List of string quartet composers

Born before 1800

  • Giovanni Battista Sammartini (ca. 1700–1775): wrote several quartets though as with many early works for the medium some of these could be played equally by a small string orchestra.
  • Christian Cannabich (1731–1798): six string quartets Op. 5 (about 1780).
  • Joseph Haydn (1732–1809): wrote sixty-eight string quartets (some of which he called Divertimenti), the last incomplete, plus Die Sieben letzten Worte unseres Erlösers am Kreuze (The Seven Last Words of Christ on the Cross), a sequence of eight slow movements plus a brief, rapid, finale (originally written for orchestra, but probably better known in its version for string quartet).
  • François Joseph Gossec (1734–1829): twelve string quartets: Op. 14 (1770) and Op. 15 (1772) http://www.mdt.co.uk/MDTSite/product//ALPHA025.htm
  • Jan Křtitel Vaňhal / Johann Baptist Vanhal (1739–1813): over seventy string quartets. (http://haydn.dk/mhc_vanhal.php)
  • Václav Pichl (1741–1805): wrote over thirty quartets; he was one of the founders of the Vienna Violin School.
  • Roman Hoffstetter (1742–1815): an Austrian monk and composer, now supposed to have composed the six string quartets known as Haydn's Op. 3, including the well-known 'Serenade Quartet'.
  • Luigi Boccherini (1743–1805): A prolific composer in most chamber music genres, Boccherini wrote ninety-one string quartets — he also wrote many string quintets.
  • Giuseppe Cambini (1746–1825): wrote 149 string quartets and 30 quartets d'airs variés (http://www.lexnet.dk/quartets/c-quarte.htm) (many of which exist also in versions with winds. Alfred Einstein suggests that Mozart's fourth flute quartet, in his opinion a satirical work, may have been in part a comment on their popularity.)
  • Bartolomeo Campagnoli (1751–1827): wrote six string quartets.
  • Franz Anton Hoffmeister (1754–1812): fifty string quartets (plus seven for vn, 2va, vc) (source: Grove online).
  • Giovanni Battista Viotti (1755–1824): seventeen string quartets.
  • Franz Grill (1756?–1792): nine string quartets.
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–1791): wrote twenty-three string quartets, including the six so-called Haydn Quartets (1782–85), generally reckoned to be his best.
  • Joseph Martin Kraus (1756–1792): wrote altogether 16 string quartets (6 Goetingen quartets are lost). See also his Flute quintet in D major.
  • Pavel Wranitzky (1756–1808): wrote seventy-three string quartets which, at their best (the six quartets of Op. 16, the three of Op. 23), are second only to Haydn and the mature Mozart in quality.
  • Alessandro Rolla (1757–1841): ten string quartets: three as Op. 2, three as Op. 5, and four others (source: Grove).
  • Franz Krommer / František Kramář (1759–1831): wrote approximately 100 string quartets, many of which were very popular in early 19th century Vienna, and were compared positively to Beethoven's quartets.
  • Luigi Cherubini (1760–1842): wrote six string quartets (1814–1837).
  • Antonín Vranický / Anton Wranitzky (1761–1820): wrote 30 quartets. A founder of the Vienna "violin school" and major virtuoso, he was the teacher of Ignaz Schuppanzigh and leader of the Lobkowitz Orchestra.
  • Adalbert Gyrowetz / Vojtěch Matyáš Jírovec (1763–1850): friend of Mozart, wrote at least forty-two string quartets (Grove), possibly more than fifty (Hyperion CD notes).
  • Joseph Leopold Eybler (1765–1846): friend of Mozart, pupil of Albrechtsberger (who declared him to be the greatest musical genius in Vienna apart from Mozart) and a protégé of Josef Haydn. Three string quartets, Op. 1, available on CD, written at the age of 22 in 1787 (published in 1794.)
