Takacs Quartet with Lawrence PowerThe Takács Quartet serve as Quartet-in-Residence at the University of Colorado, Boulder, a position they have held since emigrating to the United States from Hungary in 1983.
The group was formed in 1975, when its members were students at the Franz Liszt Academy in Budapest. It quickly rose to prominence, winning First Prize and the Critics’ Prize at the 1977 International String Quartet Competition, and the Gold Medal at the Portsmouth and Bordeaux Competitions in 1978. Its international performances have continued to bring accolades and recordings have been recognized with numerous awards.
The original quartet consisted of violinists Gabor Takács-Nagy and Károly Schranz, violist Gabor Ormai, and cellist András Fejér. There have been several changes in personnel, but Schranz and Fejér remain members. British violinist Edward Dusinberre replaced Takács-Nagy when he retired from the group in 1992. Ormai died in 1993 and was replaced by British violist Roger Tapping. In 2005, Tapping retired, and American violist Geraldine Walther took his place.
The Takács Quartet has ventured into contemporary repertoire, playing works by composers such as Henri Dutilleux, Bright Sheng, James MacMillan, and Wolfgang Rihm, but for the most part has concentrated on the core quartet literature-Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms, Dvořák, and Bartók. Its recording of the complete Bartók quartets earned the group a Gramophone Award in 1998. The most ambitious recording project has been the complete quartets of Beethoven, which were released on Decca between 2002 and 2004. It received a Grammy and two Gramophone Awards for a recording of the "Rasumovsky" and "Harp" quartets in 2002, and in 2006, a collection of the late quartets received the BBC Music Magazine’s Disc of the Year and the Classical Brits Award for Ensemble Album of the Year.
Lawrence Power is one of the foremost violists today and has been on the shortlist for the Royal Philharmonic Society Instrumentalist Award.
He is regularly invited to perform with some of the world’s greatest orchestras, including the Chicago Symphony, the Boston Symphony, the Royal Concertgebouw, Bayerischer Rundfunk, Stockholm Philharmonic, Bergen Philharmonic, Stavanger Symphony Orchestra, the Philharmonia, the BBC Scottish Symphony, and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic. He has performed Penderecki’s Viola Concerto in a series of concerts with Camerata Salzburg conducted by the composer. He has also made critically-acclaimed orchestral debuts in Australia.
His Gramophone-nominated recordings for Hyperion include the Bartók, Rózsa, Walton, and Rubbra concertos, the Shostakovich and Brahms sonatas, and York Bowen’s complete works for viola and piano with Simon Crawford-Phillips. His three-disc Hindemith survey has become a benchmark recording of this repertoire. Other releases include Strauss’s Don Quixote with the Gürzenich Orchester and Mark-Anthony Turnage’s On Opened Ground with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, both conducted my Markus Stenz; the Britten Double Concerto with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Ilan Volkov, and Anthony Marwood; and Vaughan Williams’s Concerto with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and Martyn Brabbins. His most recent release is the music of Arthur Benjamin, with pianist Simon Crawford-Phillips, on which Lawrence Power plays both viola and violin music.
Lawrence Power has been appointed International Professor of Viola at the Zurich Hochschule der Kunst. He is also founder and Artistic Director of the West Wycombe Chamber Music Festival.