Part of: Chamber Sessions III
The Takács Quartet, now entering its 43rd season, is renowned for the vitality of its interpretations. Recognized as one of the world’s great ensembles, it plays with a unique blend of drama, warmth, and humor, combining four distinct musical personalities to bring fresh insights to the string quartet repertoire. The quartet is based in Boulder at the University of Colorado, where it has been ensemble-in-residence for 32 years.
During the 2017–2018 season, the Takács Quartet performs at Tanglewood with pianist Garrick Ohlsson, appears at the Aspen Music Festival, and tours with pianist Marc-André Hamelin. In addition to its annual series at London’s Wigmore Hall, where the members of the quartet are associate artists, other European engagements include performances in Copenhagen, Vienna, Luxembourg, and Rotterdam, and at the Rheingau and Edinburgh festivals. The quartet also returns to New Zealand and Australia.
The Takács Quartet has an extensive recording repertoire with the Hyperion label; its latest release features Dvořák’s String Quintet, Op. 97 (with violist Lawrence Power), and String Quartet, Op. 105. Future releases include the Dohnányi piano quintets with Marc-André Hamelin, and piano quintets by Elgar and Beach with Garrick Ohlsson. For its records with the Decca label, the quartet has won a Grammy Award, three Gramophone Awards, and three Japanese Record Academy Awards, among other notable prizes.
Known for its innovative programming, the quartet pursues diverse projects that have included regular collaborations with the Hungarian folk ensemble Muzsikás, a 14-city US tour of a music and poetry program with poet Robert Pinsky, and a 2010 collaboration with the Colorado Shakespeare Festival and writer David Lawrence Morse on a drama project that explored the composition of Beethoven’s last quartets. In recent years, the quartet has given performances of Philip Roth’s Everyman program, appearing with Meryl Streep at Princeton University in 2014 and at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto the following year. The quartet first performed Everyman at Carnegie Hall in 2007 with Philip Seymour Hoffman.
The Takács Quartet was formed in 1975 at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest by Gábor Takács-Nagy, Károly Schranz, Gábor Ormai, and András Fejér, while all four were students. Violinist Edward Dusinberre joined the quartet in 1993; violist Geraldine Walther joined in 2005.
Erika Eckert is associate professor of viola at the University of Colorado Boulder, where she has been a member of the faculty since 1994. She has also been a member of the Brevard Music Center’s summer faculty since 2011. Previously, Ms. Eckert served on the faculties of the Cleveland Institute of Music, Baldwin Wallace Conservatory of Music, and Chautauqua Institution in New York.
Ms. Eckert has performed throughout the United States as a member of the Eckert-McDonald Duo (with pianist Margaret McDonald). As colleagues at the University of Colorado, the two have had the opportunity to present numerous Colorado premieres, including works by Luis Jorge González, Richard Toensing, Carter Pann, Daniel Kellogg, Chen Yi, and Peter Seabourne.
As co-founder and former violist of the Cavani String Quartet, Ms. Eckert performed in major concert series worldwide and garnered an impressive array of awards, including first prize at the Walter W. Naumburg Chamber Music Competition and the Cleveland Quartet Award. Ms. Eckert has also appeared as a soloist at the Music in the Mountains and Boulder Bach festivals, and with the Four Seasons Chamber Orchestra, University of Colorado Symphony Orchestra, and Boulder Chamber Orchestra.
Ms. Eckert sustains a rich career in music education alongside her performance schedule. She has coordinated the chamber music program at the American String Teachers Association international workshops in Australia and Norway, and presented viola master classes at The Juilliard School, Cleveland Institute of Music, Eastman School of Music, and Interlochen Arts Academy. Ms. Eckert served for three years as an adjudicator for the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts’ (NFAA) Arts Recognition and Talent Search—the exclusive nominating agency for Presidential Scholars in the Arts—and appeared in the Academy Award–nominated documentary about the program, Rehearsing a Dream.