  • Samuel Wesley (1766–1837): at least one quartet (in E, written around 1810. http://www.musicweb-international.com/Redcliffe/wesley.htm)
  • Bernhard Romberg (1767–1841): wrote 11 complete string quartets, two sets of three quartets each Op. 1 & 25, and single quartets Opp. 12, 37, 39, 59, 60.[1]
  • Andreas Romberg (1767–1821): wrote 29 complete string quartets, three quartets each in Opp. 1, 2, 5, 7, 16, 30, 53, 59 and 76, a single quartet, Op. 40, including a "quatuor brilliant", Op. 11. He also wrote three rondos for string quartet, Op. 34.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827): wrote sixteen quartets widely regarded as among the finest quartets by any composer. The Große Fuge was originally composed as the last movement of Op. 130, but was subsequently published as a separate work.
  • Johan Hoffmann (1770–1815): two quartets (in D major and F major). (http://www.lexnet.dk/quartets/h-quarte.htm, this link also for Hoffmann).
  • Peter Hänsel (1770–1831): wrote at least ten quartets.
  • Antonín Rejcha / Anton Reicha (1770–1836): wrote at least thirty-seven string quartets (14 of them newly-discovered), of which the ten Vienna quartets (1801-6) are the most important. Though largely ignored since Reicha's lifetime, they were highly influential works. Groups in Europe have begun programming Reicha's quartets, and first modern editions and first recordings are now in the works. 1
  • Ján Josef Rösler (1771–1813): Three String Quartets, Op. 6
  • Antal György Csermák (c.1774–1822): wrote a quartet Die drohende Gefahr.
  • Hyacinthe Jadin (1776–1800): twelve string quartets in four opera, Opp. 1, 2, 3, 4, all in four movements except Op. 4, No. 1. Modeled on Haydn & Mozart; pre-romantic. [2]
  • Joseph Küffner (1776–1856): at least five string quartets (Op. 41 nos. 1-3, Op. 52, Op. 178)[3]
  • Johann Nepomuk Hummel (1778–1837): wrote three string quartets, Op. 30, No. 1 in C major; Op. 30, No. 2 in G major and Op. 30, No. 3 in E major (all ca.1808).
  • Niccolò Paganini (1782–1840): fifteen string quartets for violin, viola, guitar and cello, as well as three traditional string quartets.
  • George Onslow (1784–1853): thirty-six quartets written between 1810 and 1845.
  • Louis Spohr (1784–1859): known as Ludwig in his native Germany, Spohr wrote thirty-six string quartets and four double quartets (for two string quartets).
  • Alexander Alyabyev (1787–1851): wrote at least two string quartets, plus one incomplete (see this concert notice)
  • Anselm Hüttenbrenner (1794–1868): wrote two string quartets (E major 1816, C minor 1847)
  • Franz Berwald (1796–1868): Swedish composer, wrote three string quartets, No. 1 in G minor (1818), No. 2 in A minor (1849), and No. 3 in E major (1849).
  • Gaetano Donizetti (1797–1848): Much better known for his operas, Donizetti also wrote eighteen string quartets, the first sixteen between 1817 and 1821 (mostly 'scholastic works', though the fifth is his most performed), the seventeenth in 1825 and the last in 1836.
  • Franz Schubert (1797–1828): traditionally reckoned to have written fifteen string quartets. The Death and the Maiden and Rosamunde quartets are particularly well known.

Born 1801–1850

  • Johannes Bernardus van Bree (1801–1857): three string quartets
  • John Lodge Ellerton (1801–1873): about 50 string quartets?
  • Jan Kalivoda (1801–1866): three string quartets
  • Bernhard Molique (1802–1869): eight string quartets
  • Franz Lachner (1803–1890): at least six quartets (No. 1 in B minor, Op. 75, No. 2 in A major, Op. 76, No. 4 in D minor, Op. 120, No. 5 in G major, Op. 169, No. 6 in E minor, Op. 173)
  • Mikhail Glinka (1804–1857): After attempting to compose a quartet in 1824 (a work that remained incomplete), Glinka wrote his only finished string quartet in 1830. While this piece is now seldom performed, it and its incomplete predecessor are notable as among the first attempts by a native Russian composer to work in this genre.
