Belcea Quartet

String Quartet

Corina Belcea
Axel Schacher
Krzysztof Chorzelski
Antoine Lederlin
"When I first heard the Grosse Fuge I thought to myself: “this is insane and impossible to understand from a first hearing, I must listen to it again”. I still think that! "
Corina Belcea / Belcea Quartet, Strad Magazine, December 2017
Go to Biography
The Strad Cover Artist September 2019: Big feature in honour of the 25th anniversary of the Belcea Quartet


„What seems to be the predominant impulse driving this music is man’s yearning for freedom, the unquenchable desire to expand his limits to learn the truth about himself in this process.“
What the Belcea Quartet writes in the preface to its recording of the complete Beethoven String Quartets could also be described as their artistic creed. These musicians are not confined by traditional boundaries. It is perhaps the very fact of their diverse cultural backgrounds that is behind their dynamic and free interpretative style. Founded at the Royal College of Music in London in 1994, the quartet is based in Great Britain. However, the Romanian violinist Corina Belcea and the Polish violist Krzysztof Chorzelski, the two founder members, bring a very different artistic provenance to the ensemble while drawing from the best traditions of string quartet playing received from the quartet's mentors: the members of the Alban Berg and Amadeus Quartets. This spectrum is extended by the French musicians Axel Schacher (violin) and Antoine Lederlin (violoncello). The Belcea Quartet blends its diverse influences into a common musical language.

This diversity is reflected in the Belcea Quartet's repertoire. Regular world premieres - among them Mark-Anthony Turnage's string quartets „Twisted Blues with Twisted Ballad“ in 2010, „Contusion“ in 2014, Thomas Larcher’s „lucid dreams“ in 2015, Krzysztof Penderecki’s 4th string quartet in 2016, as well as the 3rd string quartet by Joseph Phibbs, go hand-in-hand with its profound connection with the great works of the Classical and Romantic periods. The quartet's open-minded approach to music invariably enables it to find its own unique, elegant and refined interpretations of the main string quartet repertoire.

From 2017/2018 season on, the Belcea Quartet is the Quartet Artist-in-Residence at the Pierre Boulez Saal Berlin. The quartet has shared a residence at the Wiener Konzerthaus with the Artemis Quartet since 2010. The musicians created their very own Belcea Quartet Trust, whose main aims are to support and inspire young string quartets through series of intensive coaching sessions organized according to the needs of each selected ensemble, as well as to support commissioning of new works from today's leading composers to be premiered by the quartet in the future.

The Belcea Quartet has an impressive discography. During its long-term association with EMI Classics, the quartet recorded the complete Britten and Bartók quartets as well as works by Schubert, Brahms, Mozart, Debussy, Ravel and Dutilleux, amongst others. In 2012 and 2013, the quartet recorded the complete Beethoven quartets live in the Benjamin Britten Studio in Snape. This recording was released under ZigZag Territories, the quartet’s new label. As with its predecessors, this CD has been met with critical acclaim: it has been recognized with such prizes as Gramophone Award. In 2015, the quartet released its highly acclaimed recording of works by Webern, Berg and Schoenberg to coincide with its 20th jubilee. September 2016 saw the release of the quartet’s recording of the complete Brahms string quartets & piano quintet, a CD acclaimed by the press and awarded with a Diapason d’or of the year 2016. The Shostakovich album, including the 3rd string quartet and the piano quintet with Piotr Anderszewski, was released in April 2018, followed by the recording of Janáček’s two string quartets combined with Liget’s first quartet in the spring of 2019.
„In these performances, Milan Kundera’s description of Janáček — “for him everything was expression” — has never seemed more true, as the Belcea musicians use every short motif or idea to delve deeper into the emotions.”Financial Times, May 2019
The Belcea Quartet's performances of the complete Beethoven string quartets at Vienna's Konzerthaus in 2012 were broadcast by Mezzo TV and were released - on DVD and Blue Ray disk - by the label Euroarts in fall 2014. The release was accompanied by Jean-Claude Mocik's documentary of the entire project, "Looking for Beethoven".

For the Belcea Quartet’s 25th anniversary this season the musicians will pick up the Beethoven string quartet cycle oncemore and present it in concert halls including Wigmore Hall London, the University of Hong Kong, the Teatro del Lago in Frutilar, the Pierre Boulez Saal in Berlin as well as the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées.

