Charlotte Maclet - Leslie Boulin Raulet - Sarah Chenaf - Juliette Salmona

The ensemble distinguished himself by its speech vitality of a thousand counterpoint and by the richness of its sound.» Fabienne Bouvet, Classica

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The Zaïde Quartet, a rare all-female quartet, has established itself as one of the leading chamber music ensembles in France and internationally. 

Winners of numerous international competitions (ARD, Beijing International Music competition, Charles Hennen, Banff, Bordeaux, Haydn...), the four musicians are regularly invited to perform in the most prestigious concert halls: Wigmore Hall of London, Berlin, Cologne and Paris Philharmonie, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Théâtre des Champs-Elysees, Konserthuset in Stockholm, Musikverein and Konzerthaus in Vienna, Jordan Hall in Boston, Merkin Hall in New York, Corea, Brésil, Hong Kong...

They learned from the best quartet Masters : Hatto Beyerle, Eberhard Felt and Johannes Meissl in their early days and later from Gábor Takács-Nagy, Gordan Nicoli? and Goran Gribajecvic.

After being entrusted with the artistic direction of the "Luberon International String Quartet Festival" for three years, they have now created since 2021, the "International String Quartet Academy", "ISQA" , an essential platform, where international quartets of all generations, from Masters to pre-professionals can exchange ideas and imagine new ways of approaching their discipline. 

Over the years, the Zaïde Quartet has forged close friendly and artistic ties with different composers. 
They created the 2nd string quartet of Francesca Verunelli. The quartet has also collaborated with the composer Cécile Buchet for the musical tale for quartet and narrator "Grande Bouche aux mille notes" and her string quartet "Les quatre éléments". They also collaborated with Bryce Dessner, whose quartet "Impermanence" was premiered at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw in 2021 and Suzanne Giraud with her string quartet "Impulse". 

They also have a special relationship with the NoMadMusic label and its artistic director Hannelore Guittet, who have been with them since their first recording project, and with whom they have signed their 7th album.

The quartet makes a point of not limiting itself to a specific repertoire, convinced that the music of the yesterday sheds light on the present and that one cannot understand music from the past without living in today's.

They play with prestigious partners, most recently with clarinettist Pierre Genisson, cellist Camille Thomas, pianists Lise de La Salle and Martha Argerich. They are currently touring with the singer Théophile Alexandre in the show No(s) Dames, a lively tribute to opera heroines.

The four artists are also keen to meet other styles of music, having collaborated in recent years with the great names of jazz : Marion Rampal, Gilles Apap, Michel Portal, Yaron Herman, and Pierre-François Blanchard. 

While preserving and defending the notions of rhetoric, articulation and polarity in music that were passed on to them by the famous quartet Masters, the four musicians of the Zaïde Quartet propose interpretations inspired by their "imaginary laboratory" : the relationship between sound and the body, the meditation, the Qi Gong, and the art of peaceful communication.

Since 2020, the Zaide Quartet is an "associated artist" of the Singer-Polignac Foundation.

Charlotte Maclet plays a J.-B. Vuillaume violin on loan from the Fondation Zilber Vatelot Rampal ; 
Leslie Boulin Raulet plays a Jacques Bocquet violin ; 
Sarah Chenaf plays an anonymous 17th century Italian harlequin viola ; 
Juliette Salmona plays a cello by Claude-Augustin Miremont.

First violin : Charlotte Maclet
Second violin : Leslie Boulin Raulet
Viola : Sarah Chenaf
Cello : Juliette Salmona

our name : Zaïde

It is always difficult to choose a name. One must grow up with it, get old with it, say it whenever one meets someone else and repeat it whilst articulating exaggeratedly when one cannot be understood. In the case of a string quartet, following a long and challenging struggle over it, once a name has finally been found one is forever having to explain the reasons for that choice. It is probably the name which finds you rather than the other way around, since, in our case, we all recognised ourselves immediately at the mention by one of us of Zaïde, Mozart’s unfinished Singspiel. Firstly, because of its immediate musical impact, as one hears a short, sharp sound, and, also, the fact that to a French person, the Z and the dieresis lend it an exotic note, and make one feel like travelling. And the name starts to resonate… Zaïde is the heroine of a drama and it follows that our quartet is the heart of the story that we are beginning to write together. The Singspiel genre (a popular version of operas), inspires us too. From the German “singen” meaning to sing, and “spielen” to play. Sing, because the voice is always a model for us and an ideal for any musician. It is the first of all instruments and probably the most expressive. Play, because in the world of classical music, also pompously called “serious” music, we notice that a professional artist’s interpretations often lack the simple and crucial element of music as play, in the sense of a child would understand it, from the latin word « jocus » meaning joke! Playing, “das Spiel”, before referring to a musician’s interpretation, means drama, and the pleasure of inhabiting another character. Which refers us back to words, to language which is the basis for eighteen century music, the century of Haydn and Mozart, the cradle of string quartets. Speaking is what we wish to do with our quartet and it is the first function of the genre: four people meeting to share a musical discussion among themselves and with an audience, with one single voice or several, in an infinite number of combinations. We find this far more rewarding than speaking alone. And then, close to Zaïde, we find Mozart. We could not have imagined better patronage than that of the Viennese rockstar: Mozart occupies a privileged place in the genesis of our discipline but, especially, he knows how to speak to everyone: his music reaches equally to the aristocrat, to the bourgeois or to the peasant. It speaks equally to the sentimental listener, to the intellectual, the novice or the specialist, to those from the age of the Enlightenment or to our contemporaries… And since Zaïde is an unfinished work, we cannot wait to pursue it…

videos & podcast

Quatuor Zaide - Beethoven op.18 n.3
Beethoven Grosse Fuge op.133
Bryce Dessner - Impermanence
Fanny Mendelssohn - Movement 4
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« While the Quatuor Zaïde are not HIP specialists, their approach to Haydn's music is utterly "authentic"; they do not "tone down their normal style" to fit the music, they simply get under Papa Haydn's skin and throw caution to the wind in getting all his energy and wit, as well as the depth and pathos, and conveying it all beautifully to their audience. »
« Throughout, there is a wonderful sense of discovery and exploration. This is excellent playing of music that should be better known. »


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