Performance Friday, April 27, 2012 | 7:30 PM

Pavel Haas Quartet

Weill Recital Hall
The Pavel Haas Quartet culminates a vigorous two-week tour of the United States with an evening of works by Russian and Czech masters at Carnegie Hall. The program includes Smetana’s String Quartet No. 1 in E Minor, “From My Life,” which the composer called, “a tone picture of my life, my youthful leanings toward art and the Romantic atmosphere.”


  • Pavel Haas Quartet
    ·· Veronika Jarusková, Violin
    ·· Eva Karova, Violin
    ·· Pavel Nikl, Viola
    ·· Peter Jarusek, Cello


  • TCHAIKOVSKY String Quartet No. 1 in D Major, Op. 11
  • SHOSTAKOVICH String Quartet No. 7 in F-sharp Minor, Op. 108
  • SMETANA String Quartet No. 1 in E Minor, "From My Life"


  • Pavel Haas Quartet

    Since winning the Paolo Borciani competition in Italy in 2005, the Pavel Haas Quartet has performed at the world's most prestigious concert halls and recorded four award-winning CDs, receiving great acclaim from audiences and critics alike.

    In 2011-2012, the Pavel Haas Quartet performs concerts at Amsterdam's Concertgebouw, Paris's Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Zurich's Tonhalle, Vienna's Konzerthaus, Munich's Herkulessaal, and London's Wigmore Hall, as well as major venues in Brussels, Stockholm, and Copenhagen. The quartet recently toured to Hong Kong and Japan, visiting Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, and Yokohama. Other highlights of the past season include performances at the Rheingau Musik Festival and the Schubertiade Schwarzenberg, and a return to the Auditorio Nacional in Madrid. The previous season saw the quartet begin a three-year residency as artists-in-residence at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall.

    The Pavel Haas Quartet has released four discs on the Supraphon label. In October 2011, the quartet was awarded the prestigious Record of the Year at the Gramophone Awards for its latest recording, featuring Dvořák's 12th and 13th string quartets. The ensemble won the Diapason d'Or de l'Année for a disc of Prokofiev's First and Second quartets, and Sonata for Two Violins. The Pavel Haas Quartet's previous two recordings were equally well received. Its first recording was of Janáček's "Intimate Letters" Quartet and Haas's "From the Monkey Mountains" Quartet; it was voted one of the best CDs of 2006 by The Daily Telegraph and earned the ensemble a 2007 Gramophone Award. The quartet's second disc completed its recordings of the string quartets by Janáček and Haas.

    Based in Prague, the members of the Pavel Haas Quartet studied with some of the masters of the quartet world, including members of Quartetto Italiano, Quatuor Mosaïques, Borodin Quartet, and Amadeus Quartet. The quartet takes its name from Czech composer Pavel Haas (1899-1944), who was imprisoned at Theresienstadt in 1941 and tragically died at Auschwitz three years later. His legacy includes three wonderful string quartets.

    More Info


Prokofiev String Quartet in B Minor, Op. 50, No. 1 (Andante)
Pavel Haas Quartet

At a Glance

PYOTR ILYICH TCHAIKOVSKY  String Quartet No. 1 in D Major, Op. 11

Although chamber music doesn't figure prominently in Tchaikovsky's catalogue, his comparatively few mature works for small ensembles are of exceptionally high quality. In addition to three string quartets written between 1871 and 1876, they include the elegiac Piano Trio of 1882 and the 1890 string sextet titled Souvenir de Florence. The D-Major Quartet, incorporating both folk and folk-like material, reflects Tchaikovsky's interest in Russia's artistic traditions.

DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH  String Quartet No. 7 in F-sharp Minor, Op. 108

Perhaps more than any composer since Beethoven, Shostakovich used the string quartet as a vehicle for his deepest ruminations on the human condition. Of the 15 quartets he produced between 1935 and 1974, Op. 108 is the shortest and arguably the most enigmatic. It was composed in 1960 at a time of great stress and unhappiness in the composer's life, and its three movements are filled with strange and wondrous effects.

BEDŘICH SMETANA  String Quartet No. 1 in E Minor, "From My Life"

"It was my intent to portray in music the course of my life," Smetana explained to the friend who sponsored the first performance of his E-Minor Quartet in 1878. Having lost his hearing as a result of a syphilis infection, the Czech composer had necessarily turned inward for inspiration. The quartet combines high spirits with emotional intensity, climaxing in a chilling depiction of the buzzing in the deaf man's ears, which Smetana shrugged off as a "little joke."

Program Notes
This concert is made possible, in part, by the A.L. and Jennie L. Luria Foundation.
Duff and Phelps 115 x
The Carnegie Hall Live broadcast series is sponsored by Duff & Phelps.
Macy's 95x
This Carnegie Hall Live broadcast is supported by Macy's.

Part of