Corina Belcea, violin
Axel Schacher, violin
Krzysztof Chorzelski, viola
Antoine Lederlin, cello
“What was most striking […] proved to be their spirit of freedom”
…as the London Times wrote in spring 2019, these musicians are not stopped by traditional boundaries. The two founding members, Romanian violinist Corina Belcea and Polish violist Krzysztof Chorzelski, gave the ensemble a wide range of backgrounds in 1994, expanding it to include French musicians Axel Schacher (violin) and Antoine Lederlin (cello).
This also reflects the breadth of their repertoire: they have already recorded the complete string quartets of Bartók, Beethoven, Brahms (Diapason d’or de l’année 2016) and Britten, and are constantly offering audiences new works by contemporary composers such as Joseph Phibbs (2018), Krzysztof Penderecki (2016), Thomas Larcher (2015) and Mark-Anthony Turnage (2014 & 2010). These commissioned works are created in association with the quartet’s own foundation, whose aim is to continually expand the string quartet literature while supporting young quartets through intense shared coaching sessions. In this way they can also pass on to the next generation the experience they themselves have gained with the Amadeus and Alban Berg Quartets.
In addition to extensive recordings, the quartet boasts a varied discography of recordings of (among others) Berg, Dutilleux, Mozart, Schönberg & Schubert. Recent recordings include the Shostakovich album of String Quartet No. 3 and Piano Quintet with Piotr Anderszewski, released in April 2018, and the album of Janáček’s string quartets and Ligeti’s “Nocturnal Metamorphoses”, released in spring 2019. “The Belcea Quartet plays with high emotional pressure, seemingly ejecting Janacek’s short motifs and pushing them to a breathless intensification. High speed, full braking and full throttle again on the expression and tempo pedal. “Hamburger Abendblatt, June 2019Their performance of the complete Beethoven string quartets at the Vienna Konzerthaus in 2012 was released on DVD in the autumn of 2014 by EuroArts. Invited by the Wigmore Hall, the Pierre Boulez Saal, the University of Hong Kong and the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in 2019 and 2020 the musicians were able to return to this cycle to celebrate their 25th anniversary.
Since the beginning of the 2017/2018 season, the Pierre Boulez Saal in Berlin has chosen the Belcea Quartet as its ensemble in residence. Back in 2010, the ensemble shared a cycle at the Vienna Konzerthaus with the Artemis Quartet.
In addition to concerts at the Tonhalle in Zurich, the Berlin Philharmonic, the Palace of Fine Arts, Het Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ, a three-part concert cycle at the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg is on the programme for their 2020/2021 season.
violin by Giovanni Battista Guadagnini (1755), on loan from MERITO String Instruments Trusts Vienna
violin by Nicolas Lupot (1824)
viola by Nicola Amati (1670 approx.)
cello by Matteo Gofriller (1722), on loan from MERITO String Instruments Trusts Vienna