January 4, 2001

World-class string quartet returns
to Middlebury College Jan. 24 and 27

Takács Quartet to perform all six
of Bela Bartók’s string quartets

MIDDLEBURY, Vt.--One of the
world’s leading string ensembles, the Takács Quartet,
returns to Middlebury College this month for performances Wednesday,
Jan. 24, at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, Jan. 27, at 8 p.m. Both concerts
will be at the College’s Concert Hall at the Center for the Arts
on South Main Street (Route 30).

Famous for their interpretation of
Bela Bartók’s works, the group’s members will
perform all six of the Hungarian composer’s string quartets,
pieces regarded as cornerstones of all chamber music. Their recording
of these pieces won the Gramophone Chamber Music of the Year Award in
1998, and in 1999 it was nominated for a Grammy.

Bartók’s music speaks to
the spirit of the Takács Quartet, which was founded in Hungary
in 1975 by four students of Budapest’s Liszt Academy. Within two
years, the group was winning international competitions and
attention. Since 1983, it has held a residency at the University of
Colorado at Boulder. Its members also teach and perform as fellows at
London’s Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

Today, the ensemble is only half
Hungarian; two original members―violinist Karoly Schranz and
cellist Andras Fejer―remain. English violinists Edward
Dusinberre and Roger Tapping joined them in 1993. The evolution
didn’t slow the group’s momentum in garnering accolades
around the world. After a 1999 performance, the Indianapolis Star
declared that the quartet’s members “functioned as if they
shared one soul.”

The Takács’ recent
performances of Bartók’s quartets have met with wide
acclaim. Describing the pieces, a reviewer at New York’s Newsday
declared them “imposing pinnacles of 20th century musical
achievement, unsurpassed in expressive power and dizzying in range of
sonorities and harmonic textures.” Impressed with how the
quartet handled these works, the same reviewer exclaimed, “The
Takács played with a warmth, passion and lyricism that
challenged the dominant perception of this music.”

The Washington Post in 1998 reviewed
two of the quartet’s performances of Bartók: “It was
bliss … In short, we were hearing artistry of the highest

During the 1999-2000 season, the
Takács Quartet performed more than 50 concerts in the United
States, Europe, Australia, and Japan. The group first visited
Middlebury College during its 1998-99 season.

The upcoming Vermont performances are
sponsored by the Middlebury College Concert Series. 
Tickets are $10 for general admission and $8 for senior
citizens.  Pre-performance
dinners will be held both nights at Rehearsals Cafe in the Center for
the Arts. Wednesday’s dinner begins at 6 p.m. and
Saturday’s at 6:30 p.m. For tickets or dinner reservations, call the College box office