卡薩爾斯四重奏
Cuarteto Casals
來自西班牙的卡薩爾斯四重奏於 1997 年成軍,四位成員都任教於加泰隆尼亞高等音樂院。他們於 2000 年、2002 年奪下倫敦國際弦樂四重奏大賽與漢堡國際布拉姆斯大賽,之後他們就成為全球各大音樂廳的常客,包括倫敦維格摩廳、維也納音樂廳、巴塞隆納音樂廳、馬德里國家音樂廳、阿姆斯特丹的音樂節。2018 年卡薩爾斯四重奏開始灌錄貝多芬弦樂四重奏作品的錄音,也在柏林、里斯本、東京、斯德哥爾摩、布魯塞爾等城市演出貝多芬弦樂四重奏全集。

卡薩爾斯四重奏在 2003 年起開始成為 Harmonia mundi 唱片公司的簽約音樂家,目前已經灌錄超過 10 張CD,曲目從罕為人知的西班牙作曲家到維也納古典樂派(莫札特、海頓、舒伯特、布拉姆斯),再到 20 世紀當代音樂巨匠(巴爾托克、拉威爾、李格替),既廣且深。紐約時報盛讚他們「擁有完全屬於自己的聲音標籤」。身為第一個享譽全球的西班牙弦樂四重奏,西班牙政府也頒發國家音樂獎(Premio Nacional de Musica)表揚他們的成就。他們曾隨西班牙國王參加外交巡訪,也曾在馬德里王宮演奏無價之寶的史特拉底瓦里名琴。

“A quartet for the new millennium if I ever heard one ”…wrote Strad magazine upon hearing Cuarteto Casals for the first time, shortly after its inception in 1997 at the Escuela Reina Sofía in Madrid. To celebrate its 20th anniversary season, Cuarteto Casals has embarked on an especially ambitious project: a six-concert series of the complete Beethoven quartets, accompanied by six commissioned works written by composers of its generation, to be premiered at Wigmore Hall (London), Konzerthaus (Vienna), L'Auditori (Barcelona), Auditorio Nacional (Madrid), Conservatorio Giuseppe Verdi (Turin) and the String Quartet Biennale Amsterdam. Additionally, the quartet will perform complete Beethoven cycles in the Philharmonie (Berlin), Gulbenkian Foundation (Lisbon), Suntory Hall (Tokyo), Konserthus (Stockholm), Flagey (Brussels) and Schubertiade (Vilabertran). The quartet's recordings of the complete Beethoven quartets will be released by harmonia mundi in three CD box-sets over the coming seasons, culminating in 2020, the 250th anniversary of the composers birth.

Since winning First Prizes at London and Brahms-Hamburg competitions, Cuarteto Casals has been regularly invited to perform on the world's most prestigious stages including Wigmore Hall, Carnegie Hall, the Berliner Philharmonie, Wiener Konzerthaus, Kölner Philharmonie, Cité de la Musique Paris, Concertgebouw Amsterdam and the Schubertiade in Schwarzenberg. The quartet has recorded with harmonia mundi since 2003, recording to date 11 CD’s of repertoire ranging from lesser known Spanish composers Arriaga and Toldrá to Viennese masters Mozart, Haydn, Schubert and Brahms, through 20th century greats Bartók, Ravel and Ligeti, as well as a live DVD recording of the Schubert quartets on the Neu Records label.

“A sonic signature entirely its own”, raved the New York Times, describing Cuarteto Casals’ distinctive range of expression. A prize from the prestigious Burletti-Buitoni Trust in London enabled the quartet to aquire a collection of matching Baroque and Classical period bows which it employs for works from Purcell through Schubert, refining its ability to distinguish between diverse musical styles. In addition, the quartet has been profoundly influenced by its work with living composers, especially György Kurtág, and has given the world premiere of quartets written by leading Spanish composers, including a new concerto for string quartet and orchestra by Francisco Coll, premiered with the Orquesta Nacional de España.

In recognition of its unique contributions to the cultural life of Catalunya, Cuarteto Casals has been acknowledged as ambassadors of Catalan culture by the Generalitat of Catalunya and the Institut Ramon Llull. Past awards include the Premio Nacional de Música, the Premi Nacional de Cultura de Catalunya and the Premi Ciutat Barcelona. Cuarteto Casals often appears on television and radio throughout Europe and North America, and in addition to giving much sought-after masterclasses, they are quartet in residence at the Escola Superior de Musica de Catalunya in Barcelona, where all four members reside.