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ARTIST PROFILE

Takács Quartet

SAINT PAUL SUNDAY APPEARANCES

BIOGRAPHY

Duke University with pianist Garrick Ohlsson; the continuation of the complete Beethoven cycle at UC Berkeley, and more than 50 other appearances world-wide, including a return tour to Japan, and concerts in Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Boston, Toronto, Chicago, Dallas, Paris, Cologne, Avignon, Rotterdam, Zurich, Geneva, Bilbao, and Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw.

Recent notable Takács Quartet appearances worldwide have included performances of the Beethoven cycle in New York (Lincoln Center), Cleveland, London, Los Angeles, Paris and Sydney; the Bartók cycle in Cleveland, Ann Arbor, Pittsburgh, Tucson, London, Madrid, Seville, Valencia, New York, and Tokyo; the Brahms cycle in London; the Schubert cycle in London, Lisbon and cities in Italy, the Netherlands and Spain; concerts in Japan; the world premiere performance of Bright Sheng’s Quartet No. 3; the world premiere of Su Lian Tan’s Life in Wayang; a fourteen-city U.S. tour with the thirty-ninth Poet Laureate of the United States, Robert Pinsky; and a collaboration with the Hungarian folk ensemble Muzsikas in a series of joint concerts exploring the connections between traditional Hungarian folk melodies and the works of Bartók and Kodály.

Signed to an exclusive contract with Decca/London in 1988, the Takács Quartet has made sixteen recordings for the label of works by Beethoven, Bartók, Borodin, Brahms, Chausson, Dvorak, Haydn, Mozart, Schubert and Smetana. The ensemble’s recording of the six Bartók String Quartets received the 1998 Gramophone Award for chamber music and, in 1999, was nominated for a Grammy. In addition to the Beethoven String Quartet cycle recording, the ensemble’s other Decca recordings include Dvorak’s String Quartet in E-flat Major, Op. 51 and Piano Quintet in A Major, Op. 81 with pianist Andreas Haefliger; Schubert’s Trout Quintet with Mr. Haefliger, which was nominated in 2000 for a Grammy Award; string quartets by Smetana and Borodin; Schubert’s Quartet in G Major and Notturno Piano Trio with Mr. Haefliger; the three Brahms string quartets and Piano Quintet in F Minor with pianist András Schiff; Chausson’s Concerto for violin, piano and string quartet with violinist Joshua Bell and pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet; and Mozart’s String Quintets, K515 and 516 with Gyorgy Pauk, viola.

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 summer, 2005. Of the original ensemble, violinist Károly Schranz and cellist András Fejér remain. In addition to its residency at the University of Colorado, the ensemble is also a Visiting Quartet at the Aspen Music Festival and School and at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, its members are Visiting Fellows at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London and, beginning with the 2005-2006 season, will become Associate Artists of the South Bank Center in London. In 2001, The Takács Quartet was awarded the Order of Merit of the Knight’s Cross of the Republic of Hungary.