Biography

Hagen Quartett

Current as of August 2020

The Hagen Quartet has been one of the world’s finest string quartets for many years. Its concert programmes during the 2020/21 season, in which the Hagen Quartet celebrates its 40th anniversary, include Mozart’s ten great string quartets and the Clarinet Quintet, the Shostakovich and Schumann piano quintets, Schubert’s String Quintet and Jörg Widmann’s Clarinet Quintet. The Hagen Quartet’s combination of Mozart quartets and quintets, performed with leading guest musicians, will shape its concert series at the Konzerthaus in Vienna. The Quartet will also tour over the coming season to London, Brussels, Munich, Berlin, Amsterdam, Wrocław, Barcelona, Madrid, Turin and Hamburg, as well as to the Schubertiade Schwarzenberg, the Salzburg Festival and the Lucerne Festival and to the USA and Japan.

The Hagen Quartet’s unparalleled career began in Salzburg in 1981. Its first few years were distinguished by success at various competitions and an exclusive contract with Deutsche Grammophon. The Quartet’s extensive collaboration with the label resulted in numerous recordings, through which the players performed a vast repertoire and developed a unique profile.

The Hagen Quartet has worked with myrios classics since 2011. Its recordings of Brahms’s Clarinet Quintet with Jörg Widmann and Mozart’s string quartets have received critical acclaim worldwide, as well as prizes such as the Echo Klassik Award and the Diapason d’Or. A recording of Brahms’s Third String Quartet and the Piano Quintet with Kirill Gerstein followed in 2019. A new disc featuring the Mozart Clarinet Quintet and the premiere recording of Jörg Widmann’s Clarinet Quintet will be released this autumn.

The Hagen Quartet has been an honorary member of the Konzerthaus in Vienna since 2012 and received the Concertgebouw Prize in 2019, honouring years of charismatic performances at the venue. The Quartet offers engaging and intelligent programmes, with a repertoire ranging from early music through Haydn to Kurtág and reflecting the entire history of the string quartet. The Hagen Quartet has also cultivated important relationships with the composers of its own time, performing existing works and giving several world premieres. Collaborations with artistic personalities such as the late Nikolaus Harnoncourt and György Kurtág have been as a crucial to the Quartet as its appearances with musicians including Maurizio Pollini, Mitsuko Uchida, Krystian Zimerman, Jörg Widmann, Kirill Gerstein, Sol Gabetta, Gautier Capuçon and Igor Levit.

The Hagen Quartet is a role model for a number of young string quartets in terms of its sound quality, stylistic variety, teamwork and engagement with the composers and repertoire of the string quartet. As teachers and mentors at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, the University of Music in Basel and international masterclasses, the Quartet passes on a wealth of experience to its younger colleagues.

The Hagen Quartet plays instruments by old Italian masters.

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