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Britain's Belcea Quartet returns to Middlebury College with a concert honoring Mozart and Shostakovich March 12

February 27, 2006

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. ? During its United States tour, the renowned Belcea Quartet will make a return performance at Middlebury College with a concert honoring composers Mozart and Shostakovich. The event will take place on Sunday, March 12, at 7 p.m. in the Middlebury College Center for the Arts Concert Hall, located on South Main Street (Route 30).

The Belcea Quartet
(photo courtesy of Jillian Edelstein)
Considered a leading quartet of the new generation, the Belcea Quartet is famous on the British and international chamber music scene. The evening's program will feature Mozart's quartets, K. 421 and K. 428, along with Shostakovich's third quartet. 
Founded in 1994 at London's Royal College of Music, the Belcea Quartet was coached by the Chilingirian Quartet, the Amadeus Quartet and Simon Rowland-Jones. They have garnered increasing international attention since 1999 when they won first prize at international string quartet competitions in Osaka, Japan, and Bordeaux, France. Following that, they represented Great Britain in the 1999-2000 season of the European Concert Halls Organisation Rising Stars series. In 2001 and 2003, they received the Chamber Music Award of the Royal Philharmonic Society, and in 2004 received the United Kingdom's prestigious Royal Philharmonic Society Award.

In 2001, the quartet's first recording for EMI featuring works of Debussy, Ravel and Dutilleux won Gramophone Magazine's debut recording prize. The release also won a Diapason d'Or Award and led to an exclusive recording contract with EMI Classics. Subsequent recordings have included quartets by Brahms, Schubert, Debussy, Mozart, Britten and Ravel.
In a recent review, BBC Music Magazine praised the Belcea Quartet: "The Belcea performances stand out for their balance of playful brilliance against darker emotional undercurrents and for their breathtaking technical control. Truly exceptional quartet playing."

The ensemble enjoys support from the Royal College of Music's New Generation Scheme. In addition to a busy concert and festival schedule, the Belcea has worked in collaboration with other artists including Thomas Kakuska, Isabelle van Keulen, Imogen Cooper and Piotr Anderszewski. The group also is involved with the Wigmore Hall's extensive education program.

The Belcea Quartet regularly attends many of Europe's annual chamber music festivals and has increased its number of U.S. performances in recent years. This season includes concerts in New York, Washington D.C., San Francisco, Philadelphia and Dallas.

The concert is sponsored by the Middlebury College Performing Arts Series. Reserved seating tickets are $12 for general admission and $10 for seniors. For tickets or information, contact the Middlebury College Box Office at 802-443-6433, or visit online at