Danish String Quartet Makes Seattle Debut Tonight

The Danish String Quartet has established a reputation for possessing an integrated sound, impeccable intonation and judicious balance. With their technical and interpretive talents matched by an infectious joy for music-making and "rampaging energy" (The New Yorker), the quartet has been acclaimed as one of the "best quartets before the public today" (Washington Post). Since making their debut in 2002 at the Copenhagen Festival, this group of musical friends has demonstrated a passion for Scandinavian composers, who they frequently incorporate into adventurous programs, while also proving skilled and profound performers of the classical masters. The ensemble's Meany Hall performance will be their first in Seattle.


Per Nørgaard: Quarteto Breve

Beethoven: String Quartet No. 16 in F Major, Op. 135

Schnittke: Quartet No. 3 (built on Grosse Fuge theme)

Beethoven: Grosse Fuge, Op. 133




About the Danish String Quartet

Frederik Øland, violin
Rune Tonsgaard Sørensen, violin
Asbjørn Nørgaard, viola
Fredrik Schøyen Sjölin, cello

Embodying the quintessential elements of a chamber music ensemble, the Danish String Quartet has established a reputation for their integrated sound, impeccable intonation and judicious balance. With their technical and interpretive talents matched by an infectious joy for music-making and "rampaging energy," (Alex Ross, The New Yorker) the quartet is in demand worldwide by concert and festival presenters alike. Since making their debut in 2002 at the Copenhagen Festival, the group of musical friends has demonstrated a passion for Scandinavian composers, who they frequently incorporate into adventurous contemporary programs, while also proving skilled and profound performers of the classical masters. In 2012, The New York Times selected the quartet's concert as a highlight of the year, saying the performance featured "one of the most powerful renditions of Beethoven's Op. 132 String Quartet that I've heard live or on a recording." This scope of talent secured them a three-year appointment in the coveted Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center's CMS Two Program that began in the 2013-14 season. The quartet was also named as a BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist for 2013-15.

The Danish String Quartet's 2015-16 season includes a release of their debut disc on ECM Records, a first-time tour of China as well as summer performances at the Mostly Mozart Festival, Maverick Concerts, Cape Cod Chamber Music Festival, Toronto Summer Music Festival and Ottawa Chamberfest. International highlights include concerts in Berlin, Copenhagen, Glasgow, London and a debut at the Louvre Museum in Paris. With increasing popularity, the Danish String Quartet is considered one of the most sought after chamber ensembles in the world. Their repertoire is diverse, from Nielsen, Abrahamsen, Adès, Shostakovich to Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Debussy and Haydn. Currently in their third season with the CMS Two program, they will perform all four of the Nielsen String Quartets in the Rose Studio and the final concert of a six-concert Beethoven cycle at Alice Tully Hall. In addition to its commitment to highlighting Scandinavian composers, the Danish String Quartet derives great pleasure in traditional Scandinavian folk music.This past November the quartet launched their recording of Danish folk songs entitled Wood Works,released by the Dacapo label and distributed by Naxos, at SubCulture in New York. It was selected by NPR as one of the best classical albums of 2014 and the Quartet was featured on a NPR Tiny Desk Concertperforming works from the highly acclaimed album.

Since winning the Danish Radio P2 Chamber Music Competition in 2004, the quartet has been greatly desired throughout Denmark and in October 2015 they present the ninth annual DSQ-Festival, a four-day event held in Copenhagen that brings together musical friends the quartet has met on its travels. In 2009 the Danish String Quartet won First Prize in the 11th London International String Quartet Competition, as well as four additional prizes from the same jury. This competition is now called the Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition and the Danish String Quartet has performed at the famed hall on several occasions. They returned to Wigmore Hall in March 2015 to perform a program of Haydn and Shostakovich.

The Danish String Quartet was awarded First Prize in the Vagn Holmboe String Quartet Competition and the Charles Hennen International Chamber Music Competition in Holland and the Audience Prize in the Trondheim International String Quartet Competition in 2005. They were awarded the 2010 NORDMETALL-Ensemble Prize at the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festival in Germany and, in 2011, received the prestigious Carl Nielsen Prize.

