Belcea Quartet back again

The Middlebury College Performing Arts Series welcomes back the Gramophone Award-winning Belcea Quartet for their fifth concert on Thursday, Oct. 20 at the Mahaney Center for the Arts. The program will include Schubert’s Quartet No. 10 in E-flat Major, Brahms’s Quartet in A Minor, and Schubert’s Quartet No. 14 in D Minor, “Death and the Maiden.” This is the first chamber music concert of the year, get excited!
The Belcea Quartet is known around the world for performances of dynamic and free interpretative style, unconfined by traditional boundaries. This expansive musicianship has its roots in the very diverse cultural backgrounds of its four musicians. The quartet was founded at the Royal College of Music in London in 1994, and is now based in Great Britain. However, the quartet’s two founding members, Romanian violinist Corina Belcea and Polish violist Krzysztof Chorzelski, bring a very different artistic provenance to the ensemble, while also drawing from the best traditions of string quartet playing received from the quartet’s mentors, the Alban Berg and Amadeus Quartets. This spectrum is extended by the French musicians Axel Schacher (violin) and Antoine Lederlin (cello). The Belcea Quartet blends these diverse influences into a common musical language.
This diversity is reflected in the quartet’s repertoire. Regular world premières — among them Mark-Anthony Turnage’s 2010 string quartet “Twisted Blues with Twisted Ballad” — go hand-in-hand with its connection with the great works of the Classical and Romantic periods.
Yup, you guessed it, these folks are high-brow. Accomplished in every sense of the word. But they’re not stuck in the clouds. The musicians recently created their own Belcea Quartet Trust, with the goal of supporting and inspiring young string quartets through a series of intensive coaching sessions organized according to the needs of each selected ensemble, as well as supporting the commission of new works from today’s leading composers to be premiered by the quartet in the future.
“The Belceas still play like a young quartet, seizing the music’s energy, shocking us out of our seats with every fortissimo,” said The Guardian, of London, calling the ensemble “a world-class ensemble” whose performances are “expressive, well-defined, multi-dimensional and irresistibly dynamic and compelling.”
Join fellow concertgoers for a pre-performance dinner at 6 p.m. in the lower lobby of the Mahaney Center for the Arts. This buffet dinner will be seated family style; tickets: $30; cash bar.
Tickets for the concert are $25 for the general public; $20 for Middlebury College ID card holders; and $6 for Middlebury College students. For more information, or to purchase tickets, call (802) 443-MIDD (6433) or visit

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