    • String Quartet in F major (1830)
  • Johan Peter Emilius Hartmann (1805–1900): three string quartets (http://www.lexnet.dk/quartets/h-quarte.htm)
  • Fanny Mendelssohn (1805–1847): A string quartet in E (1834)
  • Juan Crisóstomo Arriaga (1806–1826): Early 19th century Spanish composer, born on Mozart's 50th birthday. Wrote three brilliant quartets (ca.1824) before his abrupt death at age 19: No. 1 in D minor; No. 2 in A major; No. 3 in E major
  • Vaclav Veit (1806–1864): Early Romantic Czech composer, a major influence on Smetana, wrote four string quartets and five string quintets.
  • Ignaz Lachner (1807–1895): wrote eight quartets (http://www.recordsinternational.com/RICatalogFeb98.html- Op. 43 in F; Op. 54 in C; Op. 74 in A; Op. 104 in G; Op. 105 in A minor; Op. 106 in C for 3 violins and viola; Op. 107 in G for four violins; in B Op. posth.)
  • Felix Mendelssohn (1809–1847): wrote six numbered string quartets: Op. 12 (1829), Op. 13 (1827), Op. 44 (three quartets, 1838), and Op. 80 (1847); an early unnumbered string quartet in E major (1823); Four Pieces ("Andante", "Scherzo", "Capriccio", "Fugue") for string quartet, Op. 81 (1847); a set of 15 fugues for string quartet, written when Mendelssohn was twelve (!); and another fugue (in E major) for string quartet, written at age eighteen. Mendelssohn's early quartet music shows a remarkable mastery of (and dependence upon) the formal procedures of Beethoven's late quartets, but with a highly original transformation of their expressive significance.
  • Norbert Burgmüller (1810–1836): four elegant string quartets: Op. 4 in D minor, Op. 7 in D minor, Op. 9 in A major, and Op. 14 in A minor.
  • Robert Schumann (1810–1856): wrote three string quartets (Op. 41), not among his better known works
  • Giuseppe Verdi (1813–1901): one string quartet, in E minor (1873)
  • Robert Volkmann (1815–1883): six string quartets
  • Niels Gade (1817–1890) : one published quartet (D major, Op. 63) and suppressed quartets in F major, F minor and E minor
  • Stanisław Moniuszko (1819–1872) : two string quartets (D minor, F major)
  • Henri Vieuxtemps (1820–1881): three string quartets (in E minor, Op. 44, in C major, Op. 51, in B, Op. 52 — the latter two published posthumously)
  • Friedrich Kiel (1821–1885): two string quartets (Op. 53, in A minor and E) and waltzes Op. 78
  • Emilie Mayer (1821–1883): a string quartet in G minor, Op. 14
  • César Franck (1822–1890): wrote one string quartet (1889)
  • Joachim Raff (1822–1882): wrote eight string quartets (1855 to 1876)
  • Anton Bruckner (1824–1896): wrote one string quartet (1862)
  • Carl Reinecke (1824–1910): wrote four string quartets (Op. 16 in E in 1842, Op. 30 in F around 1851, Op. 132 in C around 1874, Op. 211 in D)
  • Bedřich Smetana (1824–1884): two string quartets, No. 1 in E minor From my Life; and No. 2 in D minor, with the first being the better known
  • Woldemar Bargiel (1828–1897): four string quartets (including No. 3, Op. 15b in A minor and No. 4, Op. 47 in D minor)
  • Anton Rubinstein (1829–1894): ten string quartets spread throughout his life
  • Karl Goldmark (1830–1915): Goldmark's only string quartet was his "breakthrough" work, his first composition to receive very positive reviews in contemporary Viennese musical journals. Long neglected, it was recorded several times in the 1990s as part of a general revival of interest in Goldmark's chamber music.
