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Before the name Pro Arte was chosen, presumably in 1917, the Quartet may also have been known briefly (and jokingly) as Quatuor 0h11 (11 Minutes after Midnight Quartet) (after the initials of Onnou, Halleux, Loicq, and Lemaire) and Quatuor en ut dièse de Bruxelles (C-sharp Quartet of Brussels). After the war into 1921, it was also known as Quatuor à archets du 1er régiment de guides (String Quartet of the 1st Guides Regiment). Another group in which Germain Prévost played during the war and slightly after was the Quatuor à archets de l’armée de campagne (String Quartet of the Army on Campaign).
In specific years after World War II, the members did not perform as a string quartet much if at all, e.g. when Albert Rahier was ill in 1952–53, when Rudolf Kolisch was on leave in 1954–55, when Bernard Milofsky was ill in 1956–57, and from 1962 for about five years. (See Problems, questions under Won-Mo Kim, to the right.)
Photo: from the celebrations of the Quartet’s 100th anniversary
Determining who the members were during and just after World War I is difficult and the results uncertain. Membership varied much and for some was probably informal until after the war. Other names appearing in the Quartet in the war period, during which there were very few concerts by the Quartet, include Waersegers (violin) and Jaugneau and Philippe (viola). Members of the Pro Arte Quartet also played in other quartets during that time.
van Malderen 1998; University Archives, University of Wisconsin at Madison
Désiré Defauw, sometimes listed as a founding member, is said to have founded a different quartet in 1912. (He founded the Allied Quartet in London around 1914.) See Additional references at the bottom of the column to the left.
An unsigned short biography of Germain Prévost in the archives of the University of Wisconsin at Madison, probably written in 1943
Photo: At Alphonse Onnou’s grave, April 22, 2012
In a letter dated September 21, 1943, Antonio Brosa indicates he was born in 1897.
*Won-Mo Kim was not really a member of the Pro Arte String Quartet. Probably he would have been if it had played as such during his three years at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, where the Quartet had resided for more than 20 years. From 1962 to 1967, various Pro-Arte-like formations resided and performed there, including a string trio and a piano quartet, but not the string quartet. Usually the group was designated something other than Pro Arte, or noted as “members of the Pro Arte [String] Quartet” plus other players.
Prévost did not play much music of any kind during World War I. During the war, Alphonse Onnou’s group, the nascent Pro Arte Quartet, would have had a different violist.
His membership in the Quartet is uncertain, if likely.
He may have played in the Quartet beginning in 1918.
He indicates his birth date in a letter dated 1913-12-02, reprinted in van Malderen 1998.
Both Lowell Creitz and Parry Karp played in the Quartet during the latter’s year away in 1978–79.