The Belcea Quartet plays Beethoven, Haydn and Shostakovich

Belcea Quartett (photo: Marco Borggreve)

It would be an exaggeration to claim that Joseph Haydn invented the string quartet. But he did establish an ideal of the genre. His C major Quartet op. 20 No. 2 stands at the turning point of his efforts to achieve a tonal and structural balance that is formative for this ideal. Not long after Haydn, Ludwig van Beethoven created a milestone on the way to an increasingly expressive and dramatic musical language with the first of his three “Razumovsky Quartets”. This expressive language appears also in Dmitri Shostakovich's String Quartet No. 8, bearing witness to the life of its creator with all its hostilities and threats.

Belcea Quartet

Corina Belcea violin

Sébastien Surel violin

Krzysztof Chorzelski viola

Antoine Lederlin cello

Joseph Haydn

String Quartet in C major, op. 20 No. 2 Hob. III:32

Dmitri Shostakovich

String Quartet No. 8 in C minor, op. 110

Ludwig van Beethoven

String Quartet in F major, op. 59 No. 1 “Razumovsky”

Dates and Tickets


Belcea Quartet

In its concerts on major international stages, the Belcea Quartet demonstrates what is possible in the art of subtle differentiation, liveliness and precision in chamber music ranging from explosive dynamic outbursts to intimate dialogues. The breathtaking homogeneity in the playing of the four adopted British musicians is legendary and without compare. This free and extremely dynamic performance style is inspired by the diverse cultural background of the ensemble, which was founded at the Royal College of Music in London. Romanian violinist Corina Belcea and Polish violist Krzysztof Chorzelski, two of the founding members, bring a range of artistic perspectives to the ensemble. At the same time, the musicians can draw on those traditions of string quartet playing that they acquired from their mentors: the members of the Amadeus and Alban Berg Quartets. With the addition of the French musicians Axel Schacher (violin), who is represented in today’s concert by Sébastien Surel, and Antoine Lederlin (cello), this broad spectrum is further enhanced, with all influences coming together in magnificent interplay. Their artistic openness is also reflected in the quartet's repertoire. In addition to music from the Classical and Romantic periods, they have also performed world premieres by Krzysztof Penderecki, Mark-Anthony Turnage and Thomas Larcher, and recorded the complete string quartets of Bartók, Beethoven, Brahms and Britten.