OrchestraEdward Dusinberre (first violin)
Karoly Schranz (second violin)
Geraldine Walther (viola)
Andras Fejer (cello)
Recognized as one of the world's great ensembles, the Takacs Quartet plays with a unique blend of drama, warmth and humor, combining four distinct musical personalities to bring fresh insights to the string quartet repertoire. Commenting on their latest Schubert recording for Hyperion, Gramophone magazine noted; "The Takacs have the ability to make you believe that there’s no other possible way the music should go, and the strength to overturn preconceptions that comes only with the greatest performers."
Based in Boulder at the University of Colorado, the Takacs Quartet performs ninety concerts a year worldwide, throughout Europe as well as in Australia, New Zealand, Japan and South Korea. The 2009-2010 season includes cycles of the complete Beethoven Quartets in London, where the members of the Quartet are Associate Artists at the South Bank Centre, and in Madrid. The quartet will play a series of two Beethoven concerts in Amsterdam's Concertgebouw and give their first concert in St.Petersburg. At Carnegie's Zankel Hall a series of three concerts will feature the Schumann Quartets and works that were composed last year for the Takacs by Wolfgang Rihm, James Macmillan and John Psathas. The quartet will perform over 40 concerts in North America and open the season of the San Diego Symphony with performances of Elgar’s Introduction and Allegro and Handel-Schoenberg’s Concerto for String Quartet and Orchestra.
The Quartet's award-winning recordings include the complete Beethoven Cycle on the Decca label. In 2005 the Late Beethoven Quartets won Disc of the Year and Chamber Award 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. Of their performances and recordings of the Late Quartets, the Cleveland Plain Dealer wrote “The Takacs might play this repertoire better than any quartet of the past or present.”
In 2006 the Takбcs Quartet made their first recording for Hyperion Records, of Schubert's D804 and D810. A disc featuring Brahms' Piano Quintet with Stephen Hough was released to great acclaim in November 2007 and was subsequently nominated for a Grammy. Brahms' Quartets Op. 51 and Op. 67 was released in the Fall of 2008 and a disc featuring the Schumann Piano Quintet with Marc-Andre Hamelin will be released in late 2009. The complete Haydn “Apponyi” Quartets, Op. 71 and 74, will be released in early 2011.
The Quartet has also made sixteen recordings for the Decca label since 1988 of works by Beethoven, Bartok, Borodin, Brahms, Chausson, Dvorak, Haydn, Mozart, Schubert and Smetana. The ensemble's recording of the six Bartok 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 Andrбs 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 quartet is known for innovative programming. In 2007 it performed, with Academy Award–winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, “Everyman” in Carnegie Hall, inspired by the Philip Roth novel. The group collaborates regularly with the Hungarian folk ensemble Muzsikas, performing a program that explores the folk sources of Bartok's music. The Takacs performed a music and poetry program on a fourteen city US tour with the poet Robert Pinsky.
At the University of Colorado, the Takacs Quartet has helped to develop a string program 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 Takбcs is a Visiting Quartet at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London.
The Takacs Quartet was formed in 1975 at the Franz Liszt Academy in Budapest by Gabor Takacs-Nagy, Kбroly Schranz, Gabor Ormai and Andras Fejer, 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 2005. In 2001 the Takбcs Quartet was awarded the Order of Merit of the Knight’s Cross of the Republic of Hungary.