Danish String Quartet
June 19, 2021
With a palpable warmth and spontaneity in its music-making that have made it in-demand on concert stages around the world, the Grammy-nominated Danish String Quartet is known for impeccable musicianship, sophisticated artistry, exquisite clarity of ensemble, and an expressivity inextricably bound to the music. Following a widely popular appearance in the center’s online HomeStage series, the ensemble’s in-person Moss debut includes Purcell and Schumann quartets and folk music from the British Isles.
Featuring Frederik Øland (violin), Rune Tonsgaard Sørensen (violin), Asbjørn Nørgaard (viola), and Fredrik Schøyen Sjölin (cello), the Danish String Quartet gives audiences the sense of hearing even treasured canon repertoire for the first time.
The Danish String Quartet will give over 20 performances throughout North America in the 2021-2022 season, including its debut at the Moss, as well as debuts at the University of Georgia, Shriver Hall, and Virginia Arts Festival, and return trips to Boston’s Celebrity Series, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, Ensemble Music Society of Indianapolis, Chamber Music Cincinnati, and University of Washington’s Meany Hall, and a tour of Florida. European highlights include tours of Denmark, France, Germany, and Amsterdam.
Since its debut in 2002, the quartet has demonstrated a special affinity for Scandinavian composers, from Carl Nielsen to Hans Abrahamsen, alongside music of Mozart and Beethoven. The ensemble’s musical interests also encompass Nordic folk music, which is the focus of its 2014 album, Wood Works. Last Leaf, a follow-up album of traditional Scandinavian folk music, was one of the top classical albums of 2017, as chosen by NPR, Spotify, and the New York Times, among others. “Every last note, whether evoking open fields, dense forests, mighty fjords, the deep sea or the flight of birds, was played with a freshness, immediacy and love that gripped the heart and wouldn’t let go,” according to the Washington Post.
The recipient of many awards and prestigious appointments, including Musical America’s 2020 Ensemble of the Year and the Borletti-Buitoni Trust, the Danish String Quartet was named in 2013 as BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artists and appointed to the Bowers Program (formerly CMS Two). The ensemble has received numerous citations and prizes, including First Prize in the Vagn Holmboe String Quartet Competition and the Charles Hennen International Chamber Music Competition in the Netherlands, as well as the Audience Prize at the Trondheim International String Quartet Competition in 2005. In 2009 the Danish String Quartet won First Prize in the 11th London International String Quartet Competition, now known as the Wigmore Hall International String Quartet competition, and return to the celebrated London concert hall frequently. The Quartet was the awarded the 2010 NORDMETALL-Ensemble Prize at the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festival in Germany, and in 2011, they received the Carl Nielsen Prize, the highest cultural honor in Denmark.
The Danish String Quartet performed as part of the fall 2020 HomeStage series. This is the quartet's first in-person performance at the Moss Arts Center.