Orgella Quartet/Dutch Pianists’ Quartet

Music for four pianists performing at two pianos.

The Orgella Quartet in the Ysbreker, 1987

The Orgella Quartet was established by Polo de Haas and active from 1976 – 1989. It consisted of himself, Niek de Vente, Robert Nasveld, Margaret Krill. The latter stepped out in 1989 and  Yoko Abe joined the ensemble. In 1989 the group was for a short period recommenced as Piano Kwadraat and in 1991 finally established again as the Dutch Pianists’ Quartet. It’s members were Corien van den Berg, Marian Bolt, Niek de Vente and Robert Nasveld.

Dutch Pianists’ Quartet: Niek de Vente, Robert Nasveld, Corien van den Berg, Marian Bolt Photo ©Marco Borggreve
Dutch Pianists’ Quartet

The classical repertoire of these unique ensembles, to a large extent, consisted of original compositions for this combination by among others Smetana, Liszt, Balakirev, Moscheles, Rachmaninov, and was developed over the years by means of research in libraries all over the world by Robert Nasveld. Apart from the compositions written for their own combination, the quartets performed on their programs also music for e.g. three pianists at two pianos, three and even four, performing at one keyboard!

The ensembles also concentrated on performing contemporary compositions by Dutch and foreign composers. Many works were especially written for this ensemble. The repertoire was thus enlarged with works by – to name but a few – Ton Bruynèl, Robert Nasveld, Theo Loevendie, Edison Denissov, Ton Lamby, François-Bernard Mâche and Gavin Bryars.

With Edison Denissov

Because of the huge diversity of compositions in their repertoire, the ensembles were able to perform very attractive and varied programs. The quartets gave during their existence, in the Netherlands as well as abroad, many concerts and appeared on festivals like the ISCM Festival in Denmark, Midem-Classique in Cannes, Nuovo Consonanza Festival in Rome and the IV Setmana Internacional de Música Contemporània a Barcelona. It’s performances were regularly recorded for radio as well as on television.

Orgella Kwartet in Galop-marche (1983)
Orgella Quartet in Galop-marche by Albert Lavignac

Have a look at the library of the quartet here.