“As a new nation we Latvians generally lack the level of moderation that is characteristic of a cultured person. We immediately leap from the shepherd’s knoll into the city boulevard. And this leap is not always successful, as not everyone can glance back, smile and step forwards slowly....” This is how the poet Antons Austriņš described the first, at times bitter-sweet, experience of professional Latvian artists at the beginning of the 20th century in the context of European cultural standards and the taste of local consumers of art. How was it possible to leap into the refined “framework” of the string quartet that had been cultivated for centuries? Not even into the city boulevard, but into something resembling the palace court or the ivory tower of the creative mind.