Embodying the quintessential elements of a chamber music ensemble, the Danish String Quartet has established a reputation for possessing an integrated sound, impeccable intonation and judicious balance. With its technical and interpretive talents matched by an infectious joy for music-making, the quartet is in demand worldwide by concert and festival presenters alike. Since making its debut in 2002 at the Copenhagen Festival, the group of musical friends has demonstrated a passion for Scandinavian composers, who they frequently incorporate into adventurous contemporary programs, while also proving skilled and profound performers of the classical masters. Last season, the New York Times selected their concert as a highlight of the year: “One of the most powerful renditions of Beethoven’s Opus 132 String Quartet that I’ve heard live or on a recording.” This scope of talent has secured them a three-year appointment in the coveted Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s CMS Two Program beginning in the 2013-14 season and also named as a BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist for 2013-15.
Repertoire featured in the Danish String Quartet’s 2013-14 season engagements includes works by Hans Abrahamsen, Beethoven, Debussy, Osvaldo Golijov, Peter Lieberson, Ligeti, Mendelssohn, Carl Nielsen and Shostakovich. The quartet begins its season in the United States in November with a performance at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC followed by a new music performance in the Lincoln Center’s Kaplan Penthouse in November 2013 and a concert in New York City’s Alice Tully Hall in February 2014 presented by the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. The quartet will also make its Boston debut as part of the Boston Celebrity Series and for Cal Performances in Berkeley later that month in addition to season performances in St. Cloud, Dallas, Detroit, San Diego, Sedona, Princeton. The Danish String Quartet made its west coast debut in summer 2013 at Music@Menlo described by San Francisco Classical Voice as “… a concert of one ravishing performance after another, culminating in the Beethoven, weaving magic over the full house, which gave a genuine standing ovation to the quartet, not one of those half-hearted crouching applauses. No, this was very real, really loud, and more than well-deserved.”
Since winning the Danish Radio P2 Chamber Music Competition in 2004, the quartet has been in great demand throughout Denmark and in October 2013 it will present the seventh annual DSQ-Musifest, a three-day festival held in Copenhagen that brings together musical friends the quartet has met on its travels. Outside of its homeland the quartet will perform in the UK, Spain, Germany, Northern Ireland, Australia, Norway and Poland during the 2013-14 season. In 2009 the Danish String Quartet won First Prize in the 11th London International String Quartet Competition, as well as four additional prizes from the same jury. This competition is now called the Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition and the Danish String Quartet has performed at the famed hall on several occasions. It will return to Wigmore Hall in April 2014 to perform a program of Beethoven and Haydn.
The Danish String Quartet was awarded First Prize in the Vagn Holmboe String Quartet Competition and the Charles Hennen International Chamber Music Competition in Holland and the Audience Prize in the Trondheim International String Quartet Competition in 2005. The Danish String Quartet was awarded the 2010 NORDMETALL-Ensemble Prize at the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festival in Germany and, in 2011, received the prestigious Carl Nielsen Prize.
In 2006, the Danish String Quartet was Danish Radio’s Artist-in-Residence, giving them the opportunity to record all of Carl Nielsen's string quartets in the Danish Radio Concert Hall, subsequently released to critical acclaim on the Dacapo label in 2007 and 2008. The New York Times review said “These Danish players have excelled in performances of works by Brahms, Mozart and Bartok in New York in recent years. But they play Nielsen’s quartets as if they owned them.” In 2012 the Danish String Quartet released an equally-acclaimed recording of Haydn and Brahms quartets on the German AVI-music label. Said Anthony Tommasini of the New York Times: “What makes the performance special is the maturity and calm of the playing, even during virtuosic passages that whisk by. This is music making of wonderful ease and naturalness...” It recently recorded works by Brahms and Fuchs with award-winning clarinettist Sebastian Manz at the Bayerische Rundfunk in Munich to be released by AVI-music in early 2014. The quartet’s love of Scandinavian music has been captured in a recording of folk music that it will release on its own label in Spring 2014.
Violinists Frederik Øland and Rune Tonsgaard Sørensen and violist Asbjørn Nørgaard met as children at a music summer camp where they played both football and music together, eventually making the transition into a serious string quartet in their teens and studying at Copenhagen’s Royal Academy of Music. In 2008 the three Danes were joined by Norwegian cellist Fredrik Schøyen Sjölin. The Danish String Quartet was primarily taught and mentored by Professor Tim Frederiksen and has participated in master classes with the Tokyo and Emerson String Quartets, Alasdair Tait, Paul Katz, Hugh Maguire, Levon Chilingirian and Gábor Takács-Nagy. www.danishquartet.com
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