Coastal Concerts presents ‘The Takacs Quartet’
March 18, 2023 @ 2:00 pm
The Takacs Quartert,
SATURDAY MARCH 18th at 2 pm| (Performance Insights at 1 pm)
Bethel United Methodist Church
András Fejér(cello) | Edward Dusinberre (first violinist) | Harumi Rhodes (violinist) | Richard O’Neill (violinist)
Recent winners of the Gramophone Classical Music Awards 2021, Chamber category, the world-renowned Takács Quartet, is now entering its forty-seventh season. Edward Dusinberre, Harumi Rhodes (violins), Richard O’Neill (viola) and András Fejér (cello) are excited to bring to fruition several innovative projects for the 2021-2022 season.With bandoneon/accordion virtuoso Julien Labro, the group will perform throughout the USA new works composed for them by Clarice Assad and Bryce Dessner. This season also marks the world premiere of a new quartet written for the Takács by Stephen Hough, Les Six Rencontres. The Takács will record this extraordinary work for Hyperion Records, in combination with quartets by Ravel and Dutilleux.
During the last year, the Takács marked the arrival of Grammy-award-winning violist, Richard O’Neill by making two new recordings for Hyperion. Quartets by Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel and Felix Mendelssohn were released in the Fall of 2021, to be followed in May 2022 by a disc of Haydn’s opp. 42, 77 and 103.
The Takács Quartet continues its role in 2021-2022 as Associate Artists at London’s Wigmore Hall, performing four concerts there this season. In addition to many concerts in the U.K., the ensemble will play at prestigious European venues including the Paris Philharmonie, Berlin Konzerthaus, and Teatro Della Pergola, Florence. The Takács will perform throughout North America, including concerts in New York, Boston, Washington DC, Princeton, Ann Arbor, Berkeley, San Francisco, Philadelphia,Vancouver, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Cleveland, and Portland.
The Takács records for Hyperion Records. The ensemble recently won a Gramophone Classical Music Award 2021 in the Chamber category for their recording of quintets by Amy Beach and Elgar with pianist Garrick Ohlsson. The cd also won a Presto Classical Recording of the Year. Other discs for Hyperion include string quartets by Haydn, Schubert, Janáček, Smetana, Debussy and Britten, as well as piano quintets by César Franck and Shostakovich (with Marc-André Hamelin), viola quintets by Brahms and Dvorák (with Lawrence Power). For their CDs on the Decca/London label, the Quartet has won three Gramophone Awards, a Grammy Award, three Japanese Record Academy Awards, Disc of the Year at the inaugural BBC Music Magazine Awards, and Ensemble Album of the Year at the Classical Brits. Full details of all recordings can be found in the Recordings section of the Quartet’s website.
In 2014 the Takács became the first string quartet to be awarded the Wigmore Hall Medal. The Medal, inaugurated in 2007, recognizes major international artists who have a strong association with the Hall. Recipients include Andras Schiff, Thomas Quasthoff, Menahem Pressler and Dame Felicity Lott. In 2012, Gramophone announced that the Takács was the first string quartet to be inducted into its Hall of Fame, along with such legendary artists as Jascha Heifetz, Leonard Bernstein and Dame Janet Baker. The ensemble also won the 2011 Award for Chamber Music and Song presented by the Royal Philharmonic Society in London.
The Takács Quartet is known for innovative programming. The ensemble performed a program inspired by Philip Roth’s novel Everyman with Meryl Streep at Princeton in 2014, and again with her at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto in 2015. They first performed Everyman at Carnegie Hall in 2007 with Philip Seymour Hoffman. They have toured 14 cities with the poet Robert Pinsky, collaborate regularly with the Hungarian Folk group Muzsikas, and in 2010 they collaborated with the Colorado Shakespeare Festival and David Lawrence Morse on a drama project that explored the composition of Beethoven’s last quartets.
Based in Boulder at the University of Colorado, the members of the Takács Quartet are Christoffersen Faculty Fellows. The Quartet has helped to develop a string program with a special emphasis on chamber music, where students work in a nurturing environment designed to help them develop their artistry. Through the university, two of the quartet’s members benefit from the generous loan of instruments from the Drake Instrument Foundation. The members of the Takács are on the faculty at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, where they run an intensive summer string quartet seminar, and Visiting Fellows at the Guildhall School of Music, London.
The Takács Quartet was formed in 1975 at the Franz Liszt Academy in Budapest by Gabor Takács-Nagy, Károly Schranz, Gabor Ormai and András Fejér, while all four were students. It first received international attention in 1977, winning First Prize and the Critics’ Prize at the International String Quartet Competition in Evian, France. The Quartet also won the Gold Medal at the 1978 Portsmouth and Bordeaux Competitions and First Prizes at the Budapest International String Quartet Competition in 1978 and the Bratislava Competition in 1981.
András Fejér(cello) was born in 1955 into a musical family. His father was a cellist and conductor, and his mother was a pianist. He began playing the cello at the age of seven, because as legend has it, his father was unwilling to listen to a violin-upstart practicing. Since an early age, his parents have held string quartet weekends, which, for the young cellist were the most memorable of occasions, if not for the music, then for the glorious desserts his mother used to prepare for those sessions.
