Founded in 1996 by graduates of the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris; the name reflects the musical double identity of the group: the word Diotima is a reference to German Romanticism, Friedrich Hölderlin gave this name to the love of his life in his novel Hyperion, but it is at the same time a nod to the music of our time, recalling Luigi Nono's work Fragmente­Stille, an Diotima.

The Diotima Quartet has been honoured to partner several of today's major composers, such as Helmut Lachenmann, Brian Ferneyhough, and Toshio Hosokawa, while also regularly commissioning new works from a broad range of composers such as Tristan Murail, Alberto Posadas, Gérard Pesson, Rebecca Saunders, and Pascal Dusapin. Though staunchly dedicated to contemporary classical music, the quartet is not exclusively limited to this repertoire. In programming major classical works alongside today's new music, their concerts offer a fresh look at works by the great composers, in particular Bartók, Debussy, and Ravel, the late quartets of Schubert and Beethoven, composers of the Second Viennese School, as well as Janáček.

The Diotima Quartet has performed widely on the international scene and at all of the major European festivals and concert series such as at Berlin Philharmonic, Berlin Konzerthaus, Reina Sofía in Madrid, Cité de la Musique in Paris, London's Wigmore Hall and Southbank Centre, Vienna's Konzerthaus, and others. As well as touring regularly across the United States of America, Asia and South America, they were also artists-in-residence at the Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord in Paris from 2012 to 2016.

Their interpretations are regularly heralded by the international media, including in Germany (for their interpretation of Schoenberg's Concerto for Quartet and Orchestra, in Spain, and not least in France, where their CDs have been awarded with five Diapasons d'Or and two Diapasons d'Or de l'Année (albums of Lachenmann/Nono in 2004 and American composers including Crumb, Reich and Barber in 2011).

e critical and public success of the album with George Onslow's Quartets (Naïve, 2009), including a Diapason d'Or, Diapason's Event of the Month, and Disque Exceptionnel in Scherzo magazine, cemented the exclusive, long-term and hugely successful partnership between the ensemble and the record label. In addition, at the invitation of the Megadisc label, the quartet made in 2015 a widely acclaimed recording of Pierre Boulez's Livre pour quatuor révisé, which received in Télérama and the Choc de l'Année in Classica magazine.

In 2016, to celebrate the Quartet's 20th anniversary, two albums were released: a box dedicated to the Second Viennese School and the first release in the new series of contemporary composer portraits. the latter CD is dedicated to the works of Miroslav Srnka, to be followed by those of Gérard Pesson, in collaboration with WDR Kultur.

The quartet's busy schedule for the previous season included a cycle of Beethoven, Schoenberg, and Boulez works at Wien Modern, concerts in various countries premiering Enno Poppe's new string quartet (Huddersfield, 's-Hertogenbosch, Transit Festival in Leuven, and Festival d'Automne in Paris), the complete Bartók string quartets in one evening at the Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord in Paris, and four international tours across South America, Japan and the United States. In January 2017 the Diotima Quartet worked with Alberto Posadas at the Institute for Advanced Study in Berlin.

The Diotima Quartet is supported by the DRAC and the Région Centre-Val de Loire, and regularly receives assistance from the Institut Français, Spedidam, Musique Nouvelle en Liberté, Fonds pour la Création Musicale, and from Adami, as well as from private sponsors.