Finnish-based Meta4 was founded in 2001 and is one of the most internationally successful string quartets. In addition to their artistic sincerity and curiosity about a broad range of repertoire, the four musicians of Meta4 share a close personal friendship.
In March 2020, Meta4 and the Gringolts Quartet released a recording of the Mendelssohn and Enescu Octets on BIS Records, which the ensembles have also played in concert to great success. Meta4 recently created a pocket-sized version of Mozart’s Requiem with the vocal ensemble Theatre of Voices. Another feature of the quartet’s work is its ‘four-wheel drive’ function within orchestras, for which Meta4 rehearses programmes without a conductor and leads from the first desk. In this role, the quartet has worked with the Finnish Baroque Orchestra, the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra, the Tapiola Sinfonietta, Sinfonia Lahti and the Orchestre national d’Auvergne. Over the last two seasons, Meta4 has performed in Kaija Saariaho’s chamber opera Only the Sound Remains to great acclaim at the Finnish National Opera, the Paris Opéra, the Teatro Real in Madrid and Lincoln Center in New York.
Meta4 won first prize and a special prize at the 2004 International Shostakovich String Quartet Competition in Moscow, followed in 2007 by first prize at the International Joseph Haydn Chamber Music Competition in Vienna. The Finnish Minister of Culture presented Meta4 with the Finland Prize, which is awarded to promising young Finnish artists. As part of the BBC New Generation Artists scheme, Meta4 gave numerous concerts in the UK from 2008 to 2010. Marking the scheme’s 20th anniversary, the quartet appeared in concert at Wigmore Hall in spring 2020 and collaborated with Khatia Buniatishvili for the first time. The Jenny and Antti Wihuri Foundation awarded the quartet a special prize in recognition of its work in 2013.
From 2008 to 2011 Meta4 was artistic director of the Oulunsalo Soi Chamber Music Festival and from 2008 to 2017 was quartet in residence at the Chamber Music Festival in Kuhmo. Meta4 is a regular guest at major European concert halls including the Konzerthaus in Vienna, Wigmore Hall and King’s Place in London, the Auditorio Nacional de Música in Madrid, the Cité de la musique in Paris and the Konserthuset in Stockholm.
Meta4 studied with Hatto Beyerle and Johannes Meissl at the European Chamber Music Academy. The quartet has released three recordings on the Hänssler Classic label: Haydn’s op. 55 string quartets Nos. 1–3 in 2009, which won an Echo Klassik Award the following year; Shostakovich’s Third, Fourth and Seventh String Quartets in 2012, which won Finnish broadcasting company YLE’s recording of the year and the Emma Prize, the Finnish equivalent of a Grammy, for classical album of the year; as well as Bartók’s First and Fifth String Quartets in 2014. Meta4 also recorded a CD of chamber music by Kaija Saariaho for the Ondine label in 2013/2016 and Sibelius’s string quartets for the Berliner Meister Schallplatten label the same year. Meta4 released its first album on ECM Records in 2019 with clarinettist Reto Bieri, featuring Brahms’s Clarinet Quintet and Gérard Pesson’s Nebenstück.