The Quarteto da Cidade (City Quarted) was another great initiative by Mário de Andrade, consummated in 1935. At first, it was called the Haydn Quartet and would seek to disseminate the genre of chamber music and stimulate local composers to diversify their repertoires. The group changed its name to Quarteto de Cordas Municipal (Municipal String Quartet) in 1944, and only in 1981 it was officialised as Quarteto de Cordas da Cidade de São Paulo (City of São Paulo’s String Quartet).
The current formation includes violinists Betina Stegmann and Nelson Rios, the violist Marcelo Jaffé and the cellist Rafael Cesario, all of them carrying both an intense history at the Brazilian music scene and international praise, also standing out for their performances at concerts, recitals and pedagogic activities.
The Quartet performs frequently in Brazil and abroad, in international events such as the Frankfurt Book Fair (Germany), the Music Festival of Saragoza (Spain) and the International Music Festival of Morelia (Mexico). Nationally, beyond taking part in festivals and courses, the four musicians develop projects to empower young instrumentalists.
When the audience is the star, the Quartet favours concerts with commentary, in which they perform a wide eclectic repertoire that ranges from classic to vanguard, with the intention of broadening the audience’s contact with each and every composing trends and techniques.
Our String Quartet has been awarded the Best Chamber Music Ensemble (by the APCA) seven times, and the Carlos Gomes Prize three times.
Born in Buenos Aires, Betina Stegmann learned to play the violin in São Paulo, first with Lola Benda and then with Erich Lehninger. She got her diploma from the Cologne University of Music, where she took violin classes with Igor Ozim. Thereupon, her education continued in Tel Aviv, Israel, under the guidance of Chaim Taub. Later, Stegmann took courses run by Pinchas Zukerman and Max Rostal. Former member of Quinteto D’Elas, where she got a Carlos Gomes Prize in 1998 for chamber music, she is now a spalla at the Chamber Orchestra Villa-Lobos and a violin professor at the School of Cantareira. As a recitalist and soloist, Betina performed in different cities in Brazil, Argentina, Italy, Germany, United States and Belgium. She also recorded for the German radio WDR and the Italian radio RAI – Trieste, where she debuted new pieces from contemporary composers.
Under the orientation of Maria Lúcia Zagatto and later of Elisa Fukuda, Nelson Rios studied at the Piracicaba School of Music. He took part in some of the main music festivals in Brazil (Campos do Jordão, Brasília, Londrina and Curitiba) and in Mendoza, Argentina. Music graduate by the Mozarteum School, he also hoards an education in food engineering at the State University of Campinas (Unicamp). With a VITAE Foundation scholarship, Rios got to study at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, USA, back in 1996. He was a member of the Paraíba Symphony Orchestra, the Blumenau Chamber Orchestra and the São Paulo’s State Jazz Symphony Orchestra, among many others. As a professor, he instructed at the Municipal School of Music and throughout important music festivals in Brazil and abroad. Presently, Nelson Rios plays at the Chamber Orchestra Villa-Lobos and the Symphony Orchestra at USP (University of São Paulo).
When he was only six, Jaffé studied violin with his father Alberto. In 1977, at the age of 14, he started playing the viola and, at that same year, he went on to win the main prize at the National Contest of the University of Brasília. After perfecting his talents at the University of Illinois and the Tanglewood Music Center, in the United States, he performed in many countries as a part of acclaimed chamber orchestra ensembles. Marcelo Jaffé has also acted as a maestro for the Kamerata Philarmonia and an artistic director for the São Paulo’s State Jazz Symphony Orchestra. Currently, he teaches the viola at the School of Communication and Arts at the University of São Paulo and works as a radio and TV host at Rede Cultura.
Rafael Cesario has a masters degree at the University of São Paulo, and a diploma of Perfertionnement at the Conservatoire départemental du Val de Biévre (France), in Romain Garioud’s class. He has also had Eduardo Bello, Antonio Meneses, Alisa Weiterstein, Peter Szabo, Dennis Parker, Pieter Wispelwey, Sol Gabetta and others as professors. As a soloist, he played with the Theatro São Pedro Orchestra, the Symphony Orchestra of São José dos Campos, and the Camareta Fukuda. As a chamber musician, he performed alongside Lorenz Nasturica, Mathieu Dufour and Andreas Wittmann, from the Berlin Philharmonic. Cesario was a professor at the Festival Internacional Violin Festspiele Brazil, where he performed solos with the Paraná Symphony Orchestra, under the conduction of Henrik Schaefer. He is now a professor at the Baccarelli Institute, a member of the São Paulo’s City String Quartet, as well as a regular performer alongide Cristian Budu, Yuri Pingo, Sonia Rubinsky, Leandro Roverso and Marcos Aragone.