Beethoven Cycle I Belcea Quartet


Friday, March 20, 2020 - 7:30 PM


We celebrate the 250th Anniversary of Ludwig van Beethoven’s birth with an immersion in his complete works for string quartet. These iconic pieces are a mainstay of the literature and are a fascinating study of the artistic development of this master. Two leading quartets will perform Beethoven’s incredible sixteen works in two intensive periods over the span of little more than a month.

F-major Quartet, Op. 18, No. 1
B-flat major Quartet, Op. 130/133


General Admission seating – doors open 45 minutes before concert.
All kids and college students admitted free at door.

Ticket information and policies

As the London Times wrote in the Spring of 2019, these musicians are not confined by traditional boundaries. The two founding members, the Romanian violinist Corina Belcea and the Polish violist Krzysztof Chorzelski, brought a very different artistic provenance to the ensemble in 1994, which was expanded by the French musicians Axel Schacher (violin) and Antoine Lederlin (violoncello).

This also reflects the range of their repertoire: they have already recorded the complete string quartets by Bartók, Beethoven, Brahms (Diapason d'or de l'année 2016), and Britten and are constantly presenting new works by contemporary composers such as Joseph Phibbs (2018), Krzysztof Penderecki (2016), Thomas Larcher (2015) and Mark-Anthony Turnage (2014 & 2010). Another work follows this season: The French composer Guillaume Connesson has dedicated his new String Quartet to the Belcea Quartet, it will be world premièred in Vevey, premieres will follow at the Cologne Philharmonie, Konzerthaus Wien, Wigmore Hall London, Sibelius Academy in Helsinki and Dunkers Kulturhus Helsingborg. These commissioned works are created in association with the quartet's own foundation, whose aim is to continually broaden the string quartet literature as well as to support young quartets through concentrated joint coaching sessions. In this way they can also pass on to the next generation the experience they gained as students of the Amadeus & Alban Berg Quartet.

In addition to the complete recordings, the quartet can refer to a varied discography with recordings (among others) of Berg, Dutilleux, Mozart, Schönberg & Schubert. Recent recordings include the Shostakovich Album, with the 3rd String Quartet and the Piano Quintet with Piotr Anderszewski, (2018) and the string quartets by Janáček & Ligeti's 'Metamorphoses nocturnes' (2019). In the Spring of 2022 they recorded both of Brahms’ String Sextets with Tabea Zimmermann and Jean-Guihen Queyras.

Their performances of all Beethoven String Quartets at the Konzerthaus Vienna in 2012 were released on DVD by EuroArts in 2014, followed by the release of a recording of Britten's three String Quartets in 2015.

From 2017 to 2020, the quartet was the Ensemble in Residence of the Pierre Boulez Saal in Berlin, where
the four return to regularly since then. Since 2010 the Belcea Quartet is part of a shared string quartet
cycle at the Konzerthaus Vienna, from this season on the Quatuor Ébène is their partner-ensemble there.

This season the ensemble will perform at the String Quartet Biennale in Barcelona, Wigmore Hall
London, the Pohang Festival in South Korea, Flagey in Brussels, Tonhalle Zurich as well as the
Konserthus in Stockholm, to name just a few.