We were all born in different cities in Lithuania – Kaunas, Klaipėda and Ukmergė. Our life stories and personalities might be different but one thing connected us: at some point we all fell in love with music. The quartet began during 2012 in the Lithuanian Music Academy when we, four guys, decided to start a new group. We felt that this would not be just any ensemble; we had big dreams from the very beginning and these pushed us forwards. Everything happened very fast: our first exam, first concert, first masterclass, first international First Prize – everything in just half a year. Our first professor, Augustinas Vasiliauskas (of the Vilnius Quartet) and many others were supporting and encouraging us to take this seriously; this is when the real Mettis Quartet began. At first we just felt love and passion for the music, but we were looking for a name that would not only describe us the best as a group but that would also be something really meaningful, important to the quartet in general.
Metis was an ancient Greek mythological figure, an Oceanid from the second generation of Titans, who was the wife of Zeus and the mother of Athena. She was known for her cunning, her wisdom and her skill.
The name is not only a description but also a commitment to maintain the values that are inherent in the meaning of our name. Our idealisation of the quartet contained things that reflect Mettis – quality, wisdom and skill – and that cannot be finalised; they represent the process, the continuation of work that we are putting in every day, trying to get better and better. This is the most important connotation of Mettis to us.
Our quartet’s musical journey did not begin in a very traditional way. Of course we all had some quartet experience, but it is usual to start playing Classical repertoire, whereas the first quartets we learned were Debussy and Shostakovich. We loved the music so much that the results were good but we lacked knowledge about the string quartet itself. And then began our chapter at the European Chamber Music Academy (ECMA). We were lucky to meet and learn from the best chamber music teachers in the world, especially Hatto Beyerle (Alban Berg Quartet) and Johannes Meissl (Artis Quartet). We learned a lot not only about string quartet and chamber music but also about music in general, other arts, history, philosophy, psychology, management, etc.
This experience led to success: our first CD release in 2015, Second Prize at the eighth International Bordeaux String Quartet Competition, and winning the ninth International V.E. Rimbotti Competition in Italy (both 2016). This launched our international concert career, playing in important venues such as the Wigmore Hall, Berlin Konzerthaus, Laeiszhalle (Hamburg), Washington Gallery of Arts, Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Jerusalem YMCA, Paris Hotel des Invalides, and festivals including the Montpellier Radio France, Aix-en-Provence, Mecklenburg- Vorpommern, Luberon, Vilnius and many others. Since 2017 we have played more than 100 concerts in regions including the USA, Canada, China, Israel, Panama and Europe.
In 2022 we are already celebrating our 10th anniversary. It has been a remarkable period for us, bringing everything we now have today. We are happy that we can now stop for a while, smile, remember everything we have experienced and share it with you through our music. Let’s enjoy it together.