Pavel Haas Quartet

Pavel Haas Quartet

Based in Prague, the quartet studied with Milan Skampa, the legendary violist of the Smetana Quartet, and still enjoy a close relationship with him. In the 2015/16 season the quartet will return to LSO St Luke’s for a BBC Radio 3 residency in February 2016, they will make their South Korea debut in Seoul and embark on a North America tour in autumn 2015 including concerts in Boston, Washington, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Vancouver and Montreal. They will perform concerts at the Wigmore Hall, Philharmonie Berlin, Munich Herkulessaal, Palau de la Musica Barcelona, Stockholm Konserthuset and the Schubertiade. Last season’s highlights included the quartet’s ‘Bohemia’ series exploring Czech repertoire at major European concert halls, a residency at the Bodenseefestival and appearances at the Verbier, Edinburgh and Aldeburgh festivals. The Pavel Haas Quartet record exclusively for Supraphon, and their most recent recording of Smetana’s String Quartets Nos 1 & 2 was awarded Best Chamber Music Recording at the 2015 Gramophone Awards. This is the fourth time the quartet have received this prestigious award, and Gramophone commented: ‘Their sound is, as always, immediately recognisable – partly due to the sheer richness of timbre but also the sense of four personalities at play… at times it’s hard to believe you are in the presence of only four players, so intense is the sound.’ BBC Music Magazine remarked that these were ‘definite performances in which nothing is taken for granted’, and the Sunday Times wrote ‘it’s hard to imagine a more compelling or harrowing take on the less frequently programmed D minor quartet.’ The quartet won the same prize in 2014 for their recording of Schubert’s String Quartet ‘Death and the Maiden’ and the String Quintet with cellist Danjulo Ishizaka, and their account of Dvořák’s String Quartets No.12 ‘American’ and No.13 was awarded both the Chamber Music award and the most coveted prize, Recording of the Year in 2011. The Sunday Times commented: ‘Their account of the ‘American’ Quartet belongs alongside the greatest performances on disc.’ The quartet also won the Diapason d’Or de l’Année in 2010 for their disc featuring Prokofiev’s String Quartets Nos 1 & 2, and received yet another Gramophone Chamber Music Award in 2007 for their recording of Janáček’s Quartet No.2 ‘Intimate Letters’ and Haas’s Quartet No.2 ‘From the Monkey Mountains’. In 2007, the Cologne Philharmonic nominated the Quartet as ECHO Rising Stars, resulting in a tour to major concert halls worldwide. The Quartet took part in the BBC New Generation Artists scheme between 2007-2009, and in 2010 were awarded the Special Ensemble Scholarship of the Borletti-Buitoni Trust. The Quartet take their name from the Czech composer Pavel Haas (1899-1944) who was imprisoned at Theresienstadt in 1941 and tragically died at Auschwitz three years later. His legacy includes three wonderful string quartets.

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