JADE not only refers to the important jewel, but also stands in particular for ‘JA’ (the Chinese word for Asia) and ‘DE’, namely the adopted country of Germany. This connection is also programmatic for the quartet, which is especially concerned with performing works from their Asian homeland as well as the classical European quartet repertoire. Numerous compositions have been specially written for the Jade Quartet.
The quartet’s career began with winning third prize at the 5th Osaka International Chamber Music Competition in 2005, first prize at the German Music Academy Contest in 2004, and the Iris Marquart Prize. The Jade Quartet also received scholarships from the Villa Musica Foundation and the Karl Klingler Foundation. In 2005 its members were named ‘Musicians of the Year’ in the string quartet category owing to its competition success in Osaka. In may 2007 they won first prize at ‘Klangbrücke’, the international interpretation competition for contemporary string quartets in Munich.
The quartet has been invited to festivals such as the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, the Oberstdorfer Music Summer or the East Frisian Musical Summer; it guested at the First Taipei International Lyricism in 20th Century Music Festival in 2009 with numerous chamber music programmes, and gives over 40 concerts per year in Germany, throughout Europe and in Asia. In addition to performing the classical string quartet repertoire, the Jade Quartet has made a particular name for itself with the interpretation of contemporary works.
The quartet’s work is documented by radio recordings and television portraits; one of the latter was presented in 2006, in the programme ‘SWR Musikdebüt’. In June 2008 the quartet played Louis Spohr’s Concerto for String Quartet and Orchestra with the Evergreen Orchestra in Keelung and Taipei (Taiwan). After recording the String Octets of Mendelssohn and Shostakovich for the Animato label together with the Cuarteto Leonor, the quartet released a CD in 2008 with String Quartets by Maurice Ravel and Antonín Dvořák, Anton Webern’s Slow Movement and Heroic Song by the Taiwanese composer Taishiang Lee.