in praise of folly is a Brussels-based string quartet comprised of classical musicians who are a unique product of their generation. Concretely, this translates into a philosophy of collaboration, expansion, and cross-genre performance.
In only a year of playing together, their collaborative musical approach has opened doors to exciting projects in jazz, pop, rock, chanson, and contemporary classical - both stage and in studio.
Among the highlights of this year, a tour across Europe with the Progressive-Rock band Marillion, sold-out Royal Albert Hall in October 2017; a string quartet written especially for them by young Belgian composer Mathias Coppens and first performed at the Festival Zomer van Antwerpen in July 2017; as well as an invitation to perform with Pol Belardi’s Force in the project Creation/Evolution at the Philharmony of Luxembourg in March, 2018.
They have also recorded on a number a jazz and pop albums this year including: John Anderberg’s True Veins (Sweden), the jazz ensemble Effdé (France), Jazz vocalist Emily Allison (Belgium), and Paris-based Emily Rambaud’s newest EP, Romance.
What does it mean to be a Millenial and a classically-trained musician? Raised with the internet at our fingertips, around open-source ideas, and to embody some of the most progressive political and social values in history, we are classical musicians who are a unique product of our generation. Concretely, this translates into the ideas of collaboration, expansion, and genre-blending. Despite a lifetime of classical training, we do not close the door to collaboration with other genres, we thrive on it. Anything is allowed.
Brussels-based, we are a group of classically-trained strings who had continually crossed paths in projects spanning the poles from Bluegrass chop techniques, jazz improvisation, minimalism, baroque, theater, pop, symphonic orchestra to electronica. In a desire to funnel this passion for the classical, the non-classical and the collaborative, In Praise of Folly is a string quartet that offers a shared desire to bring the unique color of strings to a non-classical domain by supporting the unique worlds’ of pop artists. And at the same time, a drive to contribute to the world of classical music is the motivating factor for our work with young Millenial composers to create new, contemporary chamber music.
With over 100 years combined experience playing classical and non-classical music, we perform on stage and in the studio with independent, rock, and pop bands in Europe and beyond. While able to perform acoustically, we are also well-versed in performing using amplification, in-ear microphones or on clicks, reading traditional sheet music as well as chord charts and from memory. We can also provide backup vocals, some secondary instruments, and string arrangements.
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