Corina Belcea
Violin by Giovanni Battista Guadagnini (1755), kindly on loan from MERITO String Instruments Trusts Vienna

Axel Schacher
Violin by Nicolas Lupot (1824)

Krzysztof Chorzelski
Viola by Nicola Amati (ca. 1670)

Antoine Lederlin
Cello by Matteo Gofriller (1722), kindly on loan from MERITO String Instruments Trusts Vienna

2019 / 2020
This biography is to be reproduced without any changes, omissions or additions, unless expressly authorized by artist management.
Contacts: Linda Uschinski, Sylwia Miteva



2020 / 2021
Programme I
Autumn 2020


Programme II
Spring 2021

Britten: String Quartet No. 1 in D major, Op. 25
Shostakovich: String Quartet No. 14 in F-sharp major, Op. 142

Brahms: String Quartet No. 1 in C minor, Op. 51 No. 1

Programme III
with Tabea Zimmermann (Viola) & Jean-Guihen Queyras (Cello)
March 2021

Brahms: String Sextet No. 1 in B-flat major, Op. 18
Brahms: String Sextet No. 2 in G major, Op. 36

Programme IV
with Amihai Grosz (Viola)

Mendelssohn: String Quintet No. 2 in B-flat major, Op. 87
Phibbs: String Quartet No. 3
Brahms: String Quintet No. 1 in F major, Op. 88

Season PDF download
2019 / 2020


17:00 Uhr
Warschau I, PL / Sala Koncertowa Filharmonii Narodowej
Belcea Quartet
22:00 Uhr
Warschau II, PL / Sala Koncertowa Filharmonii Narodowej
Belcea Quartet
17:00 Uhr
Incheon, KR / Incheon Culture & Arts Center
Belcea Quartet
19:30 Uhr
Taipei, TW / National Concert Hall
Belcea Quartet


Janáček & Ligeti: Quartets
Leoš Janáček
String Quartet No. 1 `Kreutzer Sonata`
String Quartet No. 2 `Intimate Letters`

György Ligeti
String Quartet No. 1 `Métamorphoses Nocturnes`

Shostakovich: String Quartet & Piano Quintet
Dmitri Shostakovich
String Quartet No. 3, Op. 73
Piano Quintet, Op. 57

Piotr Anderszewski - Piano

Brahms: The complete String Quartets & Piano Quintet
Johannes Brahms
String Quartet, Op. 51 No. 1
String Quartet, Op. 51 No. 2

String Quartet, Op. 67 No. 3
Piano Quintet, Op. 34

Till Fellner - Piano

Webern - Berg - Schönberg
Anton Webern
Slow Movement
Five Movements for String Quartet, Op. 5

Alban Berg
Lyric Suite for String Quartet

Arnold Schönberg
Transfigured Night, Op. 4

Nicolas Bone - Viola
Antonio Meneses - Cello

Britten: The complete String Quartets (DVD or Blu-ray Disc)
Benjamin Britten
String Quartet No. 1, Op. 25
String Quartet No. 2, Op. 36
String Quartet No. 3, Op. 94

Beethoven: The complete String Quartets (DVD or Blu-ray Disc)
Ludwig van Beethoven
String Quartets Nos 1-16

Beethoven: The complete String Quartets
Ludwig van Beethoven
Disc No. 1
String Quartet, Op. 18 No. 6
String Quartet, Op. 127
Disc No. 2
String Quartet, Op. 18 No. 2
String Quartet, Op. 59 No. 3
Disc No. 3
String Quartet, Op. 95
String Quartet, Op. 131
Disc No. 4
String Quartet, Op. 18 No. 1
String Quartet, Op. 18 No. 4
Disc No. 5
String Quartet, Op. 18 No. 3
String Quartet, Op. 18 No. 5
Grosse Fuge, Op. 133
Disc No. 6
String Quartet, Op. 59 No. 1
String Quartet, Op. 59 No. 2
Disc No. 7
String Quartet, Op. 74
String Quartet, Op. 130
Disc No. 8
String Quartet, Op. 132
String Quartet, Op. 135

Schubert: String Quartets & String Quintet
Franz Schubert
String Quintet, D 956
String Quartet No. 15, D 887
String Quartet No. 14, D 810, "Death and The Maiden"