In 2006, the Danish String Quartet was Danish Radio's Artist-in-Residence, giving them the opportunity to record all of Carl Nielsen's string quartets in the Danish Radio Concert Hall, subsequently released to critical acclaim on the Dacapo label in 2007 and 2008.

The New York Times review said "These Danish players have excelled in performances of works by Brahms, Mozart and Bartok in New York in recent years. But they play Nielsen's quartets as if they owned them." In 2012 the Danish String Quartet released an equally-acclaimed recording of Haydn and Brahms quartets on the German AVI-music label. Anthony Tommasini of the New York Times said: "What makes the performance special is the maturity and calm of the playing, even during virtuosic passages that whisk by. This is music making of wonderful ease and naturalness..." They recorded works by Brahms and Fuchs with award-winning clarinettist Sebastian Manz at the Bayerische Rundfunk in Munich, released by AVI-music in 2014, and recently signed with ECM Records for future recording projects.

Violinists Frederik Øland and Rune Tonsgaard Sørensen and violist Asbjørn Nørgaard met as children at a music summer camp where they played both football and music together, eventually making the transition into a serious string quartet in their teens and studying at Copenhagen's Royal Academy of Music. In 2008 the three Danes were joined by Norwegian cellist Fredrik Schøyen Sjölin. The Danish String Quartet was primarily taught and mentored by Professor Tim Frederiksen and have participated in master classes with the Tokyo and Emerson String Quartets, Alasdair Tait, Paul Katz, Hugh Maguire, Levon Chilingirian and Gábor Takács-Nagy.

About UW World Series

The UW World Series is one of Seattle's leading performing arts organizations, presenting innovative, provocative, and diverse international artists in music, theater and dance. Over 500 visiting artists from around the world have performed as part of the UWWS. The eclectic mix of programming has given Northwest audiences a broad view of the world of performing arts, from sampling unique cultural traditions to experiencing innovative new works that expand the scope and direction of contemporary performing arts. The UW World Series' mission includes supporting the educational goals of the University of Washington by providing extensive arts learning opportunities for UW students and faculty, area school children and teachers, and members of the community at large.

Purchase tickets: Call 206-543-4880, or order online at uwworldseries.org. Tickets may also be purchased in person at the ArtsUW Ticket Office, located at 1313 NE 41st. Or fax your order to the Ticket Office at 206-685-4141. Tickets are subject to availability. Artists, dates, programs and prices are subject to change.

Prices: Regular single tickets range from $38-43. Discounts are available for students, seniors (65+), UW Alumni Association members, UW employees and UW retirees. UW student tickets start at $10. Discount tickets are subject to availability.

Free Youth Tickets: The UW World Series offers up to two Free Youth Tickets (ages 5-17 only) with the purchase of a ticket to any International Chamber Music or President's Piano Series event. The Free Youth Ticket was created to engage young audiences in classical music, encourage families to share the experience of hearing great music together, and extend our educational experiences from the classroom to the concert hall.

Location and parking: Meany Hall is located on the Seattle campus of the University of Washington, on 15th Avenue NE between NE 40th and 41st Streets. Parking for Meany Hall is available in the Central Parking Garage (entrance at 15th Avenue and 41st Street). On-street metered parking is also available.

Accessibility: The University of Washington is committed to providing access, equal opportunity and reasonable accommodation in its services, programs, activities, education and employment for individuals with disabilities. To request disability accommodation contact the Disability Services Office at least ten days in advance at: 206.543.6450/V, 206.543.6452/TTY, 206.685.7264 (FAX), or e-mail at dso@u.washington.edu.

Disability seating with up to three companion seats per disability space is available for all UWWS events. Reservations for disability seating must be made at the time of purchase. Please contact the ArtsUW Ticket Office at 206-543-4880 for specific seating options and availability.

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