The Athenaeum Quartet of Mannheim is linked through its work to the classical tradition of string quartet playing. It views the teamwork of four gifted musicians as the ultimate form of music making. All the members of the quartet are able, so the German newspaper Die Rheinpfalz from Ludwigshafen/Germany recently wrote, “to accommodate themselves ideally to their self imposed high demands, through their many years of experience in music making”.
The extensive repertoire of the quartet includes rarities of the 20th century, among which are works of the Israeli composers Paul Ben-Haim and Mordecai Seter. Numerous performances in Germany, France, The Netherlands and Croatia earned enthusiastic responses from the public and the press.
“The Athenaeum Quartet excited the public with its virtuosic music making, carrying the audience along with its fantastic performances”. (The Netherlands)
“The Athenaeum Quartet of Mannheim plays music at the highest standard”. (Germany)
“Athenaeum Quartet is playful musical pleasures to the highest degree”. (France)
“Warmth and sophistication of tone impress as much as the perfect balance of melodic runs and the finely shaped transitions”. (Germany)
“The high quality of the four artists and the total harmony of their playing together”. (Croatia)
“Highly tensioned energies were developed by the Athenaeum Quartet; powerful emotions have been fired with perfect technique”. (Germany)
“Athenaeum Quartet’s interpretation stretched from the most delicate pianissimo to a truly symphonic full tone” Germany
Andrei Rosianu was born in Bucharest, Romania. He had his first violin lessons at the age of four. At the age of five, he was admitted to the “George Enescu” Music High School and he made his debut as soloist with orchestra at the age of ten; at eleven, under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Octavian Ratiu, he won the 1st prize at the National Violin Competition and a year later the prize of the Association of Romanian Composers. A recital in Germany, at the age of 12, was his debut abroad. At 15, he won a scholarship for further education in Interlochen/Michigan, USA. Here too he gave many recitals and appeared in many concerts, one of which was broadcast “coast to coast” and led to his first LP recording.
Rosianu rounded off his education in 1979 with the highest distinction in violin and piano and continued his studies at the Music Academy of Bucharest with Professor Stefan Gheorghiu. He passed his final exam in 1983 with “cum laude”.
In 1979, Rosianu founded the “George Enescu” String Quartet, which he led as 1st Violin. Andrei Rosianu has been successful in numerous national and international competitions and won prestigious prizes in Poland (Chamber Music Competition), East Germany (J. S. Bach Violin Competition, Leipzig), France (Chamber Music Competition, Colmar), Romania (National Chamber Competition, National Violin Competition) and Switzerland (Radio Suisse Romande Prize, Tibor Varga Violin Competition).
In 1987, Rosianu became co-leader of the Aachen City Orchestra; in 1992, the Lübeck Philharmonic Orchestra engaged him as 1st orchestra leader.
Since the beginning of 1995 Andrei Rosianu is 1st leader of the Mannheim National Theatre Orchestra. In 1996 he founded in Mannheim the “Athenaeum Quartet” and 1998 the “Mannheim Soloists” which he leads both as 1st leader and conductor and with whom he works on very ambitious and rarely performed works.
Rosianu has given numerous concerts as a soloist and with his chamber ensembles in Belgium, Croatia, France, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovenia, Switzerland, and the USA and has made recordings for radio and television. Andrei Rosianu also gave Master classes in Germany, Romania and USA.
Burchard Pawassar, born in 1956 in Hamburg, began his violin studies as a schoolboy in Lübeck. This made it possible for him to take part in summer music courses in Schleswig-Holstein and enabled him, in 1974, to win the second prize at the “Jugend musiziert” Competition. After his final school examination he studied with Thomas Brandis at the Hamburg and Berlin Conservatories. During his studies Pawassar continuously played chamber music in various ensembles and participated in an internship program with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra while he was a member of the Young German Philharmonic. Afterwards he took his state examination in Music Education. His studies were sponsored by the German People’s Study Foundation.
After being the 1st leader of the second violin section of the Heidelberg Philharmonic Orchestra for four years, Pawassar was appointed to the National Theatre Orchestra of Mannheim as 2nd leader of the second violin section.
Kresimir Skansi was born in 1945 in Dubrovnik, Croatia, where, at the age of four, under the supervision of Professor Gino Sagrestano, he received his first piano and violin lessons. In 1962, after finishing his viola studies, Skansi became leader of the viola section in the Dubrovnik Municipal Orchestra. In 1971 he was invited by the Munich Symphony Orchestra to take up the same position. Aside from his orchestral work, Skansi attended a master-class with Professor Georg Schmidt in Munich. Since 1981 Kresimir Skansi has been a member of the National Theatre Orchestra of Mannheim. He is active in various chamber music ensembles at home and abroad (Germany, Italy, Croatia, Japan, South America, USA) and was a member of the Academy Quartet of Mannheim for many years.
To encourage chamber music activities among the National Theatre Orchestra members, he initiated the “Chamber Music Matinée” concert series at the Mannheim National Theatre.
Eric Trumpler was born in 1959 in Georgia, USA. At the age of eight he received his first cello lessons. As a child he had great enthusiasm for chamber music. Every summer he went to chamber music camps in New England, among them Kneisel Hall in Blue Hill, Maine, where he took chamber music classes with Arthur Balsam, Roman Totenberg and James Buswell. As a youth Trumpler won many regional competitions in Connecticut, USA, among them the Hartford Symphony Competition of 1976 and was a finalist at the National MTNA (Music Teachers National Association) Competition in 1977 in Atlanta. After his studies with Leslie Parnas at Boston University this native of America found himself drawn to Germany, the home of his grandparents. Here he studied from 1982 to 1984 with Wolfgang Boettcher at the Academy of Arts in Berlin. In 1982 he attended a cello master class with Maurice Gendron. As a chamber musician, he has toured Europe, South America, and the United States.
Eric Trumpler has been since 1984 a member of the Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz in Ludwigshafen/Germany.