Corina Belcea and Axel Schacher, Violins
Krzysztof Chorzelski, Viola
Antoine Lederlin, Cello
"What seems to be the predominant impulse driving [Beethoven's] music is man's yearning for freedom, the unquenchable desire to expand his limits and to learn the truth about himself in this process."
These words by the Belcea Quartet--from the preface to its recording Beethoven: The Complete String Quartets--could also be described as the ensemble's artistic creed. These musicians are not confined by traditional boundaries. It is perhaps the very fact of the group's diverse cultural backgrounds that propels the dynamic and free interpretative style.
In the 2016-2017 season, the quartet performs in such venues as Wigmore Hall in London, Carnegie Hall in New York City, and the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. Although best known for its interpretations of established masterpieces, the music of the 21st century will also feature prominently in the Belcea Quartet's 20th anniversary celebrations; the centerpiece will be the world premiere of the Fourth String Quartet by Krzysztof Penderecki.
The Belcea Quartet's performances of the complete Beethoven string quartets at the Vienna Konzerthaus in 2012 were broadcast by Mezzo TV and released by the EuroArts label in the fall of 2014. The release was accompanied by Jean-Claude Mocik's documentary of the entire project, Looking for Beethoven.
The Belcea Quartet has shared a residence at the Vienna Konzerthaus with the Artemis Quartet since 2010. The musicians recently created their own Belcea Charitable Trust, which aims to support and inspire young string quartets through a series of intensive coaching sessions, as well as commission new works to be premiered by the quartet in the future.
During its long-term association with EMI Classics, the Belcea Quartet has recorded the complete string quartets of Britten and Bartók, as well as works by Schubert, Brahms, Mozart, Debussy, Ravel, and Dutilleux, among others. In 2012 and 2013, the quartet recorded Beethoven: The Complete String Quartets in concert at the Benjamin Britten Studio at Snape in Suffolk County, England. The recording was released by Zig-Zag Territoires, the quartet's new label, and has received such accolades as the ECHO Klassik Award. In 2015, the quartet released its highly acclaimed recording of works by Webern, Berg, and Schoenberg to coincide with its 20th anniversary jubilee. This fall sees the release of the Belcea Quartet's recording of the complete Brahms string quartets and his Piano Quintet.