The Havana String Quartet (HSQ) has won two important awards which demonstrate that it is one of the most active and prestigious chamber groups in the history of Cuban and Latin American music: The Best Chamber Music Album at the CUBADISCO Festival in Havana, 2010 and the Latin Grammy 2010 for Best Classical Music Album. Both awards were won with the recording of Leo Brouwer´s Complete String Quartets.
The HSQ has also obtained The Interpretative Master Award in the Chamber Music Festival in Havana, 1987.
The members of the HSQ are HOANG LINH CHI (1st. Violín), EUGENIO VALDÉS (2nd violín), JORGE HERNÁNDEZ (viola) and DEBORAH YAMAK (cello).
The HSQ was founded in 1980 on the initiative of Leo Brouwer with its main purpose being to promote Latin American chamber music and disseminate international contemporary literature.
The HSQ is known for its unique repertoire and its accomplishments in a wide range of musical styles. Its concerts with Leo Brouwer, Elliot Fisk, Pepe Romero, Javier Perianes, Orlando “Cachaito” López, Cheikh Lo, Ibrahim Ferrer, Buena Vista Social Club, Magic Malik, “El Pele”, Miguel “Angá” Díaz y Pee Wee Ellis, confirm their mastery of interpretation.
The HSQ has performed in important concert halls all over the world: The Colon Theater in Buenos Aires, The Fine Arts Palace in Mexico City, The Great Theater in Havana, Cuba, La Maestranza in Seville, Juan March Foundation in Madrid, The Conservatory Hall in Bern, Austria, Izbreker Hall in Amsterdam, The Bulgaria Hall in Sofía, The Royal Festival Hall in London, Rachmaninov Hall of the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow, and others.
The HSQ has also participated in many festivals such as The International Festival “Spaziomusica” in Sardinia, The Young Musicians Festival in Montevideo, The Great Festival in México City, Expo ‘92 in Seville, The Cuban Culture Congress in Spain, The Latin American Music Week in Madrid, The 6th Contemporary Music Series in Málaga, The “Pyonyang Spring” International Festival, The Guitar Festival in Córdoba, The International Festival of Contemporary Music in Alicante, the Bilbao Festival and others.
Music critics have spared no praise to the Havana String Quartet: “The Quartet triumphed legitimately with Mozart, Ravel and Borodin” (N. Cabrera Clarin newspaper, Argentina); “Solid tuning, technical confidence and perfect balance were displayed by HSQ” (G. Piras, La Nuova, Italy); “The HSQ proved its excellence with a fine interpretation of the Latin-American composition” (G. Ochoa, El Sol de México newspaper); “One has to underline the work of the Havana String Quartet in a score of great difficulty” (E. Franco, El País newspaper, Spain); “A model session was played by the magnificent HSQ”( J. Hontañón, Scherzo, Spain); “The performers showed a wide sonorous spectrum from ample to percussive tones” ( Bund newspaper, Switzerland), “Brouwer´s work blossomed in a passionate and confident performance” (J. Oskamp, Volkskrant newspaper, Holland); “An extraordinary and intense performance”( P.J. Vayón, Diario de Sevilla newspaper, Spain); “HSQ dazzled the public with its virtuosity in Rachmaninov Hall of the Moscow Conservatory” (J. Petinaud, Prensa Latina.Russia); “This Grammy-winning album should undoubtedly put Cuba on the classical music map more firmly, with excellent performances from the HSQ” (V. Vasan, Allmusic.com, USA); “The playing of HSQ is exemplary” (D. DeBoor Canfiel, Fanfare Magazine, USA); “HSQ: …ensemble of superb players…” (J. Dubins, Fanfare Magazine, USA).
The Havana String Quartet´s wide repertoire includes Haydn, Mozart, Dvorak o Ravel, Toon de Leeuw, I. Lang , Webern, Barce o Villa-Rojo. Nevertheless, the group’s natural preferences are dedicated to Latin American composers such as Revueltas, Ginastera, Villa-Lobos, Manuel Enríquez, Garrido-Leca and Brouwer.
The HSQ, integrated the Orchestra of Cordoba in Spain since 1992 , has toured and recorded for radio and TV in Cuba , Mexico , Argentina , Uruguay , Italy, Spain , Holland, Switzerland , DPR Korea , England and the United States. They have recorded CDs for the Cuban label EGREM , for the Spanish label SGAE / author and the American label ZOHO MUSIC.