A “Terem” is an old traditional Russian wooden house with a tower, which brings together totally different kinds of people and different musical trends.

Through its playing, the Terem-Quartet is able to win over any international audience and having traveled throughout the world, they still remain Russian musicians who express deeply the heart of their nation.

Breaking down nearly every conceivable genre barrier, this ensemble has changed our perception of not just what a quartet can be, but what music can be in the 21st-century global village.

Over the 25 years of their existence, the Terem Quartet has often acted as an ‘envoy’ of St. Petersburg and Russian culture. The Russian press calls the ensemble ‘St. Petersburg’s calling card’, bracketing the Quartet together with the Hermitage, the Mariinsky Theatre and the Russian Museum.


St.-Petersburg’s ensemble the Terem-Quartet is able to win any international audience. They have traveled round the world, and still remain Russian musicians who can express the heart of their nation.

From their first appearances, the Terem Quartet overthrew the Soviet era stereotype of folk music as something far from real life. The band could not be classified into any of existing music categories or genres. Their music has always been created as a joint effort. In fact, the audiences were offered music by a unique composer, a person with a strange name: The Terem Quartet. That’s where they differed from academic performers, and that’s where they followed the traditions of the Skomorokh ensemble performance in Ancient Russia. Their theatrical behavior on stage, their fantastic stage costumes… everything was very unusual and thrilling. The Terem musicians have felt and grasped the most essential phenomena of the 20th century: the idea of style diversity, dialogue thinking, and synthesis of different musical trends within one style. Their music uses “multi-stylistic” tricks – quotations from anywhere, allusions, hints, and the performance is usually ironical. And in each case, their versions of music, be it ‘schoolbook’ European classics or traditional melodies, are always provocative, unexpected for the listener.

The art of the Terem Quartet combines different traditions in music: village and urban folklore, jazz, and classics. All this musical mosaic is the spiritual fire in the music, its emotional drive. The music of the Terem Quartet is full of dramatic contrasts. The musicians have some of the Romantic ‘hearing’ of music, an ability – a rare case today – to ‘feel feelings’, as the Romantics used to say. But, unlike Romanticism, they do not push the audience their way, but are in a continuous dialogue with them, typical of music in the 20th century. In fact, the musicians have invented a style of unchained genres, a style showing the sensual essence of every piece played, a style that requires a musical dialogue with the cultural reminiscences of the audience. Born on Russian soil, the Terem Quartet easily fitted into the world musical context of today.

13 Feb

18.00 / Wednesday / Riga, The Great Guild

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