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Danish String Quartet

Recitals from the World Stage
Danish String Quartet

Tanglewood

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Hosted by Karen Allen

 

The Danish String Quartet (three Danes and a Norwegian), have been playing as an ensemble for over a decade and have become one of the most acclaimed chamber music ensembles in the world.
Their repertoire spans the great core quartets of Haydn and Beethoven through modern works as well as arrangements of Scandinavian folk songs. Dmitri Shostakovich’s fifteen string quartets are one of the most important bodies of chamber music of the 20th century. Written in 1964 and dedicated to the composer Moisey Weinberg, the Tenth Quartet is characteristic of the composer’s inward-looking chamber music of his later years, by turns lyrically poignant and incisively direct.

Featured Performers

Karen Allen, host
Karen Allen, host View biography in full page >

Karen Allen is an award winning actor/director working in the film, television and theatre world for over 35 years. She has starred in over 45 films in including Animal House, The Wanderers, A Small Circle of Friends, Raider's of the Lost Ark, Shoot the Moon, Split Image, Starman ,Until September, Scrooged, The Glass Menagerie, Malcolm X, King of the Hill, The Perfect Storm, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, White Irish Drinkers, Bad Hurt and most recently A Year By the Sea based on the memoir by Joan Anderson.

Her work as a director  has been focused on theatre for the past ten years where she has directed at the Berkshire Theatre Festival, and in NYC, most recently directing the Obie Award winning world premiere of Lucy Thurber's, Ashville. She recently directed her first  short film, "A Tree. A Rock. A Cloud.", based on groundbreaking southern American writer Carson McCullers short story. In it's world premiere, it just won Best International Short Narrative Film at in England at the Manchester Film Festival.

Ms. Allen is on the faculty of the Theatre Department at Bard College at Simon's Rock, and has taught at New York University in NYC. She is a lifetime member of the Actors Studio, and on the Board of the Berkshire International Film Festival and the Amazon Conservation Team. Her son, Nick, is a professional chef.

Karen Allen, host Danish String Quartet
Danish String Quartet View biography in full page >

Among today’s many exceptional chamber music groups, the Danish String Quartet continuously asserts its preeminence. The Quartet’s playing reflects impeccable musicianship, sophisticated artistry, exquisite clarity of ensemble, and, above all, an expressivity inextricably bound to the music, from Haydn to Shostakovich to contemporary scores. Their performances bring a rare musical spontaneity, giving audiences the sense of hearing even treasured canon repertoire as if for the first time, and exuding a palpable joy in music-making that have made them enormously in-demand on main concert stages throughout the world.

Since its debut in 2002, the Danish String Quartet has demonstrated a special affinity for
Scandinavian composers, from Nielsen, Hans Abrahamsen, Bent Sørensen and traditional Nordic folk music, alongside music of Mozart and Beethoven. The recipient of many awards and prestigious appointments, including the Borletti Buitoni Trust, the Danish String Quartet was namedin 2013 as BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artists and appointed to the The Bowers Program (formerly CMS Two) at the Lincoln Center in NYC.

The group takes an active role in reaching new audiences through special projects. In 2007, they
established the DSQ Festival, now in its 11th year, which takes place in an intimate and informal setting in Copenhagen. This October, the Danish String Quartet performed, over the course of six concerts, the complete Beethoven cycle of 16 string quartets. In 2016, they inaugurated a new concert series, Series of Four, which they both perform and invite colleagues —the Ebène Quartet, mandolin player Chris Thile, among others—to appear at the venerable Danish Radio Concert Hall. Concerts this season have ranged from a chamber version of the Fauré Requiem, a recital with violinist Augustin Hadelich and a world premiere of Bent Sørensen's Dancers and Disappearance for string quartet and accordion.

The Danish String Quartet has received numerous citations and prizes, including First Prize in the
Danish Radio Chamber Music Competition, the Vagn Homboe String Quartet Competition and the Charles Hennen International Chamber Music Competition in the Netherlands, as well as the Audience Prize at the Trondheim International String Quartet Competition in 2005. In 2009, the Danish String Quartet won First Prize in the 11th London International String Quartet Competition, now known as the Wigmore Hall International String Quartet competition, and return to the celebrated London concert hall frequently. The Quartet was the awarded the 2010 NORDMETALL-Ensemble Prize at the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festival in Germany, and in 2011, they received the Carl Nielsen Prize, the highest cultural honor in Denmark. Most recently, the Quartet received its first GRAMMY nomination in 2019, for the first release of its five-disc recording project, PRISM, on the ECM New Series label.

In addition to the subsequent recording releases for the PRISM recording project, future
performance ventures include the full PRISM cycle at La Jolla Music Society over the span of five concerts in November 2019, and the complete Beethoven cycle at Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in February 2020 and at the Schubert Club in St. Paul, MN in May 2020.

Violinists Frederik Øland and Rune Tonsgaard Sørenson and violist Asbjorn Norgaard met as
children at a music summer camp where they played soccer and made music together. As teenagers, they began the study of classical chamber music and were mentored by Tim Frederiksen of Copenhagen’s Royal Danish Academy of Music. In 2008, the three Danes were joined by Norwegian cellist Fredrik Schøyen Sjölin. www.danishquartet.com.
Danish String Quartet
Program Notes Audio
SHOSTAKOVICH - Quartet No. 10 in A-flat, Op. 118
Full Program Notes - Full Program Notes