“Extreme complication is contrary to art,” Claude Debussy said in 1951. By saying so, Debussy may have been warning about the big egos and outsize personalities that sow discontent and derail even the most talent-rich musical enterprises. Happily, the Quatuor Hermès are an ensemble that have taken Debussy’s maxim to heart. The quartet combine prodigiously fierce musicianship with a simpatico musical ethos. “After each concert we can go to a restaurant, just hang out, it’s just so nice to be like family” violinist Omer Bouchez said.
The Paris-based group’s familial atmosphere has yielded a decade of successful concertising, numerous awards, and even a correspondence with legendary pianist Alfred Brendel. The group’s name comes from the Greek mythological character Hermès, the “messenger of the gods.” Quatuor Hermès position themselves between composer and audience, intermediaries between visionaries and the willing recipients of the vision.
Omer Bouchez, violin
Elise Liu, violin
Yung-Hsin Lou Chang, viola
Anthony Kondo, cello