    • String Quartet in B major, Op. 8 (1860)
  • Alexander Borodin (1833–1887): two string quartets: No. 1 in A (1879) and No. 2 in D (1881), of which the second is the better known, and whose second Scherzo and Notturno third movement have been "borrowed" for musicals (Kismet)
  • Johannes Brahms (1833–1897): wrote three string quartets, the first two in 1879 and the final one in 1881
  • Felix Draeseke (1835–1913): wrote three string quartets between 1880 and 1895
  • Camille Saint-Saëns (1835–1921): two string quartets: Op. 112 (1889) and Op. 153 (1918)
  • Joseph Wieniawski (1837–1912): at least one quartet, in A minor, Op. 32
  • Max Bruch (1838–1920): two string quartets, from his student days or a little after, Op. 9 in C minor (1858/9) and Op. 10 in E major (1860)
  • Friedrich Gernsheim (1839–1916): five string quartets (No. 1 in C minor, Op. 25 (ca. 1872); No. 2 in A minor, Op. 31 (1875); No. 3 in F major, Op. 51 (1886); No. 4 in E minor, Op. 66; No. 5 in A major, Op. 83 (ca. 1911))
  • Josef Rheinberger (1839–1901): two string quartets, in C minor, Op. 89 and F major, Op. 147
  • Hermann Goetz (1840–1876): one string quartet in B (1865-66)
  • Johan Svendsen (1840–1911): one string quartet, his Op. 1
  • Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840–1893): three string quartets: No. 1 in D, Op. 11 (1871); No. 2 in F, Op. 22 (1873); and No. 3 in E minor, Op. 30 (1876), of which the first is the best-known, especially the Andante cantabile second movemment which has been recorded many times with full orchestra
  • Elfrida Andrée (1841–1929): wrote one string quartet in D minor (http://www.camerata.art.pl/repertuar.en.html) and another in A major (published in 2000)
  • Antonín Dvořák (1841–1904): wrote fourteen string quartets, with number twelve, the American, the best known
  • Giovanni Sgambati (1841–1914): wrote a string quartet in D major, his Op. 17 (1882)
  • Ján Levoslav Bella (1843–1936): wrote three string quartets, in E minor (1871), C minor (1880) and B minor (1887)
  • Edvard Grieg (1843–1907): wrote two string quartets, the second being unfinished
  • Heinrich von Herzogenberg (1843–1900): wrote five string quartets (1876–1890)
  • Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (1844–1908): better known for his orchestral suites, he also wrote three complete string quartets, two single movements and three other pieces for string quartet
  • Gabriel Fauré (1845–1924): one string quartet, in E minor, Op. 121 (1924)
  • Robert Fuchs (1847–1927): four string quartets: No. 1 in E, Op. 58 (1895); No. 2 in A minor, Op. 62 (1899); No. 3 in C, Op. 71 (1903); No. 4 in A, Op. 106 (1916)
  • August Klughardt (1847–1902): two string quartets (in F, Op. 42 and in D, Op. 61)
  • Sir Alexander MacKenzie (1847–1935): one string quartet in G (1868)
  • Hubert Parry (1848–1918): three string quartets
  • Zdeněk Fibich (1850–1900): wrote two string quartets (A major, 1874, G major, 1878) and a set of variations for quartet (B, 1883) according to Orfeo CD label
  • Antonio Scontrino (1850–1922): wrote four string quartets (A minor, G minor, F major, C major) and a movement for string quartet
  • Alexander Taneyev (1850–1918): three string quartets: No. 1 in G major, Op. 25; No. 2 in C major, Op. 28; and No. 3 in A major, Op. 30 (source: Olympia CD notes)

Born 1851–1900