Takács Quartet with Garrick Ohlsson, piano
19 March 2013 at 7:30 p.m.Brahms: Quartet in A minor, Op.51, No.2
Haydn: Quartet in B-flat Major, Op.76, No.4, "Sunrise"
Brahms: Quintet for Piano and Strings in F minor, Op.34
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Recognized as one of the world's great ensembles, the Takács 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.
In 2012, Gramophone announced that the Takács was the only string quartet to be inducted into its first Hall of Fame, along with such legendary artists as Jascha Heifetz, Leonard Bernstein and Dame Janet Baker. The ensemble also won the 2011 Award for Chamber Music and Song presented by the Royal Philharmonic Society in London. Based in Boulder at the University of Colorado, the Takács Quartet performs ninety concerts a year worldwide, throughout Europe as well as in Australia, New Zealand, Japan and South Korea.
During the 2012-13 season, the Takács, newly-appointed as Associate Artists at Wigmore Hall in London, will present five concerts there, including the three Britten Quartets (to celebrate the composer's 100th birthday year), the two Brahms viola quintets with British violist Lawrence Power, and the Schubert Cello Quintet with American cellist Ralph Kirshbaum. The Schubert Quintet will be released on Hyperion Records in the fall of 2012. The Quartet will also tour in North America with pianists Marc-Andre Hamelin and Garrick Ohlsson, including concerts at New York's Lincoln Center.
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 Takács might play this repertoire better than any quartet of the past or present."
In 2006 the Takács Quartet made its 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 were released in the fall of 2008 and a disc featuring the Schumann Piano Quintet with Marc-Andre Hamelin was released in late 2009. The complete Haydn "Apponyi" Quartets, op. 71 and 74, were released in November 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 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 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 Takács performed a music and poetry program on a fourteen city US tour with the poet Robert Pinsky. In 2010 the quartet collaborated with the Colorado Shakespeare Theatre and playwright David Morse in a production of "Quartet", a play set in Beethoven's later years when he was writing the A minor quartet, opus 132.
The members of the Takács Quartet are Christoffersen Faculty Fellows at the University of Colorado Boulder. They have 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. They are also Visiting Quartet at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London.
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 2005. In 2001 the Quartet was awarded the order of Merit of the Knight's Cross of the Republic of Hungary, and in March of 2011 each member of the Quartet was awarded the order of Merit Commander's Cross by the President of the Republic of Hungary.http://www.takacsquartet.com/
Garrick Ohlsson, piano
Since his triumph as winner of the 1970 Chopin International Piano Competition, pianist Garrick Ohlsson has established himself worldwide as a musician of magisterial interpretive and technical prowess. Although he has long been regarded as one of the world's leading exponents of the music of Frédéric Chopin, Mr. Ohlsson commands an enormous repertoire, which ranges over the entire piano literature. A student of the late Claudio Arrau, Mr. Ohlsson has come to be noted for his masterly performances of the works of Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert, as well as the Romantic repertoire. His concerto repertoire alone is unusually wide and eclectic - ranging from Haydn and Mozart to works of the 21st century - and to date he has at his command more than 80 concertos.
The 2012/13 season begins early for Mr. Ohlsson with performances of Busoni's rarely performed piano concerto with the European Union Youth orchestra and Gianandrea Noseda including the Edinburgh International Festival. A return to the U.K. later in the season includes two concerts with the London Philharmonic orchestra followed by a month-long tour in Australia and a live recording of both Brahms concerti. Concerts with the Cleveland orchestra and Franz Welser-Möst will be reprised during the orchestra's winder residency in Florida. Rachmaninoff's third piano concerto conducted by Sir Mark Elder with the Chicago Symphony is programmed in the winter followed by a Kennedy Center appearance with the Iceland Symphony as part of the center's Nordic Festival and a short east coast tour with the Swedish Chamber orchestra. Mr. Ohlsson returns to New York in the spring as soloist with the Boston Symphony at Carnegie Hall conducted by Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos. other US appearances include return visits to the orchestras of Minnesota, Dallas, Philadelphia, Cincinnati and Baltimore where he is a beloved regular.
In acknowledgement of the bicentenary of Liszt's birth the 2011/12 season included recitals of his works in cities including Chicago, Hong Kong , London, and New York, where he also visited Carnegie Hall with the Atlanta Symphony and Lincoln Center with the New York Philharmonic. Tours in Europe and Asia included concerts in France, England, Italy, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Japan.
A season earlier and in recognition of the bicentenary of Chopin's birth, Mr. Ohlsson presented a series of all-Chopin recital programs in Seattle, Berkeley and La Jolla, culminating at Lincoln Center in fall and winter of 2010. In conjunction with that project a documentary, "The Art of Chopin," based on Chopin's life and music and featuring Mr. Ohlsson, co-produced by Polish, French, British and Chinese television stations, was released in autumn 2010 followed one year later by a DVD of both concerti. In summer of 2010, he was featured in all-Chopin programs at the Ravinia and Tanglewood festivals, as well as appearances in Taipei, Beijing, Melbourne and Sydney.
Mr. Ohlsson is an avid chamber musician, who has collaborated with the Cleveland, Emerson, Takács and Tokyo string quartets, among other ensembles. Together with violinist Jorja Fleezanis and cellist Michael Grebanier, he is a founding member of the San Francisco-based FoG Trio.
A prolific recording artist, Mr. Ohlsson can be heard on various labels including the Arabesque, RCA Victor Red Seal, Angel, BMG, Delos, Hänssler, Nonesuch, Telarc, Virgin Classics, and Bridge Records where his ten-disc set of the complete Beethoven sonatas is now complete and has garnered considerable critical praise, including a GRAMMY® for Vol. 3. His recording of Rachmaninoff's concerto No. 3 with the Atlanta Symphony and Robert Spano was released in fall 2011. In the fall of 2008 the English label Hyperion re-released his 16-disc set of the complete works of Chopin, and recently released a disc of all the Brahms piano variations, and Granados's "Goyescas", to be followed later this year by piano music of Charles Griffes. Forthcoming releases in his ongoing plans with Bridge Records include a "20th Century Recital", and works of Franz Liszt.
A native of White Plains, N.Y., Mr. Ohlsson began his piano studies at the age of 8. He attended the Westchester Conservatory of Music and at 13 entered The Juilliard School in New York City. His musical development has been influenced in completely different ways by a succession of distinguished teachers, most notably Claudio Arrau, olga Barabini, Tom Lishman, Sascha Gorodnitzki, Rosina Lhévinne and Irma Wolpe. Although he won First Prizes at the 1966 Busoni Competition in Italy and the 1968 Montréal Piano Competition, it was his 1970 triumph at the International Chopin Competition in Warsaw, where he won the Gold Medal, that brought him worldwide recognition as one of the finest pianists of his generation. Since then he has made nearly a dozen tours of Poland, where he retains immense personal popularity. Mr. Ohlsson was awarded the Avery Fisher Prize in 1994 and received the 1998 University Musical Society Distinguished Artist Award in Ann Arbor, MI. He makes his home in San Francisco.http://www.opus3artists.com/artists/garrick-Ohlsson