"The most striking thing […] was its spirit of freedom"
...as the London Times wrote in the Spring of 2019, these musicians are not confined by traditional boundaries. The two founding members, the Romanian violinist Corina Belcea and the Polish violist Krzysztof Chorzelski, brought a very different artistic provenance to the ensemble in 1994, which was expanded by the French musicians Axel Schacher (violin) and Antoine Lederlin (violoncello).
This also reflects the range of their repertoire: they have already recorded the complete string quartets by Bartók, Beethoven, Brahms (Diapason d'or de l'année 2016), and Britten and are constantly presenting new works by contemporary composers such as Joseph Phibbs (2018), Krzysztof Penderecki (2016), Thomas Larcher (2015) and Mark-Anthony Turnage (2014 & 2010). These commissioned works are created in association with the quartet's own foundation, whose aim is to continually broaden the string quartet literature as well as to support young quartets through concentrated joint coaching sessions. In this way they can also pass on to the next generation the experience they gained as students of the Amadeus & Alban Berg Quartet.
In addition to the complete recordings, the quartet can refer to a varied discography with recordings (among others) of Berg, Dutilleux, Mozart, Schönberg & Schubert. Recent recordings include the Shostakovich Album, with the 3rd String Quartet and the Piano Quintet with Piotr Anderszewski, released in April 2018, and the string quartets from Janáček & Ligeti's 'Metamorphoses nocturnes', released in spring 2019.
„The Belcea has the measure of Ligeti’s offbeat, almost cubist structure, immersing itself thoroughly in his restlessly changing textures, and playing up his unashamed theatricality to compelling effect. It shines piercing new light on all three quartets, producing accounts that are often aurally surprising but entirely convincing, captured in close, warm sound.”The Strad, Oktober 2019
Their performances of all Beethoven String Quartets at the Konzerthaus Vienna 2012 were released on DVD in Autumn 2014 by EuroArts. Invitations from the Wigmore Hall, Pierre Boulez Saal, University of Hong Kong and Théâtre des Champs-Elysées for 2019 & 2020 have led the musicians to return to this cycle to celebrate their 25th anniversary.
With the beginning of the 2017/2018 season, the Pierre Boulez Saal Berlin has appointed the Belcea Quartet as Ensemble-in-Residence. Already since 2010 the ensemble has shared a cycle at the Wiener Konzerthaus with the Artemis Quartet.
In addition to concerts at the Tonhalle Zurich, the Berlin Philharmonie, the Palais des Beaux-Arts, the Het Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ', a three-part concert cycle at the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg is on the agenda for the 2020/2021 season.
Violin by Giovanni Battista Guadagnini (1755), kindly on loan from MERITO String Instruments Trusts Vienna
Violin by Nicolas Lupot (1824)
Viola by Nicola Amati (ca. 1670)
Cello by Matteo Gofriller (1722), kindly on loan from MERITO String Instruments Trusts Vienna
2020 / 2021
This biography is to be reproduced without any changes, omissions or additions, unless expressly authorized by artist management.
Linda Uschinski (Head)
t: +49 (0)30 414 781 717
f: +49 (0)30 414 781 713
t: +49 (0)30 414 781 716
f: +49 (0)30 414 781 713