Winners of the 2011 Award for Chamber Music and Song presented by the Royal Philharmonic Society in London, the Takács Quartet is based in Boulder at the University of Colorado. The Quartet performs ninety concerts a year worldwide, playing throughout Europe as well as in Australia, New Zealand, Japan and South Korea. From 2005 to 2012 the Takács Quartet were Associate Artists at the Southbank Centre, a title they now hold at Wigmore Hall. The Quartet is known for innovative programming. In 2007 it performed at Carnegie Hall with actor Philip Seymour Hoffman in a programme entitled ‘Everyman’, inspired by Philip Roth’s novel of that name. The group collaborates regularly with the Hungarian folk ensemble Muzsikas, performing programmes that explore the sources of Bartók’s music. The Takács have performed a music and poetry programme on a fourteen-city US tour with the poet Robert Pinsky. At the University of Colorado, the Takács Quartet has helped to develop a string programme with a special emphasis on chamber music, where students work in a nurturing environment designed to help them develop their artistry. The Quartet’s commitment to teaching is enhanced by summer residencies at the Aspen Festival and at the Music Academy of the West, Santa Barbara. The Takács is a Visiting Quartet at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London.
The Quartet’s multi-award winning recordings include the late quartets by Beethoven which in 2006 won the Disc of the Year and Chamber Awards from BBC Music Magazine, a Gramophone Award and a Japanese Record Academy Award. Their recordings of the early and middle Beethoven quartets collected a Grammy, another Gramophone Award, a Chamber Music of America Award and two further awards from the Japanese Recording Academy.
The Takács Quartet was formed in 1975 at the Franz Liszt Academy in Budapest by Gabor Takács-Nagy, Károly Schranz, Gabor Ormai and András Fejér, while all four were students. It first received international attention in 1977, winning First Prize and the Critics’ Prize at the International String Quartet Competition in Evian, France. The Quartet also won the Gold Medal at the 1978 Portsmouth and Bordeaux Competitions and First Prizes at the Budapest International String Quartet Competition in 1978 and the Bratislava Competition in 1981. The Quartet made its North American debut tour in 1982. Violinist Edward Dusinberre joined the Quartet in 1993 and violist Roger Tapping in 1995. Violist Geraldine Walther replaced Mr Tapping in the summer of 2005. Of the original ensemble, Károly Schranz and András Fejér remain. In 2001 the Takács Quartet was awarded the Order of Merit of the Knight’s Cross of the Republic of Hungary, and in March of 2011 each member of the Quartet was awarded the Order of Merit Commander’s Cross by the President of the Republic of Hungary.
For Hyperion the Takács Quartet has recorded Schubert’s ‘Death and the Maiden’ and ‘Rosamunde’ string quartets, described by The Guardian as ‘a model for what chamber music should be’. They have also recorded the piano quintets by Brahms (with Stephen Hough) and Schumann (with Marc-André Hamelin), Brahms’s complete string quartets and Haydn’s Opp 71 and 74.
Haydn: String Quartets Op 71
Haydn: String Quartets Op 74
Schubert: Death and the Maiden
Hyperion 30th Anniversary seriesCDA30019
Schubert: Death and the Maiden
Schubert: String Quintet & String Quartet D956 & 703
Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads availableCDA67864
Alphabetical listing of all musical works
|Piano Quintet in E flat major, Op 44 (Schumann)|
|Piano Quintet in F minor, Op 34 (Brahms)|
|String Quartet in A major, Op 41 No 3 (Schumann)|
|String Quartet in A minor, Op 51 No 2 (Brahms)|
|String Quartet in B flat major, Op 67 (Brahms)|
|String Quartet in B flat major, Op 71 No 1 (Haydn)|
|String Quartet in C major, Op 74 No 1 (Haydn)|
|String Quartet in C minor 'Quartettsatz', D703 (Schubert)|
|String Quartet in C minor, Op 51 No 1 (Brahms)|
|String Quartet in D major, Op 71 No 2 (Haydn)|
|String Quartet in E flat major, Op 71 No 3 (Haydn)|
|String Quartet in F major, Op 74 No 2 (Haydn)|
|String Quartet in G minor 'Rider', Op 74 No 3 (Haydn)|
|String Quartet No 13 in A minor 'Rosamunde', D804 (Schubert)|
|String Quartet No 14 in D minor 'Death and the Maiden', D810 (Schubert)|
|String Quintet in C major, D956 (Schubert)|