Engegårdkvartetten is a popular Norwegian string quartet known for its incisive interpretations of the cornerstones of the standard quartet repertory, as well as works by both well-known and little-known Norwegian composers. Engegårdkvartetten (often billed as the Engegård Quartet in English-speaking countries) has toured heavily throughout Scandinavia, Europe, and the U.K., and has made several recordings.
Engegårdkvartetten was founded in Lofoten, Norway, in 2006 by violinist Arvid Engegård. Violinist Alte Sponberg, violist Juliet Jopling, and cellist Jan-Erik Gustafsson were the other original members of the ensemble. The group made their official debut at the 2006 Lofoten International Chamber Music Festival, an annual event for which Engegård serves as artistic director. Engegårdkvartetten had immediate success, and its first recording was issued in 2008, a 2L release of quartets by Haydn, Grieg, and Solberg. The quartet often programs a mixture of compositions on concert bills and recordings, a potpourri wherein the likes of Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, and Schubert share the limelight with Grieg, Leif Solberg, Catharinus Elling, and Arne Nordheim. Tours throughout Scandinavia and Europe helped solidify the group's reputation, and a second release followed in 2010, containing works by Beethoven, Bartók, and Nordheim. Critics hailed the recording and generally found the seating arrangement — different for each of the three works on the disc — a positive feature. This seating arrangement is an unusual feature of the group, which often has the first and second violins separated by viola and cello, or by cello and then viola.