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Belcea Quartet To Play Brahms and Schubert October 20

October 6, 2017

Award-Winning String Quartet Known for Dynamic and Free Interpretive Style

Middlebury, VT—The Middlebury College Performing Arts Series welcomes back the Gramophone Award-winning Belcea Quartet for their fifth concert appearance on October 20 at the Mahaney Center for the Arts. The program will include Schubert’s Quartet No. 10 in E-flat Major, Brahms’s Quartet in A Minor, and Schubert’s Quartet No. 14 in D Minor, “Death and the Maiden.” This first chamber music concert of the year is sure to draw an enthusiastic crowd.

The Belcea Quartet is known around the world for performances of dynamic and free interpretative style, unconfined by traditional boundaries. This expansive musicianship has its roots in the very diverse cultural backgrounds of its four musicians. The quartet was founded at the Royal College of Music in London in 1994, and is now based in Great Britain. However, the quartet’s two founding members, Romanian violinist Corina Belcea and Polish violist Krzysztof Chorzelski, bring a very different artistic provenance to the ensemble, while also drawing from the best traditions of string quartet playing received from the quartet’s mentors, the Alban Berg and Amadeus Quartets. This spectrum is extended by the French musicians Axel Schacher (violin) and Antoine Lederlin (cello). The Belcea Quartet blends these diverse influences into a common musical language.

This diversity is reflected in the quartet’s repertoire. Regular world premières—among them Mark-Anthony Turnage’s 2010 string quartet “Twisted Blues with Twisted Ballad”—go hand-in-hand with its profound connection with the great works of the Classical and Romantic periods.

The Belcea Quartet performs regularly to great acclaim in concert halls across the world, among them the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, and Carnegie Hall in New York. The Quartet also appears regularly at the Salzburg, Aldeburgh, and Edinburgh Festivals, as well as the Schubertiade Schwarzenberg.

The Belcea Quartet possesses 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, England, released under quartet’s new label ZigZag Territoires. As with its predecessors, this CD has been met with critical acclaim: it has been recognized with such prizes as the ECHO Klassik Award.

The musicians recently created their very own Belcea Quartet Trust, with the goal of supporting and inspiring young string quartets through a series of intensive coaching sessions organized according to the needs of each selected ensemble, as well as supporting the commission of new works from today’s leading composers to be premiered by the quartet in the future.

“The Belceas still play like a young quartet, seizing the music’s energy, shocking us out of our seats with every fortissimo,” exclaimed the Guardian of London, calling the ensemble “a world-class ensemble” whose performances are “…expressive, well-defined, multi-dimensional and irresistibly dynamic and compelling.”

Audience members can join fellow concertgoers for a pre-performance dinner, featuring a seasonal fall menu, at 6:00 P.M. in the lower lobby of the Mahaney Center for the Arts. This buffet dinner will be seated family style; tickets: $30; cash bar.

This Performing Arts Series concert is made possible with generous support from Olin C. Robison, and is part of the Nelson Chamber Music Series.

The Belcea Quartet concert will take place on Thursday, October 20, at 7:30 P.M. in the Concert Hall of the Kevin P. Mahaney ’84 Center for the Arts, on the campus of Middlebury College. The Mahaney Center is located on the campus of Middlebury College, at 72 Porter Field Road, just off Route 30 south/S. Main Street. Free parking is available curbside on Route 30 or in the Center for the Arts parking lot, in rows marked faculty/staff/visitors. Tickets are $25 for the general public; $20 for Middlebury College faculty, staff, alumni, emeriti, and other ID card holders; and $6 for Middlebury College students. For more information, or to purchase tickets, call (802) 443-MIDD (6433) or go to http://www.middlebury.edu/arts.

Photos by Ronald Knappnew, Marco Borggreve

Mahaney Center for the Arts
Middlebury College
South Main St./Route 30 South
72 Porter Field Rd.
Middlebury, VT 05753
(802) 443-3168 phone
(802) 443-2834 fax
cfa@middlebury.edu