This concert is supported in part by The Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation.
Frederik Øland, Violin
Rune Tonsgaard Sørensen, Violin
Asbjørn Nørgaard, Viola
Fredrik Schøyen Sjölin, Cello
Embodying the quintessential elements of a fine chamber music ensemble, the Danish String Quartet has established a reputation for its integrated sound, impeccable intonation, and judicious balance. Since making their debut in 2002 at the Copenhagen Festival, the musical friends have demonstrated a passion for Scandinavian composers, whose works they frequently incorporate into adventurous contemporary programs, while also giving skilled and profound interpretations of the classical masters. The New York Times selected the quartet's concerts as highlights of the season during its Chamber Music Society Two residency at Lincoln Center. Last February, the foursome received the Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award.
The Danish String Quartet's 2016-2017 season includes debuts at the Edinburgh Festival. In addition to more than 30 North American engagements, its robust international schedule takes the members to their home country, Denmark, as well as throughout Germany, Austria, the UK, Poland, Israel, Argentina, Peru, and Colombia. As a champion of contemporary music from Scandinavian composers, the quartet premiered Swans Kissing by Rolf Wallin, which is based on the series of paintings by Swedish painter Hilma af Klint. Earlier this month, they presented their 10th annual DSQ Festival, a four-day event in Copenhagen that brings together artists the four musicians have met during their travels.
The quartet's recent debut recording on ECM Records features works by Danish composers Hans Abrahamsen and Per Nørgård, and English composer Thomas Adès; it received the Guardian's highest rating and debuted at number 16 on the Billboard Classical Chart. In addition to its commitment to highlighting Scandinavian composers, the Danish String Quartet derives great pleasure in Nordic folk music.
In 2009, the quartet won first prize in the 11th London International String Quartet Competition (now called the Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition), as well as four additional prizes from the same jury. The ensemble received the 2010 NORDMETALL-Ensemble Prize at the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festival in Germany; the following year, the Danish String Quartet won the prestigious Carl Nielsen Prize.
Torleif Thedéen is a highly regarded cellist who regularly performs with many of the world's major orchestras, including the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Oslo Philharmonic, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Vienna Symphony, BBC Philharmonic, Berliner Philharmoniker, Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, Czech Philharmonic, and Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra. He has collaborated with numerous conductors, including Esa-Pekka Salonen, Paavo Berglund, Neeme Järvi, Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Leif Segerstam, and Eri Klas.
Mr. Thedéen is also active as a chamber musician, appearing in such prestigious concert venues as Wigmore Hall, Carnegie Hall, and Amsterdam's Concertgebouw. He often participates in music festivals throughout Europe, including Verbier, Prague Spring, and Schleswig-Holstein, as well as festivals in Bordeaux, Oslo, and Stavanger (Norway).
He recently performed the Dutilleux Cello Concerto with the Stuttgart Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Brahms Double Concerto with Janine Jansen and the Hallé Orchestra in Manchester. In 2011-2012, he toured extensively with Ms. Jansen and Max Rysanov, performing at the Helleruplund Kirke and the Hørsholm Musikforening in Denmark, and in Australasia with the Auckland Philharmonia and the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra.
Mr. Thedéen has recorded numerous CDs for BIS Records, including the renowned Dvořák Cello Concerto. His CD of Shostakovich's cello concertos won the Cannes Classical Award, and his recording of Bach's solo cello suites was named Editor's Choice in BBC Music Magazine.
In 1992, Mr. Thedéen became a professor at the Royal Danish Academy of Music in Copenhagen. Four years later, he was named a professor at Edsberg Manor at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm. He performs on a cello crafted by David Tecchler in 1711, which was formerly played by Lynn Harrell.