A singularly unique ensemble, the Rastrelli Cello Quartet has been thrilling audiences with their renderings of non-traditional programming since 2002. Kira Kraftzoff (founder and artistic director), Kirill Timofeev, Misha Degtjareff and Sergio Drabkin formed the ensemble with a mission to perform music “between the genres.” Their widely varied programs comfortably mix works by Bach, Saint-Saëns and Tchaikovsky with that of George Gershwin, Dave Brubeck and Leroy Anderson. The name of the quartet is taken from the 18th century architect Bartholomew Rastrelli, who designed the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Russia, the home city of three of the four Quartet members.
The quartet has performed in many of Europe’s great concert halls, including the Gasteig in Munich, Berlin Philharmony, Konzerthaus Vienna, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, St. Petersburg’s Philharmonic Hall, Bulgaria Hall Sofia, the Liederhalle Stuttgart, Leiszhall Hamburg and Mariinsky Theater St. Petersburg.
The Rastrelli Quartet currently has seven recordings on the Solo Musica, TonArt, Manchester, and Genuin labels. In 2009, the Rastrelli Quartet’s CD Cello in Classic was nominated for a Russian Grammy and was given a second prize award.