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Belcea String Quartet



The Belcea Quartet is rapidly gaining an enviable reputation as one of the leading quartets of the younger generation. They continue to take the British and international chamber music circuit by storm, consistently receiving impressive critical acclaim for their performances. Since the Fall of 2001, they have been the Resident Quartet of London's Wigmore Hall, and in July 2002, embarked on an exclusive recording contract with EMI Classics and in 2004, the Belcea won UK's prestigious Royal Philharmonic Society Award.

In 2001 the Quartet won the Gramophone Award for the best debut recording. Subsequent recordings for EMI include Schubert quartets, Brahms' String Quartet Op. 51 No. 1 and second string quintet with Thomas Kakuska and Fauré La Bonne Chanson with Ian Bostridge. Other releases now include Schubert's Trout Quintet with Thomas Ades and Corin Long, and a double disc of Britten's string quartets.

The Belcea Quartet's repertoire at Wigmore Hall has incorporated a new commission by Huw Watkins, as well as works by Adès, Bartók, Beethoven, Brahms, Dvorak, Haydn and Mozart. They joined forces for performances of Schubert's Trout Quintet with Thomas Adès and Schumann's Piano Quintet with Aleksander Madzar and continued their involvement in the Hall's extensive education programme. Past collaborations have been with Isabelle van Keulen, Piotr Anderszewski, and Imogen Cooper.

In the 05-06 season, their North American appearances include performances at Carnegie's Zankel, Ann Arbor's University Musical Society and the Library of Congress with baritone Ian Bostridge and pianist Julius Drake and performances in San Francisco, CostaMesa, Honolulu, Santa Barbara, Columbus & Yellow Springs,OH, Buffalo,St. Louis, Memphis, Dallas, returns to Union College and Middlebury College.

In the 2004-05 season the Belcea Quartet performed concerts in the U.S. (including in New York and Boston) and future U.S. tours are currently being planned. In the past two seasons, the Belcea Quartet have performed successfully in Japan, Australia and New Zealand and will return to these countries in the future.

In the 2003/2004 season, the Belcea Quartet toured extensively in Europe, including their debut performances at the Helsinki and Schleswig-Holstein Festivals, concerts in Zürich (Tonhalle), Vienna (Konzerthaus), Milan (Societa del Quartetto di Milano), Amsterdam (Concertgebouw), Brussels (Palais des Beaux-Arts) and Frankfurt (Alte Oper). They made their Spanish debut, appearing in Seville, Valencia and Bilbao, as well as being resident in Madrid's Auditorio Nacional de Musica, where they gave six concerts there throughout the year. They presented a Haydn/Bartok-series together with the Vertavo Quartet at the Aldeburgh Festival in June 2004 and, the following month, appeared as Artist-in-Residence at the Cheltenham Festival.

The Belcea Quartet was established at the Royal College of Music, where they were coached by the Chilingirian Quartet, Simon Rowland-Jones, and the Amadeus Quartet. From 1997-2000, they were represented by Young Concert Artists Trust in London, during which time they were coached by the Alban Berg Quartet, won the first prizes at both the Osaka and Bordeaux International String Quartet Competitions in 1999, and represented Great Britain in the European Concert Halls Organization "Rising Stars" series for the 1999/2000 season. The Quartet was one of the selected artists for the BBC Radio 3 "New Generations" scheme from 1999-2001. The Belcea Quartet are supported by the Royal College of Music's New Generation Scheme, the Zurich Financial Services Ltd. and Rosalind and Brian Gilmore. In May 2001, the Belcea Quartet received the Chamber Music Award of the Royal Philharmonic Society.