To celebrate the 20th anniversary of its formation, the Quartet Casals is playing all of Beethoven’s 16 string quartets in three concerts at the Berliner Philharmonie. Entitled “Beethoven Illuminated Anew”, the chamber ensemble will also be presenting new pieces of music commissioned to composers like Giovanni Sollima and Mauricio Sotelo.
After closing its first Beethoven season at the Schubertíada in Vilabertran last August, the Quartet Casals is now commencing its series of six concerts at the Wigmore Hall in London, the Berlin Philharmonic concert hall, the Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon, the Auditori in Barcelona, and the Giuseppe Verdi Conservatory in Turin. Subsequent seasons in 2019 will take the quartet to the Vienna Konzerthaus, the Musiekgebouw in Amsterdam, the Auditorio Nacional in Madrid, and the Suntory Hall in Tokyo. Each of the six Beethoven programmes will also include a world premiere, a work commissioned by the quartet to reflect and complement the works of Beethoven.
The Quartet will play three concerts in Berlin. The first was on 10th October 2017. The next chances to hear the Quartet Casals in Berlin will be on 25th January and 4th May.
The complete season of Beethoven String Quartets is one of the high points of the history of music. It shows the transition from classicism to Romanticism, creating a musical universe of an audacity and with visionary dimensions that threw the doors of modernity wide open.
The Quartet Casals, formed by Abel Tomàs Realp and Vera Martínez Mehner (violins), Jonathan Brown (viola) and Arnau Tomàs Realp (cello), is considered by international critics to be one of the 10 best string quartets in the world, and, uniquely in Spain, it has won prizes and recognition. Furthermore, it has become one of the most important string quartets of its generation, winning first prize at international competitions in London and Hamburg and being a regular guest at the most prestigious festivals and concert seasons in the world.
The ensemble has performed regularly at the Wigmore Hall in London (where it played on 12th December), Carnegie Hall in New York, the Musikverein in Vienna, the Philharmonie in Cologne, the Cité de la Musique in Paris, the Schubertiade in Schwarzenberg, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, and the Berliner Philharmonie, among many others all over Europe, North America and Asia.
In 2016 it won the National Prize for Culture, awarded by the CoNCA; in 2005, the City of Barcelona Prize, and in 2006 the National Prize for Music awarded by the Spanish Ministry of Culture, among others.
In September 2017 the Department of Culture and the Institut Ramon Llull (IRL) signed an agreement with the Quartet Casals in order to give recognition and support to the work of the ensemble on its 20th anniversary (1997-2017).
The quartet takes its name from the greatest Catalan string instrumentalist of the 20th century: cellist Pau Casals (1876-1973)
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