Pavel Haas Quartet
Veronika Jaruskova, violin
Marek Zwiebel, violin
Pavel Niki, viola
Peter Jarusek, cello
Tuesday, November 13
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The world’s most exciting string quartet? Well, they suit the tagline better than most. Their tone is large, quasi-orchestral. They take risks. Above all, they play with passion.
—The Times (London)
Pavel haas Quartet in rehearsal
BRAHMS: Quartet in A minor, Op. 51, No. 2
JANÁČEK: Quartet No. 1 “Kreutzer Sonata”
BEETHOVEN: Quartet in B-flat Major, Op. 130 with Grosse Fuge, Op. 133
About This Performance
Over the last decade, the Pavel Haas Quartet has become one of the most avidly-watched chamber ensembles in the world. The Quartet’s 2011 SF Performances debut caused a flood of positive audience feedback; “I thought this was the most exciting concert I’ve attended this year!”
Since winning the Paolo Borciani competition in Italy in Spring 2005, the Pavel Haas Quartet has established itself as one of the great chamber ensembles of today, performing at the world’s most prestigious concert halls and recording four award-winning CDs. Based in Prague, the Quartet studied with Milan Skampa, the legendary violist of the Smetana Quartet, and continues to enjoy a close relationship with him.
In 2012–13 the Quartet performs concerts at Munich Herkulessaal, Schwetzingen Festival, Paris Louvre, Rome Santa Cecilia, London Wigmore Hall, the Schubertiade and venues across the USA and China. Highlights of the last season have included performances at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Theatre des Champs-Elysees Paris, Zurich Tonalle, Carnegie Hall New York and a major tour of Japan. In October 2011 the Quartet was awared the prestigious Record of the Year at the Gramophone Awards for its recent recording of Dvořák’s String Quartets No.12 in F major ‘American’ and No.13 in G major.
The Pavel Haas Quartet has released four discs on the Supraphon label. Their most recent recording, the aforementioned disc of Dvořák’s String Quartets, was released in autumn 2010 and won widespread critical acclaim: The Sunday Times awarded the recording five stars, commenting: “Their account of the American Quartet belongs alongside the greatest performances on disc. In this repertoire, they are simply matchless today.” They won the Diapason d‘Or de l’Année for their disc featuring Prokofiev’s String Quartets Nos .1 & 2 and Sonata for Two Violins, with Diapason commenting “This is now the definitive recording of the Prokofiev quartets…to be discovered without hesitation.” Their first two recordings were equally well received. Their first recording of Janáček Quartet No.2 ‘Intimate Letters’ and Haas Quartet No.2 ‘From the Monkey Mountains’ was voted one of the CDs of 2006 by The Daily Telegraph and received a 2007 Gramophone Award . The Quartet’s second disc saw them complete their recordings of the string quartet works by Haas and Janacek. Gramophone commented “To describe a CD as musically important is to court a certain level of controversy but I’ll stick my neck out and claim extreme importance for this particular release.”
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 from 2007–2009, and in 2010 was awarded the 2010 Special Ensemble Scholarship of the Borletti-Buitoni Trust. The 2010–11 season saw the Quartet begin a three-year residency as Artists in Residence of Glasgow Royal Concert Halls.
The Quartet takes its 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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