Danish String Quartet
© Caroline Bittencourt
FREDERIK ØLAND | Violin
RUNE TONSGAARD SØRENSEN | Violin
ASBJØRN NØRGAARD | Viola
FREDRIK SJØLIN | Cello
The Danish String Quartet holds a unique position in the echelons of young and dynamic ensembles on the international scene today. With their passion for Scandinavian composers, folk and contemporary programmes juxtaposed with the classics, they have drawn praise from critics, audiences and fellow musicians with their profound interpretations.
The Danish String Quartet made its debut in the Copenhagen Summer Festival in 2002 and quickly drew attention and acclaim winning numerous awards, amongst them first prize at the Danish Radio P2 Chamber Music Competition in 2004 as the youngest ever winners, the Vagn Holmboe String Quartet Competition, the Charles Hennen International Chamber Music Competition in Holland, and the 11th London International String Quartet Competition in 2009. In 2010 the Danish String Quartet was awarded the NORDMETALL-Ensemble Prize at the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festival in Germany and in 2011 it was awarded the highly prestigious Carl Nielsen Prize, which is Denmark’s top cultural prize.
Recognising the quartet’s outstanding qualities, the Danish Radio made the Danish String Quartet Artist-in-Residence in 2006 leading to solo performances with the DR Symphony Orchestra and the Danish Radio Sinfonietta and playing works by Elgar and O. A. Thommesen. As Artist in Residence the Danish String Quartet recorded the complete Carl Nielsen string quartets in the Danish Radio Concert Hall and released them on the Dacapo label in 2007 and 2008 to great critical acclaim, including from The New York Times; “These Danish players have excelled in performances of works by Brahms, Mozart and Bartok in New York in recent years. But they play Nielsen’s quartets as if they owned them.”
The quartet’s joy of playing, and the powerful impact the quartet makes on stage with its fresh approach to well-known repertoire has become a trademark for the Danish String Quartet. These qualities have led to success not only in Denmark. Their reputation already extends globally to international festivals and chamber music venues, including at the Wigmore Hall, Cadogan Hall, The Sage Gateshead, the Dublin National Concert Hall, West Cork Chamber Music Festival, the Library of Congress in Washington and the Lincoln Center. Furthermore, 2013 saw the Danish String Quartet being selected for two prestigious schemes;the Lincoln Center’s Chamber Music Society Two programme in 2013-16 and the BBC New Generation Artists scheme for 2013-15.
In 2014-15 the Danish String Quartet have a packed international schedule including two US tours, and appearances at BOZAR Brussels and Konzerthaus Dortmund. They will conclude their roundup of the major venues in the UK as part of the NGA scheme at the Glasgow City Halls, and BBC Wigmore lunchtime as well as undertaking a number of recording sessions. September 2014 also sees the eagerly awaited worldwide release of the Quartet’s all-folk music Woodworks disc on Dacapo.