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Pavel Haas Quartet
Hometown: Prague
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Since winning the Paolo Borciani competition in Italy in Spring 2005, the Pavel Haas Quartet has established itself as one of the great chamber ensembles of today, performing at the world’s most prestigious concert halls and recording five award-winning CDs. Based in Prague, the Quartet studied with Milan Skampa, the legendary violist of the Smetana Quartet, and continues to enjoy a close relationship with him.

In the 2014/15 season the Quartet will perform a ‘Bohemia’ series in which they explore masterpieces of the Czech repertoire as well as lesser-known works and contemporary commissions at venues such as the Wigmore Hall, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Palais des Beaux-Arts Brussels and Auditorio Nacional Madrid. Guest artists joining them for this project are Bernarda Fink, Colin Currie and Nicholas Angelich. The Quartet will be Artists-in-Residence at the Bodensee Festival 2015 and will tour to Australia, Japan and Korea. They will appear in concerts at the Zurich Tonhalle, Munich Herkulessaal and Luxembourg Philharmonie and at the Aldeburgh, Edinburgh, Verbier and Zeist festivals. Last season’s highlights included residencies at Cologne Philharmonie, Birmingham Town Hall and the Prague Spring Festival.

The Pavel Haas Quartet records exclusively with Supraphon. Their most recent recording, released in September 2013 and featuring Schubert’s String Quartet in D minor 'Death and the Maiden', as well as the String Quintet with Danjulo Ishizaka was awarded Best Chamber Music Record at the 2014 Gramophone Awards. Gramophone commented: “They represent the best qualities of the Czech tradition – warmth, sonorousness, individuality, intensity; but what’s striking here is their fearless risk-taking, their fervency and the absolute confidence with which they propel you through these two masterpieces.” TheTimes called them “the perfect fusion of virtuosity and profundity”, The Strad recommended the performances as “supreme… vivid and compelling”, BBC Music Magazine as “essential listening”, and Fonoforum a “blazingly vivid account of enthralling veracity”.

The quartet’s previous recording, a disc of Dvořák’s String Quartets No.12 in F major ‘American’ and No.13 in G major, was awarded the prestigious Record of the Year at the Gramophone Awards 2011. The Sunday Times awarded the recording five stars, commenting: “Their account of the ‘American’ Quartet belongs alongside the greatest performances on disc.” The quartet furthermore won the Diapason d’Or de l’Année in 2010 for its disc featuring Prokofiev’s String Quartets Nos 1 & 2, and its recording of Janáček’s Quartet No.2 'Intimate Letters' and Haas Quartet No.2 'From the Monkey Mountains' received a 2007 Gramophone Award. On their subsequent recording of the remaining string quartet works by Haas and Janáček, Gramophone commented: “To describe a CD as musically important is to court a certain level of controversy but I’ll stick my neck out and claim extreme importance for this particular release.”

In 2007, the Cologne Philharmonic nominated the Quartet as ECHO Rising Stars, resulting in a tour to major concert halls worldwide. The Quartet took part in the BBC New Generation Artists scheme between 2007-2009, and in 2010 it was awarded the Special Ensemble Scholarship of the Borletti-Buitoni Trust.

The Quartet takes its name from the Czech composer Pavel Haas (1899-1944) who was imprisoned at Theresienstadt in 1941 and tragically died at Auschwitz three years later. His legacy includes three wonderful string quartets.

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Pavel Haas Quartet
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