Damask, a vocal quartet based in the Netherlands, unites four musicians of five nationalities: American-Dutch soprano Katharine Dain, French mezzo-soprano Marine Fribourg, English tenor Guy Cutting, and Canadian baritone Drew Santini. Since 2014, Damask has been giving voice to the stunning but neglected repertoire for vocal quartet, from the piano-accompanied chamber works of Schubert, Schumann, Brahms and Haydn to music of the 20th and 21st centuries (a cappella and with various instruments) by Milhaud, Messiaen, Stravinsky, Schönberg, Ned Rorem, and David Lang, among others.
In late 2018 Damask will release its first full album, titled "O Schöne Nacht," featuring luscious 19th-century quartets of Brahms, Herzogenberg, and Jenner recorded with pianist Flore Merlin on a Streicher piano original to the period. The recording is a collaboration with award-winning producer Frerik de Jong of 7 Mountain Records.
The name Damask refers to a luxurious woven textile motif developed in 14th-century Damascus (now present-day Syria), a vibrant meeting point of several major international trade routes where materials, ideas, cultures, and art/design practices were freely exchanged. The resulting damask motif, still in use today, is a fitting metaphor for the ensemble, which weaves together different repertoires, cultural traditions, and musical personalities into a strong and beautiful whole.
We are so excited to announce that this fall, our first full album will be released: O Schöne Nacht, a recording of Brahms and contemporaries on 7 Mountain Records. A dedicated project page is coming soon; in the meantime, please visit our page on Voordekunst to help us get over the finish line!