I am Maja Weber and was born into a family of musicians in 1974. My father is a violist and my mother and my elder sister are both violinists. Music was thus no new discovery for me. I was presented with a small cello when I was three-and-a-half, and I have always been very happy with the choice others made for me then. I never questioned the automatic assumption that I wanted to be a cellist. My parents recollect that every time we saw a church when I was four, I used to say I would later give a concert there. Chamber music was our great passion at home, and very soon we were drawing positive attention as a family quartet.
I first studied with Markus Stocker and Cäcilia Chmel at the Winterthur College of Music, continuing in Cologne with Frans Helmerson (cello) and the Alban Berg Quartet (chamber music). In 1987, whilst still at school, my sister and I formed a string quartet which has borne the name Amar Quartet since 1995. I have been particularly influenced by personalities like Isaac Stern, Walter Levin, Paul Katz and Valentin Berlinsky. My passion was one hundred per cent for chamber music, and independence was important to me right from the start. For me, the many years of participating in string quartet competitions was a decisive opportunity to develop and feel my way around. My most important successes were the second prizes in Geneva and Graz, the Millennium Award in London and first prizes in Cremona and Bubenreuth. I received considerable support from the Swiss Chamber Music Competition of Migros Kulturprozent.
The communication chamber music demands has always particularly fascinated me, and it is also what drives me to communicate with audiences and other partners. Together with the Amar Quartet, prior to 2006 I initiated, organized and with a great deal of passion realized several music festivals and crossover projects. As a young quartet, we had the good fortune to be able to perform regularly at all the major concert seasons in Switzerland, as well as at some in Germany and Austria.
I saw it as a logical development to form a new string quartet, the Stradivari Quartet, in 2007. After our brilliant tour debut through a number of European cities including Munich, Berlin, Vienna, Budapest and Prague, I have continued to seek further concert engagements all over the world. I find it fantastic that musical language is understood worldwide and that there are no cultural barriers against it. I never fail to be astounded at the number of diverse and exciting people we meet in our work. The Stradivari Quartet now undertakes annual tours of China, Japan and the USA.
Like Per Lundberg, I have played in Ars Amata Zurich for more than twenty years. When I was a child, my parents always allowed me to learn by being around them. Later, as a teenager, I had the opportunity to discover and perform the most beautiful chamber works with experienced musicians.
I have made recordings since the start of my career. Apart from various concert and radio recordings, I have recorded more than 20 CDs on various labels with the Stradivari Quartet, the Amar Quartet, Ars Amata Zurich, the family quartet, and other friends of mine.
I live with my businessman husband and our three sons on beautiful Lake Zurich. Communication also plays the leading role in my personal life. I most especially enjoy organizing and taking the initiative in my relations with my family and friends.
I will never forget how extraordinarily delighted I was in June 1999, when I received an inquiry asking whether I and my sister would like our Amar Quartet to play on four Stradivari instruments. Since then I have enjoyed the unique privilege of playing the Stradivari “Suggia” cello of 1717. We have experienced a lot together in this time and I am deeply grateful to the Habisreutinger Stradivari Foundation in Gersau for the loan.