The four gentlemen of the Rastrelli Cello Quartet began working together in 2002 and have devoted themselves ever since to exploring and experiencing the cello’s world of sound. They are committed to tradition, but completely uncoupled from the conventional approach, which only serves as a solid foundation. Since then, the ensemble has built up a unique and broad repertoire, the likes of which can’t be found anywhere else. The very personal bond that the quartet has with its home city of St. Petersburg is manifest through the name they chose for their ensemble, inspired by the 18th century architect responsible for a number of prominent historical buildings in St. Petersburg. Bartholomeo Rastrelli shaped the image of the city in northern Russia like no other. The Rastrelli repertoire consists almost exclusively of arrangements by Sergio Drabkin, one of the quartet’s founding members. Under the artistic direction of the charismatic virtuoso, Kira Kraftzoff, Drabkin’s refined compositions lead the quartet on a journey through an individual and often unexpected musical landscape. Each of the gentlemen contributes his unique character, experiences and perspectives to the overall picture, and so two of the artistic director’s former students, Mischa Degtjareff and Kirill Timofeev, also members since 2002, contribute to the quartets ongoing success. The four Rastrelli cellists only perform music that they themselves love—that’s a matter of absolute conviction when it comes to putting together their programs. The quartet usually treats its audience with a mixture of arrangements of chamber music works, orchestral classics, and standards of cello literature, as well as popular music, jazz, klezmer, or tango.