“The Rosamonde String Quartet played Berg and Beethoven with sharp-pointed attack and intellectual energy" and "leanness and clarity are evidently the corporate goals, and vigorously pursued.”

"The strength of their ensemble is obvious. Tonally the Rosamonde are very much a unit : balance is finely judged, and quality of colour and the intensity are clearly arrived at through a communal decision. In Faure Quartet, this rich validity was impressive. In the Debussy, they showed a really exceptional command of the ebb and flow that so often characterizes Debussy's handling of tempo."

The members of the ROSAMONDE STRING QUARTET (formed in 1981) studied together at the Paris Conservatoire (C.N.S.M) where they all graduated with Premiers Prix.

As a quartet they trained at the Paris Conservatoire and Yale University. Their meeting and friendship with Raphael Hillyer, who was violist for 25 years with the Juilliard Quartet, was decisive: it was he who introduced them in their early years to the Tanglewood Festival in the United States. From Eugene Lehner, violist of the Kolish Quartet and a friend of Schoenberg and Bartók, they received the heritage of the teaching of the great Viennese masters of the early twentieth century.

At the International Competition in Evian in 1983 the ROSAMONDE QUARTET was unanimously awarded the Prize for the best performance of contemporary works and the Special Prize of the international jury of critics. In 1986 it won First Prize at the International String Quartet Competition organised by the Union of European Radios in Salzburg. The ROSAMONDE STRING QUARTET has an international career.

It appears regularly in the United States and in the great European concert halls, including the Mozarteum in Salzburg, London's Wigmore Hall, Bruckner Haus in Linz and the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris.

Critics worldwide have hailed "the beauty of its tone", " the precision of its style", "the refinement and elegance of its phrasing, directly inherited from the french school of quartet playing".

Agnès SULEM  first violin
Thomas TERCIEUX  second violin
Jean SULEM  viola
Xavier GAGNEPAIN  cello

Xavier Gagnepain


Esprit curieux, Xavier Gagnepain décline sa passion pour la musique sous les formes les plus multiples. Soliste, disciple de Maurice Gendron, titulaire de prix internationaux (Münich et Sao Paulo), il est aussi un chambriste engagé avec le Quatuor Rosamonde.

Sa classe de violoncelle au CNR de Boulogne-Billancourt jouit d’une grande réputation.

Il consacre, par ailleurs, une part croissante de son temps à la direction d’orchestre. Défenseur infatigable des répertoires les moins galvaudés, il n’hésite pas à prêter son concours à de nombreuses créations contemporaines. Son livre "Du musicien en général… au violoncelle en particulier", commandé par la Cité de la Musique, connaît un vif succès.

Il vient d’enregistrer un CD, truffé d’inédits, consacré à l’œuvre complète de Fauré pour violoncelle et piano avec Jean-Michel Dayez (CD : ZZT 07 06 02 chez Zigzag territoires).