Valentin Erben - Cello

Bartók: The complete String Quartets
Béla Bartók
String Quartet No. 1, Op. 7 Sz 40
String Quartet No. 2, Op. 17 Sz 67
String Quartet No. 3, Sz 80
String Quartet No. 4, Sz 91
String Quartet No. 5, Sz 102
String Quartet No. 6, Sz 114

Mozart: String Quartets
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
String Quartet, K 465
String Quartet, K 499

EMI Classics, 2006

Love blows as the wind blows
Roger Quilter
Four Shakespeare Songs, Op. 30
Who is Silvia?
When daffodils begin to peer
How should I your true love know?
Sigh no more, ladies

Samuel Barber
Dover Beach (to words from a Victorian poem by Matthew Arnold)

Benjamin Britten
Tit for Tat
A Song of Enchantment
Tit for Tat

Richard Rodney Bennett
Songs before Sleep
The Mouse and the Bumblebee (anon.)
Baby, baby, naughty baby (anon.)
As I walked by myself (attrib. Bernard Barton 1780-1840)

John Ireland
Santa Chiara - Palm Sunday; Naples
When lights go rolling round the sky

George Butterworth
Love blows as the wind blows
I In the year that's come and gone
II Life in her creaking shoes
III Fill a glass with golden wine

Gerald Finzi
Let us garlands bring - Five Shakespeare songs for Voice and Piano

William Bolcom
from Cabaret Songs
Song of Black Max (As told by the de Kooning Boys)

Jonathan Lemalu - Bass baritone
Malcolm Martineau - Piano

EMI Classics, 2006

Britten: The complete String Quartets
Benjamin Britten
String Quartet No. 1, Op. 25
String Quartet No. 2, Op. 36
String Quartet No. 3, Op. 94
Three Divertimenti for String Quartet (1936)

EMI Classics, 2005

Mélodies Françaises
Claude Debussy
"Fêtes galantes"

Gabriel Fauré
4 Songs, Op. 39: Fleur jetée
3 Songs, Op. 23: Les berceaux
Au bord de l'eau, Op. 81 No. 1
2 Songs, Op. 83: Prison
Clair de lune, Op. 46 No. 2
3 Songs, Op. 18: Nell

Francis Poulence
Montparnasse (Apollinaire)
Deux poèmes de Guillaume Apollinaire, Op. 94: Dans le jardin d'Anna
Deux poèmes de Guillaume Apollinaire, Op. 94: Allons plus vite
Deux poèmes de Louis Aragon: C
Deux poèmes de Louis Aragon: Fêtes galantes
Tel jour, telle nuit: Bonne journée
Tel jour, telle nuit: Une ruine coquille vide
Tel jour, telle nuit: Le front comme un drapeau perdu
Tel jour, telle nuit: Une roulotte couverte en tuiles
Tel jour, telle nuit: A toutes brides
Tel jour, telle nuit: Une herbe pauvre
Tel jour, telle nuit: Je n'ai envie que de t'aimer
Tel jour, telle nuit: Figure de force brûlante et farouche
Tel jour, telle nuit: Nous avons fait la nuit

Gabriel Fauré
"La bonne chanson"

Ian Bostridge - Tenor
Leon Bosch - Double bass
Julius Drake - Piano

EMI Classics, 2004

Brahms: String Quartet & String Quintet
Johannes Brahms
String Quartet, Op. 51 No. 1
String Quintet, Op. 111

Thomas Kakuska - Viola

EMI Classics, 2004

Schubert: String Quartets
Franz Schubert
String Quartet No. 13, Op. 29, D 804, "Rosamunde"
String Quartet No. 10, Op. 125, D 87

EMI Classics, 2003

French Music
Claude Debussy
String Quartet, Op. 10

Henri Dutilleux
String Quartet "Ainsi la Nuit"

Maurice Ravel
String Quartet in F major

EMI Classics, 2001

Janáček: The complete String Quartets
Leoš Janáček
String Quartet No. 1, "The Kreutzer Sonata"
String Quartet No. 2, "Intimate Letters"


Belcea Quartet - Beethoven String Quartet, Op. 131
Belcea Quartet - Shostakovich String Quartet no.3


Linda Uschinski
t: +49 (0)30 414 781 717
f: +49 (0)30 414 781 713
Sylwia Miteva
t: +49 (0)30 414 781 716
f: +49 (0)30 414 781 713