Heidelberger Frühling (2010, 2001, 2000)
  • International Book Award Abu Dhabi (2009)
  • Rheingau Musikfestival (2009, 2003)
  • Nordlysfestivalen Tromsø/Norwegen (2008)
  • Internationales Kammermusikfestival “EuroKlassik” Prag (2007)
  • Morgenland Festival Osnabrück (2007)
  • Singapore Arts Festival (2007)
  • Schleswig-Holstein Musikfestival (2007, 2006, 2003, 2000, 1999, 1998)
  • Jazzfestival Dresden (2006)
  • Styriarte Graz (2006, 1999)
  • Jazzfestival “Generations 2006” Frauenfeld/Schweiz (2005)
  • Jazzfestival Würzburg (2005)
  • Händelfestspiele Bad Lauchstätt (2005)
  • Konzertkirche Neubrandenburg (2005)
  • Sommerliche Musiktage Hitzacker (2005)
  • Händelfestspiele Halle (2005, 2001)
  • Leverkusener Jazztage (2005, 1999, 1991)
  • Eröffnungskonzert Kulturforum Fürth (2004)
  • Palatia Jazzfestival Burg Trifels/Annweiler, mit Charlie Mariano (2004)
  • Andreas HörichtLausitzer Musiksommer Bautzen (2004)
  • Internationale Meraner Musikwochen (2004, 1999)
  • Europäisches Klassikfestival Ruhr (2002)
  • Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (2002)
  • Europäische Festwochen Passau (2002)
  • Internationale Jazzwoche Burghausen (2002, 1999, 1992, 1986)
  • Bregenzer Festspiele (2001)
  • 4Jazzfestival Lodz/Polen (2001)
  • Berliner Festwochen (2000)
  • MDR-Musiksommer (2000)
  • Internationale Bachakademie Stuttgart (1999)
  • Musikfestspiele Potsdam Sanssouci (1999)
  • Nancy Jazz Pulsation (1993)
  • International Arts Festival Tel Aviv (1992)
  • Jazzfestival Beograd (1991)


  • Opéra National de Bordeaux (2013)
  • Thomas WollenweberAllerheiligen Hofkirche München (2013)
  • Lincoln Center Alice Tully Hall New York (2011)
  • Herkulessaal München (2011)
  • Maxim Gorki Theater Berlin (2011)
  • Münchner Kammerspiele (2011, 2010)
  • Alte Oper Frankfurt (2011, 1997)
  • Monasterio de Veruela Saragossa (2010)
  • Torroella de Montgri Barcelona (2010)
  • Palais Cerny Konservatorium Prag (2010)
  • Martin Luther Universität Halle (2010)
  • Staatstheater Oldenburg (2010, 2005)
  • Schloss Elmau (2010, 2004, 1995)
  • Philharmonie Köln (2009)
  • Opéra National de Bordeaux (2008)
  • Gewandhaus Leipzig (2007, 2001)
  • Staatstheater am Gärtnerplatz (2006, 2000)
  • Beethovenhaus Bonn (2006, 1997)
  • Gasteig Philharmonie München (2005, 2004, 1999, 1998, 1996)
  • Sommerkonzerte Schloss Schleißheim (2002)
  • Bregenzer Festspielhaus (2001)
  • Schauspielhaus Kassel (2001)
  • Hebbel Theater Berlin (2000)

Biografie MSQ (Highlights)

