The first chamber ensemble of the kind in the region, the XL Tuba Quartet was founded in 2002, aiming to introduce the world music trends to the local audiences. Since the tuba is considered an orchestral instrument in the first place, the young members of the Quartet wished to present it as a chamber, even a solo instrument. The Quartet's huge repertoire includes pieces by old masters (Palestrina, Bach, Händel, etc.), classical, romantic, contemporary and jazz composers. Having graduated at the music academies, the Quartet members continued their studies with prestigious pedagogues including R. Bobo, M. Culbertson, J. Bazsinka, W. Hilgers, D. Perantoni and others.
The XL Tuba Quartet members are:
Viktor Kirchenkov (Gadyach, Ukraine 1973) studied at the Lisyenko Music School in Poltava and graduated in horn from the Tchaikovsky Music Academy in Kiev under N. Yurchenko. In 1996 he performed as soloist of the Kiev Philharmonic and was later engaged at the Opera of the Ivan von Zajc Croatian National Theatre in Rijeka. Presently soloist at the Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra, he extensively appears as soloist with orchestras, at recitals and as chamber musician.
Mario Šincek (1979) studied with S. Rukljić in Varaždin and since 1996 at the Zagreb Academy of Music, where he graduated from under Šime Vulelija. He was very successful at music competitions both in the country and abroad. Still a student, he was engaged as solo trombonist at the Opera of the Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb (1998). In addition to his post as full time member of the Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra since 2003, he extensively performs both as soloist and chamber musician. Greatly interested in pieces by Croatian composers, he also first performed some of them.
Ivica Geček (1985) first studied with S. Rukljić in Lepoglava and Varaždin and continued at the Zagreb Academy of Music under Šime Vulelija and D. Rajković. The winner of several first prizes at the state music competitions, he has been member of the Leopglava Brass Ensemble.
Krunoslav Babić (1976) began to study music in Osijek and continued at the Zagreb Academy of Music with Marcel Fuchs. He graduated from the Munich Music Academy under M. Hoppert, where he is about to obtain his M. A degree. He was member of the Croatian Army Symphony Wind Orchestra, the Croatian Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra and the Zagreb-Ljubljana Quintet. He is presently engaged in the Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2001 he was laureate of the Tuba Competition in Brno and winner of the Ivo Vuljević Young Musicians Award. The founder of the XL Tuba Quartet, he also extensively appears as soloist.
Since the original music for tuba quartet almost does not exist, such ensembles mainly arrange classical music masterpieces. The arrangements are made by the brass players of the late 20th century, the soloists of the renowned European and American orchestras, or the university professors. In addition to Jean-François Michel, Angel Manzo, Dean Somerville, David Werden and John Fletcher, Gal Robinson has been very active in promoting the tuba and euphonium music.