Danish String Quartet Tackles Shostakovich Quartet Online via Tanglewood

Danish String Quartet

(LENOX, Mass.) – The Danish String Quartet from Copenhagen will perform Dmitri Shostakovich’s Quartet No. 10 in A-flat, Op. 118, in a live recording via Tanglewood on Wednesday, August 5, at 8pm, as part of the Recitals from the World Stage series. The program will be hosted by Karen Allen.

The Danish String Quartet (actually 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. The Danish String Quartet are Frederik Øland and Rune Tonsgaard Sørensen, violins; Asbjørn Nørgaard, viola; and Fredrik Schøyen Sjölin, cello. 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, which the Danish will perform, is characteristic of the composer’s inward-looking chamber music of his later years, by turns lyrically poignant and incisively direct.

The Danish String Quartet brings a rare musical spontaneity to music ranging from Haydn to Shostakovich to contemporary scores. Since its debut in 2002, the quartet has also demonstrated a special affinity for Scandinavian composers including Nielsen, Hans Abrahamsen, Bent Sørensen, and traditional Nordic folk music.

The recipient of many awards and prestigious appointments, including the Borletti Buitoni Trust, the Danish String Quartet was named in 2013 as BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artists and appointed to the The Bowers Program (formerly CMS Two) at New York’s Lincoln Center. In 2007, they established the DSQ Festival, which takes place in an intimate and informal setting in Copenhagen. Highlights of recent seasons include six-concert series of the complete Beethoven cycle of sixteen string quartets, arecital with violinist Augustin Hadelich, and a world premiere of Bent Sørensen’s Dancers and Disappearance for string quartet and accordion.

For their Series of Four concerts they both perform and invite colleagues — the Ebène Quartet and mandolin player Chris Thile, among others — to appear at the venerable Danish Radio Concert Hall. The Danish String Quartet has received numerous citations and prizes including the 2011 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” for ECM New Series.

In addition to that ongoing recording project, they performed the full PRISM cycle at La Jolla Music Society in five concerts in November 2019. They performed the complete Beethoven cycle at Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in February 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.




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