Arts & Leisure

Danish String Quartet premieres on Saturday

THE REFRESHINGLY APPROACHABLE Danish String Quartet will perform a free, virtual concert for the Middlebury Performing Arts Series on Saturday, Feb. 27, at 7:30 p.m.

The Middlebury Performing Arts Series announces the first event of the Spring 2021 Virtual Season: the extraordinary Danish String Quartet in a free, exclusive virtual broadcast on Saturday, Feb. 27, at 7:30 p.m. The concert program will include classical works by Bach and Webern, as well as a jaunty selection of Nordic folk music, all recorded in one of the quartet’s favorite Copenhagen venues.
The performance can be accessed via the Mahaney Arts Center’s Digital Stages, via go.middlebury.edu/digitalstages. Pre-registration available at go.middlebury.edu/pas. The performance is free and open to all, and will remain available through March 5. For more information: (802) 443-MIDD (6433) or middlebury.edu/arts.

About the Artists
The Grammy-nominated Danish String Quartet (Frederik Øland and Rune Tonsgaard Sørensen, Violins; Asbjørn Nørgaard, Viola; Fredrik Schøyen Sjölin, Cello) is one of the world’s preeminent chamber music ensembles. The group’s playing reflects impeccable musicianship, sophisticated artistry, exquisite clarity of ensemble, and, above all, an expressivity inextricably bound to the music, from Haydn to Shostakovich to contemporary scores. Performances bring a rare musical spontaneity, giving audiences the sense of hearing even treasured canon repertoire as if for the first time, and exuding a palpable joy in music-making that have made them enormously in-demand on concert stages throughout the world.
Since its debut in 2002, the Danish String Quartet has demonstrated a special affinity for Scandinavian composers, from Carl Nielsen to Hans Abrahamsen, alongside music of Mozart and Beethoven. The Quartet’s musical interests also encompass Nordic folk music, the focus of Wood Works, an album of traditional Scandinavian folk music, released by Dacapo in 2014. As a follow-up, the Danish String Quartet released Last Leaf for ECM, an album of traditional Scandinavian folk music. This recording was one of the top classical albums of 2017, as chosen by NPR, Spotify and The New York Times, among others.
Violinists Frederik Øland and Rune Tonsgaard Sørenson and violist Asbjørn Nørgaard met as children at a music summer camp, where they played soccer and made music together. As teenagers, they began the study of classical chamber music and were mentored by Tim Frederiksen of Copenhagen’s Royal Danish Academy of Music. In 2008, the three Danes were joined by Norwegian cellist Fredrik Schøyen Sjölin. Their friendship remains at the core of their playing today: “Yes, playing string quartets is our job, and yes it is hard work, but we mostly do it for pleasure, like we always did. Music is a way to hang out with friends, and we hope we can continue to hang out for many, many years.”

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