“ A quartet for the new millennium if I ever heard one ”
wrote Strad magazine upon hearing Cuarteto Casals for the first time, shortly after its inception in 1997 at the Escuela Reina Sofía in Madrid. To celebrate its 20th anniversary season, Cuarteto Casals has embarked on an especially ambitious project: a six-concert series of the complete Beethoven quartets, accompanied by six commisioned works from composers of its generation, to premiered at Wigmore Hall (London), Konzerthaus (Vienna), L'Auditori (Barcelona), Auditorio Nacional (Madrid), Conservatorio Giuseppe Verdi (Turin) and the Musikgebouw (Amsterdam). In addition, the quartet will perform complete Beethoven cycles in the Philharmonie (Berlin), Gulbenkian Foundation (Lisbon), Suntory Hall (Tokyo), Konserthuset (Stockholm) and Flagey (Brussels) and the Schubertíade (Vilabertran). In three box sets to be released over the next three years, Cuarteto Casals is also recording the complete Beethoven cycle, culminating in 2020, the 250th anniversary of the composer's birth.
Since winning First Prizes at the London and Brahms-Hamburg competitions, Cuarteto Casals has been a repeated guest at the world’s most prestigious concert halls including Wigmore Hall, Carnegie Hall, Musikverein Vienna, Philharmonie Cologne, Cité de la Musique Paris, Schubertiade in Schwarzenberg, Concertgebouw Amsterdam and the Philharmonie in Berlin, among many others throughout Europe, North America and ASIA.
The quartet has compiled a substantial discography with the Harmonia Mundi label, including to date 11 CD’s, with repertoire ranging from lesser known Spanish composers Arriaga and Toldrá to Viennese classics Mozart, Haydn, Schubert and Brahms, through 20th Century greats Bartók, Kurtág and Ligeti, as well as a live DVD recording of the complete Schubert quartets, for Neu Records.
“A sonic signature entirely its own,” raved the New York Times, describing Cuarteto Casals’ distinctive range of expression. A prize from the prestigious Burletti-Buitoni Trust in London enabled the quartet to begin a collection of matching Baroque and Classical period bows which it uses for works from Purcell through Schubert, refining its ability to distinguish between diverse musical styles. In addition, the quartet has been profoundly influenced by its work with living composers, especially György Kurtág, and has given the world premiere of quartets written by leading Spanish composers, including a new concerto for string quartet and orchestra by Francisco Coll, premiered with the Orquesta Nacional de España.
in recognition of its unique contributions to the cultural life of Catalunya, Cuarteto Casals has been acknowledged as ambassadors of Catalan culture by the Generalitat of Catalunya and the Institut Ramon Lull. Past awards include the Premio Nacional de Música, the Premi Nacional de Cultura de Catalunya and the Premi Ciutat Barcelona. The quartet performs yearly on the peerless collection of decorated Stradivarius instruments in the Royal Palace in Madrid, where it will be quartet in residence through 2020.
Cuarteto Casals often appears on television and radio throughout Europe and North America, and in addition to giving much sought-after masterclasses, is quartet in residence at the Escola Superior de Musica de Catalunya in Barcelona, where all four members reside.
Cuarteto Casals presents
Haydn: The Seven Last Words of Christ
Haydn, Cuarteto de cuerdas
Opus 33 No. 2 en mi bemol mayor
Shostakovich, Cuarteto de cuerdas
N° 8 en do menor (op. 110)
Schubert, Cuarteto de cuerdas
D87 en mi bemol mayor