1983 Foundation of the Modern String Quartet
1986 Music Award of the City of Munich
1987 Masterconcerts at the Internationalen Musicseminar in Weimar, Days of contemporary Music Hamburg, Musicfestival Hannover
1988 Touring Europe with “3 Voices” (Wecker, Baez, Sosa)
1989 Touring Europe with Mercedes Sosa
1990 Touring USA, Philadelphia, Washington, Boston, New York. Touring West-Africa with Goethe-Institut
1991 Touring with J.S.Bach “Art of the Fugue”. Second USA-Tour
1992 Touring Israel, Zyprus und Greece. Maccabee Festival Tel-Aviv
1993 10 years MSQ, touring with Shostakovich piano quintet. Akademie der schönen Künste, Munich
1994 Touring Sudan, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria und Turkey
1995 EU Festival Zyprus First performance of String Quartet Nr. 5 by Gloria Coates at Gasteig, Munich
1996 Touring with “The Arrangers and Composers” in Yugoslavia Belgrad,Novi Sad,Nis). TV Production (ZDF) of a 1 hour movie about the MSQ
1997 Touring USA. TV Production 3 sat. Touring Indonesia
1998 Minimal Program (f.i. Different Trains by Steve Reich)
Eyes and Ears Performance with Klaus Krobath (Music und visual art)
Schleswig Holstein Musivfestival
1999 Touring celebrating the 100th birthday of Duke Ellington. (Black, Brown and beige). The Modern String Quartet starts not only playing music, but acting on stage at sthe same time.
2000 Nancy Jazz Pulsations, Philadelphia Jazz Festival, Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, Internationale Bachakademie Stuttgart, Alte Oper Frankfurt, Gewandhaus Leipzig, Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Berliner Festwochen, Bregenzer Festspiele, Staatstheater am Gärtnerplatz München.
2001 Appearing at Bregenzer Festspiele, Berliner Festspiele and Jazzfest Burghausen, Musikfestspiele Saar, Heidelberger Frühling, MDR-Musiksommer.
2002 The Modern String Quartet works together with other great musicians. Projects with Charlie Mariano (CD Upsolute music records 111), Klaus Doldinger, and the guitar player Luis Borda from Argentina.
2003 Project string sextet with Matt Glaser (Professor for Jazz violin at the Berklee-College in Boston/USA). Rheingau Musikfestival, Schleswig-Holstein Musikfestival
2004 new CD: “Watermusic”. The MSQ incorporates arranged classical compositions in their repertoire.
2005 Extended touring of Europe with „Watermusic“. Niedersächsische Musiktage with the program „war and peace“.
2006 Founding of the Joe Haider Double Quartet. The MSQ plays together with the Joe Haider Jazzquartett. CD production and touring Germany/Austria/Switzerland. Performance of Arabic Passion. The Modern String Quartet meets Ensemble Sarband. Together with 4 Iraki Musicians an extraordinary version of the work of Johann Sebastian Bach is created.
2007 MSQ touring Germany, Austria, and Cech Republic mit the program „Fever“. Another Tour with Joe Haider Double Quartet. With Sarband and Arabic Passion in Singapore.
2008 Winterfestival Vidmarhalle (Bern), Nordlys Festivalen Tromsö (Norwegen) with Oslo Chamber Orchestra, Internationales Kammermusikfestival Prag, Mozart goes Jazz with Martin Schrack and Libor Shima (bassoon), Opera Nationale Bordeaux, CD Production Sarband (Arabische Passion), CD Production „1700“ (Ein literarisches Konzerterlebnis)
2009 Debut of the Welltempered Klavier by Johann Sebastian Bach arranged for stringquartet by Joerg Widmoser, Arabic Passion at the Philharmonic in Cologne, Rheingau-Musik-Festival with the percussionist Sascha Gotowtschikow, In Abu Dhabi (arabic book award), Concert zur Revolution Kammerspiele München (Schorsch Kamerun).
2010 with Sarband at the Heidelberger Frühling, CD Recording with Billy Hart.
2011 Recording of the Welltempered Klavier by Johann Sebastian Bach arranged for stringquartet by Joerg Widmoser, with Sarband touring Spain and Ruhrtrienale.
2012 With Sarband performing at Lincoln Center in New York (White Light Festival)
2013 Project „Restlicht“ with the artist Werner Mally München/Berlin, Bodenseefestival Welltempered Klavier, Opera National de Bordeaux, Festival Tonfolgen „From Russia with love“ and „Birth of the Cool“
2014 Project Lux 40: MSQ meets Michael Lutzeier(sax) and a 40-voices Choir Vox Nova. Performance at the Postpalast München with compositions of Alessandro Striggio/ Thomas Tallis and MSQ. Renaissance meets improvisation. MSQ in Athens
2015 Münchner Opernfestspiele, The Rest is Noise Münchner Kammerspiele, CD Production Irmler-Oesterheld-Modern String Quartet „Formen“ (Doppelvinyl)
2016 Memorial concert for Hans Ruland, „Ellingtonmania“ / Allerheiligenhofkirche München
Würzburger Bachtage, the Welltempered Klavier for stringquartet.
2017 The Rite of Swing – A Tribute to Duke Ellington and Igor Stravinsky. Kultursommer Nordhessen. CD Produktion “Le ryhthme et la ligne” (Ensemble für synkretische Musik)
2018 Europäische Wochen Passau. Album Modern String Quartet: The Rite of Swing (UMR 137). Igor Stravinsky meets Duke Ellington
2019 CD recordings with Christian Mayer “Waldgeister”. Together with Sarband in Zürich. Jazzfest München
2020 Corona.
MSQ Live Streaming Concert „Pictures of a new exhibition“. Mussorgsky goes Jazz. 
MSQ performs Coltranes Masterpiece “A Love Supreme” for Stringquartet and Oud Trio in Bayreuth (Festival Summer of Love).
MSQ receives the Reload scholarship for the project „D#tanzen – a public experiment“
2021 Corona. Many concerts cancelled. CD recordings MSQ „pictures of a new exhibition – framed in jazz“.
2022 With help of a project promotion of Deutscher Musikrat (Neustart Kultur)  the MSQ devellopes the new concept of “Antimusical”. MSQ plays „Festival 4“ , Pinakothek der Moderne (Munich). „Sacre du printemps“ for stringquartet and drums is performed at Munich schools.
2023 Rehearsal period and Performance of „Warhol – a Antimusical“,  Gasteig Munich. SZ: „A masterpiece – this time the most comprehensive.“

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