Danish String Quartet

Ensemble

Danish String Quartet Photo credit: Caroline Bittencourt

The Danish String Quartet is in demand worldwide by concert and festival presenters alike, with its technical and interpretive talents matched by an infectious joy for music-making and “rampaging energy,” (Alex Ross, The New Yorker). Since making its 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 Opus 132 String Quartet that I’ve heard live or on a recording.” This scope of talent secured the ensemble a three-year appointment in the Chamber Music Society 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 its 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. In addition to its New York performances, the quartet’s robust schedule takes it around North America this season, including two weeks of residency activities and performances at the University of California, Berkeley. The quartet will make its debut at the Savannah Music Festival in spring 2016.

Since winning the Danish Radio P2 Chamber Music Competition in 2004, the quartet has been greatly desired throughout Denmark and in October 2015 it presented 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; the 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. The quartet was 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 it 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. Last year the quartet launched its 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 Concert performing works from the highly acclaimed album. The ensemble recorded works by Brahms and Fuchs with award-winning clarinetist Sebastian Manz at the Bayerische Rundfunk in Munich, released by AVI-music in 2014.

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 has participated in master classes with the Tokyo and Emerson String Quartets, Alasdair Tait, Paul Katz, Hugh Maguire, Levon Chilingirian, and Gábor Takács-Nagy.