After attending a music high school, Mr. Fejér was admitted to the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in 1975, where he was a pupil of Ede Banda, András Mihály, Ferenc Rados and György Kurtág. That same year he founded the Takács String Quartet with three fellow classmates. Although the quartet has been his sole professional focus since then, he does perform as a soloist occasionally as well.
Mr. Fejér is married to a literature teacher. They have three children and live in the Rocky Mountains where they enjoy year-round sunshine in beautiful Boulder, Colorado. When he is not on tour he enjoys reading, photography, tennis and hiking.
As first violinist of the Takács Quartet, Edward Dusinberre has won a Grammy and awards from Gramophone Magazine, the Japanese Recording Academy, Chamber Music America and the Royal Philharmonic Society. Outside of the quartet he has made a recording of Beethoven’s violin sonatas nos. 9 (Kreutzer) and 10 on the Decca label and recently performed Costa Concordia, a concerto composed for him by Jeffrey Nytch, inspired by the tragic story of violinist Sándor Fehér who was drowned on the cruise ship of that name in 2012. Dusinberre is also an author. His book Beethoven for a Later Age: The Journey of a String Quartet, takes the reader inside the life of a string quartet, melding music history and memoir as it explores the circumstances surrounding the composition of Beethoven’s quartets and the Takács Quartet’s experiences rehearsing and performing this music. The book was published by Faber in the UK and the University of Chicago Press, winning the Royal Philharmonic Society’s 2016 Creative Communication Award. Announcing the award the RPS Committee said: “Few have told so well of the musician’s life, or offered such illuminating insights to players and listeners alike.” The book has recently been translated into German and a Korean edition will be released soon. Dusinberre lives in Boulder, where he is Artist-in-Residence and a Christoffersen Fellow at the University of Colorado. In 2017 he was appointed a member of the faculty at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara and is a Visiting Fellow at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
Acclaimed by theNew York Times as a “deeply expressive violinist,” Harumi Rhodes has gained broad recognition as a multifaceted musician with a distinctive and sincere musical voice. Her generosity of spirit on stage is contagious, making her one of the most sought-after violinists of her generation. Recent solo engagements include performances of Bernstein Serenade, Beethoven Violin Concerto, Mozart Violin Concerto No 5, and Vivaldi Four Seasons with the Vermont Mozart Festival Orchestra. In addition to being a founding member of the Naumburg Award winning ensemble, Trio Cavatina, she has performed regularly with Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and Musicians from Marlboro. An avid supporter of contemporary music, she has been actively involved in commissioning and premiering new works as an artist member of the Boston Chamber Music Society, East Coast Chamber Orchestra(ECCO), and Music from Copland House. Recent discography includes Milton Babbitt’s String Quartet No. 6 (Tzadik); The Five Borough Songbook, including 20 different composers and commissions (GPR Records); Compadrazgo, a compilation of chamber works by Gabriela Lena Frank (Albany Records); Secret Alchemy, with ensemble works by Pierre Jalbert (Copland House Blend); and Clean Plates Don’t Lie, featuring new vocal chamber music works with texts from Chef Dan Barber and the sustainable food movement (Centaur). Rhodes has served as Head of Strings and Chamber Music at Syracuse University, Assistant Violin Faculty at the Juilliard School, and most recently as Assistant Professor of Violin at the University of Colorado-Boulder.
Newly appointed violist of the Takács Quartet, Richard O’Neill has distinguished himself as one of the great instrumentalists of his generation.
An EMMY Award winner, two time GRAMMY nominee and Avery Fisher Career Grant recipient, he has appeared as soloist with the world’s top orchestras including the London, Los Angeles, Seoul Philharmonics, the BBC, Hiroshima, Korean Symphonies, the Kremerata Baltica, Moscow, Vienna and Wurtemburg Chamber Orchestras, Alte Musik Koln, and has worked with distinguished musicians and conductors including Andrew Davis, Vladimir Jurowski, Francois Xavier Roth and Yannick Nezet-Seguin. An Artist of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and Principal Violist of Camerata Pacifica, for thirteen seasons he served as Artistic Director of DITTO, his South Korean chamber music project, leading the ensemble on international tours to China and Japan and introducing tens of thousands to music.
A Universal Music/Deutsche Grammophon recording artist, he has made 10 solo albums and many other chamber music recordings, earning multiple platinum discs. Composers Lera Auerbach, Elliott Carter, Paul Chihara, John Harbison and Huang Ruo have written works for him. He has appeared on major TV networks in South Korea and enjoyed huge success with his 2004 KBS documentary ‘Human Theater’ which was viewed by over 12 million people, and his 2013 series ‘Hello?! Orchestra’ which featured his work with a multicultural youth orchestra for MBC and led to an International Emmy in Arts Programming and a feature length film.
He serves as Goodwill Ambassador for the Korean Red Cross, The Special Olympics, UNICEF and OXFAM and serves on the faculty of the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara.