Performance Saturday, May 1, 2010 | 7:30 PM

Piotr Anderszewski
Belcea Quartet
Henning Kraggerud
Iwona Sobotka

Zankel Hall
An exploration of music by leading 20th-century composers from Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic. With muted tones, propulsive folk elements, decadent virtuosity, and melting romanticism, this striking program requires different instrument combinations, including violin and piano, voice and piano, and string quartet.


  • Belcea Quartet
    ·· Corina Belcea-Fisher, Violin
    ·· Laura Samuel, Violin
    ·· Krzysztof Chorzelski, Viola
    ·· Antoine Lederlin, Cello
  • Henning Kraggerud, Violin
  • Iwona Sobotka, Soprano
  • Piotr Anderszewski, Piano


  • SZYMANOWSKI String Quartet No. 1, Op. 37
  • JANÁCEK In the Mists
  • SZYMANOWSKI Mythes for Violin and Piano, Op. 30
  • SZYMANOWSKI Slopiewnie, Op. 46b
  • BARTÓK String Quartet No. 1

  • Program is approximately 2 hours, including one intermission


  • Belcea Quartet

    The Belcea Quartet has gained an enviable reputation as one of the leading quartets of the new generation. It continues to take the British and international chamber music circuit by storm, consistently receiving critical acclaim for its performances. The quartet was established at the Royal College of Music in 1994 and has since been coached by the Chilingirian, Amadeus, and Alban Berg quartets. The quartet is the Associate Ensemble at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London and is also Quartet-in-Residence at the Romanian Athenaeum concert hall in Bucharest.

    The quartet has an exclusive recording contract with EMI Classics and won the Gramophone Award for best debut recording in 2001. Subsequent recordings for EMI include Schubert quartets, Brahms's String Quartet No. 1, Op. 51; Fauré's La Bonne Chanson with Ian Bostridge; Schubert's "Trout" Quintet with Thomas Adès and Corin Long; a double disc of Britten's string quartets; Mozart's "Dissonance" and "Hoffmeister" quartets; and, most recently, the complete Bartók quartets, for which Belcea was named Chamber Music Ensemble of the Year by Germany's prestigious ECHO Klassik Awards and nominated for a 2008 Gramophone Award.

    The Belcea Quartet's international engagements regularly take it to Vienna's Konzerthaus and Musikverein, Amsterdam's Concertgebouw, Brussels's Palais des Beaux-Arts de Lille, Lisbon's Museu Calouste Gulbenkian, Zurich's Tonhalle, Stockholm's Konserthuset, Paris's Théâtre du Châtelet and L'Opéra de la Bastille, and Milan's Sala Verdi Conservatorio. In the UK, Belcea regularly appears at the Edinburgh, Aldeburgh, Perth, Bath, and Cheltenham festivals, as well as at Wigmore Hall, where it was quartet-in-residence from 2001 to 2006.
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  • Henning Kraggerud

    Norwegian violinist and violist Henning Kraggerud is an artist of exquisite musicianship who combines unusually sweet tone and beauty of expression with impressive virtuosity, drawing audiences and critics alike toward the genuine quality of his playing.

    Mr. Kraggerud performs at a high level throughout Europe and North America and is increasingly in demand in the dual role of player-director. Highlights of his current season include his debut with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra at Carnegie Hall as well as concerts with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra under Stéphane Denève, the Seattle Symphony Orchestra with Vassily Sinaisky, and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra under Peter Oundjian. In the UK this season, Mr. Kraggerud tours with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra under Joseph Swensen and returns to the London Philharmonic Orchestra with Osmo Vänskä.

    An experienced chamber musician, Mr. Kraggerud's most frequent collaborators include Christian Ihle Hadland, Truls Mørk, and Lars Anders Tomter. This season includes an appearance at the Verbier Festival, where he plays with Joshua Bell, among others. In 2011, Mr. Kraggerud will succeed Leif Ove Andsnes as co-artistic director of Norway's acclaimed Risør Festival of Chamber Music.

    Born in Oslo in 1973, Mr. Kraggerud studied with Camilla Wicks and Emanuel Hurwitz and is a recipient of Norway's prestigious Grieg Prize. In 2007, he was awarded the Sibelius Prize for his interpretations and recording of Sibelius's music throughout the world. Mr. Kraggerud is a professor at the Barratt Due Institute of Music in Oslo. He plays on a 1744 Guarneri del Gesu provided by Dextra Musica, a company founded by the philanthropic foundation Sparebankstiftelsen DnB NOR.
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  • Iwona Sobotka

    Iwona Sobotka achieved instant international acclaim as Grand Prix winner of the Queen Elisabeth International Music Competition of Belgium in 2004. Other awards include first prizes at the East & West Artists International Auditions in New York, the Polish Art Song Competition in Warsaw, and the Paderewski Competition in Bydgoszcz.

    Ms. Sobotka has performed all over Europe, in the Americas, and in Japan, visiting such prestigious venues as the Vienna Konzerthaus, Carnegie Hall, the Palais des Beaux-Arts de Lille, the Auditorio Nacional de Música in Madrid, the Palau de la Música Catalana in Barcelona, Suntory Hall in Tokyo, and at the Shostakovich Grand Philharmonic Hall in St. Petersburg.

    Ms. Sobotka has worked with such distinguished conductors as Sir Colin Davis, Sir Simon Rattle, Sylvain Cambreling, Thomas Hengelbrock, and Antoni Wit. She has performed with the Orchestre de l'Opéra national de Paris, the Vienna Symphony, the Vienna Chamber Orchestra, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Real Orquesta Sinfónica de Sevilla, Staatskapelle Weimar, the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, and all of the major Polish orchestras.

    In 2004, she contributed to a complete collection of Karol Szymanowski's songs released by the Dutch label Channel Classics. The album received a Polish Fryderyk Prize for best recording of Polish music. On a subsequent release for EMI Classics in 2006, Ms. Sobotka performs Szymanowski's Songs of a Fairytale Princess with Sir Simon Rattle and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. She also has recorded Szymanowski's orchestral songs for Polish Radio with the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra.

    Ms. Sobotka graduated from the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw and continued her studies with renowned artist and pedagogue Tom Krause at the Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofía in Madrid.
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  • Piotr Anderszewski

    Piotr Anderszewski is regarded as one of today's most inspired musicians and is a regular visitor to major concert venues around the world. In recent seasons, he has appeared with the Berliner Philharmoniker; the Boston, Chicago and London symphony orchestras; The Philadelphia Orchestra; and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.

    He also has developed a special reputation for playing and directing, collaborating with many ensembles, including the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and the soloists of the Berliner Philharmoniker. His partnership with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra has been particularly fruitful; in addition to touring extensively with the orchestra, he has recorded a disc that features Mozart's G major and D minor piano concertos. He also has made recordings with the Sinfonia Varsovia and, most recently, Die Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen.

    An exclusive artist with Virgin Classics since 2000, Mr. Anderszewski's first disc on the label was Beethoven's "Diabelli" Variations. His strong identification with this work went on to become the subject of a film by Bruno Monsaingeon (creator of documentaries on Sviatoslav Richter and Glenn Gould). Mr. Anderszewski's discography also includes a Grammy-nominated CD of Bach's partitas nos. 1, 3, and 6 and a critically acclaimed disc of works by Chopin. His affinity with the music of his compatriot Szymanowski is captured in a highly praised recording of the composer's solo piano works, which received the Gramophone Award in 2006 for Best Instrumental Disc. His most recent recording for Virgin is a recital given at Carnegie Hall in December 2008.

    Recognized for the intensity and originality of his interpretations, Mr. Anderszewski has been singled out for several high-profile awards. In April 2002, he received the prestigious Gilmore Award, given every four years to a pianist of exceptional talent. He also has been a recipient of the Szymanowski Prize (1999) and the Royal Philharmonic Society's Music Award for Best Instrumentalist (2001).

    Mr. Anderszewski's engagements during the 2009-2010 season include appearances with the Philharmonia Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the NDR Sinfonieorchester, and The Philadelphia Orchestra. He also gives recitals at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Vienna Konzerthaus, and Herkulessaal Munich.
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