About us

The Matangi Quartet was founded in 1999 by four young musicians then studying at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague and the Conservatory of Rotterdam. In 2003 Matangi completed the two-year, full-time course at the Netherlands String Quartet Academy under the direction of Stefan Metz (cellist, Orlando Quartet). At the Academy, the Matangi Quartet had the opportunity to take lessons from international renowned musicians, including the members of the Amadeus Quartet. The quartet also received intensive mentoring from Henk Guittart (violist, Schönberg Quartet) for several years.

The Matangi Quartet has since developed into a regular performer in the Dutch chamber musicscene and abroad. With their impassioned playing and smart presentation, Maria-Paula, Daniel, Karsten and Arno epitomize a new generation of classical musicians. They are often characterized by words such as communicative, provocative and refreshingly versatile. The Matangi Quartet has shared the stage with various top-class classical musicians such as Miranda van Kralingen, Tania Kross, Ivo Janssen, Paolo Giacometti and Severin von Eckardstein. The quartet has also been invited to perform in various festivals, including the Delft Chamber Music Festival, the Aix-en-Provence Festival, the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, the Carthage Festival in Tunisia, the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai, the International Conservatoire Festival in St Petersburg and the North Sea Jazz festival in the Netherlands.

In 2002 Matangi was awarded the prestigious Kersjes van de Groenekan Award, an annual prize awarded to exceptional chamber music talent in the Netherlands. In 2008 the quartet won third prize at the International Joseph Joachim Chamber Music Competition in Weimar. The Matangi Quartet released several CDs issued by Challenge Records International which all received great critical acclaim. The latest releases were the CDs ‘Mendelssohn’ (2009), ‘Candybox’ (2010) and 'Haydn's Nature' (2013). Together with viola da gamba player Ralph Rousseau the quartet won the Edison Audience Award 2009, for their CD ‘Chansons d’amour’ (Challenge Records 2008). The CD ‘Testimoni’ with Martin Fondse (composition and vibrandoneon) and Eric Vloeimans (trumpet) was awarded the Edison Jazz prize 2012.

Matangi regularly participates in innovative crossover projects and has performed in collaboration with artists such as cabaretiers Herman van Veen and Youp van ’t Hek, bandoneon player Carel Kraayenhof, jazz trumpeter Eric Vloeimans, jazz pianist Michiel Braam, DJ Kypski, jazz vocalists Mathilde Santing and Renske Taminiau, singer songwriters Lori Liebermann and Tom McRae.These pioneering excursions beyond the borders of classical music have resulted in Matangi winning an enthusiastic new public for the string quartet. No less important, this has provided a source of inspiration for infusing performances of the rich classical repertoire built up over the past 250 years – from Haydn to Adès – with new élan. For essentially, the Matangi are focused on just one thing: letting the audience palpably experience the energy, passion and excitement that is inherent in all good music.

All four musicians perform on instruments of Dutch workmanship. The cello and first violin have been provided on loan by the Dutch National Musical Instrument Foundation.


Karsten Kleijer - Viola

Karsten Kleijer (1977) received his first violin lessons at the age of five. In 1999 he switched to viola. He is co-founder of the Matangi Quartet, which has had a stormy and international career since its founding. Although Karsten mainly focuses on the quartet, he is a welcome chamber music partner for other ensembles. Karsten is a substitute in various professional orchestras, including the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2017 Karsten gave the Dutch premiere of “Elegy” for viola solo by the Ukrainian composer Valentin Silvestrov, during the (Un)heard Music Festival. Karsten regularly receives invitations from festivals to give chamber music lessons. 

He received his own education at the conservatories of Groningen, Rotterdam and The Hague and the Dutch String Quartet Academy. 

The viola he plays is by the Dutch builder Jan Heefke and dates from 1774. The bow is by Lothar Seifert and the alto is strung with Evah Pirazzi strings.


Daniel Torrico - Violin

Daniel Torrico Menacho, a Dutch Bolivian, was 4 when he started playing the violin and won several awards at national and international competitions at an early age.

Daniel studied at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague and attended master classes with greats such as Herman Krebbers and Zakhar Bron.

Since its foundation in 1999, he is part of the Matangi Quartet with which he has collaborated and performs with several top artists concerts in Europe but also far beyond. He is also a beloved guest in various ensembles and orchestras and regularly performs on radio and television. Daniel Torrico Menacho has recorded several CDs with the quartet included those widely acclaimed by the domestic and foreign press.

Daniel plays a Rombouts violin with an A. Vigneron bow and uses Pirastro Evah Pirazzi strings.


Arno van der Vuurst - Cello

After a number of detours via the violin and the piano I came into contact with the cello at the age of 10, which was love at first sight. The beautiful bass and lilting sound of the instrument immediately appealed to me. Michiel de Ligt was the first basis for my cello career, after which I continued my lessons at the Conservatory of Utrecht with Lenian Benjamins. She gave me the solid basis to continue my studies with Fred Pot in The Hague at the Royal Conservatory. During that time I enjoyed playing in various ensembles and youth orchestras, where the ensemble playing in small and large form was nurtured. My ambition to play string quartet, which I see as the ultimate form of chamber music, I was able to realize at a professional level after my studies in the Matangi Quartet. In addition to the activities with the quartet, I also enjoy playing in orchestras, where I am challenged to use other skills.

Thanks to the National Musical Instruments Foundation I can play a beautiful cello. A cello with a carrying bass and singing top spectrum. This cello was made by Jaap Bolink in 2005.

String setup: A and D string - Larsen Soloist's Edition (medium) | G and C string - Thomastik Spirocore Tungsten Wound (medium)


Maria-Paula Majoor - Violin

Dancing and making music at the same time, that is what playing the violin is to Maria-Paula Majoor. When she started at the age of five, she especially liked the movements of a violinist. Now, as a professional violinist, while playing a rhythm or melody, she still feels the magic like being able to "dance" on it at the same time. 

Maria-Paula is a violin teacher at the ArtEZ conservatory in Zwolle. She studied at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague and the Musikhochschule Freiburg. She continued her studies at the Dutch String Quartet Academy under the direction of Stefan Metz and was taught by internationally renowned musicians, including members of the Amadeus Quartet.

Playing with Matangi feels like coming home to Maria-Paula. Since 1999 she has played as a primarius together with Daniel Torrico Menacho, Arno van der Vuurst and Karsten Kleijer. "Just one look or a small gesture is enough to understand each other." In addition to her work with the Matangi Quartet, she plays with various ensembles, orchestras and instrumentalists.

Maria-Paula plays on a Hendrik Jacobs violin made available to her by the
National Musical Instrument Foundation. Her bow was built by Kees van Hemert.

The strings she prefers to use are Pirastro Evah Pirazzi for the A, D and G strings. For the E-string she uses Lenzner Optima Goldbrokat.