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Belcea Quartet

Language available : english
The Belcea Quartet has maintained a consistent sound, drawing on the members' international backgrounds through several changes in personnel. The group specializes in Romantic and early modern repertory. The Belcea Quartet was formed in 1994 by Corina Belcea, who remains the group's first violinist (she is now Corina Belcea-Fisher). She and the other players, violinist Laura Samuel, violist Krzysztof Chorzelski, and cellist Matthew Talty, were all students at the Royal College of Music at the time. Samuel and Talty were later replaced by Axel Schacher and Antoine Lederlin, respectively. Although the group has continued to be based in London, its membership is international; Belcea is Romanian, Chorzelski is Polish, and Schacher and Lederlin are French. The group's playing draws on several national traditions. The players underwent several years of coaching with the Chilingirian Quartet, the Amadeus Quartet, and violinist Simon Rowland-Jones before entering the international scene, upon which the group promptly won string quartet competitions in Osaka, Japan, and Bordeaux, France. The quartet was often featured on BBC radio in its early years, and that exposure helped it land a quartet-in-residence slot at London's Wigmore Hall. That lasted until 2006, by which time the Belcea Quartet had already recorded eight albums for the EMI label. The quartet recorded one more album for EMI, a complete cycle of Bartók's quartets, in 2008. In 2013 the group moved to Zig Zag Territoires and then, in 2015, to the Alpha label. It has continued to hold prestigious residencies, including at the Guildhall School in London, the Konzerthaus in Vienna, and, since 2017, at the Pierre Boulez Saal in Berlin. The Belcea Quartet is known for its readings of traditional quartet repertory, having performed and recorded a complete cycle of Beethoven's quartets for the Zig Zag Territoires label, but also champions contemporary music by such composers as Krzysztof Penderecki and Joseph Phibbs. The group has continued to record prolifically, issuing a recording of Brahms' string sextets with violist Tabea Zimmermann and cellist Jean-Guihen Queyras in 2022.
© James Manheim /TiVo
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