Danish String Quartet

Danish String Quartet with instruments

The Grammy Award–nominated Danish String Quartet is one of the world’s preeminent string quartets, with playing that reflects impeccable musicianship, sophisticated artistry, exquisite clarity of ensemble, and an expressivity inextricably bound to the music. The recipient of many awards and prestigious appointments, including Musical America’s 2020 Ensemble of the Year and the Borletti-Buitoni Trust, the quartet was named in 2013 as BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artists and appointed to the Bowers Program (formerly CMS Two).

The Danish String Quartet returns to North America in the 2019/20 season in the monumental celebrations of Beethoven’s 250th year. Their tours include stops in Minneapolis, Vancouver, Seattle, Berkeley, Irvine, Montreal, Denver, and Boston, as well as return appearances at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. In May, the quartet returns to the United States to perform the complete cycle of Beethoven’s string quartets at the Schubert Club in St. Paul, Minnesota. European engagements include London’s Wigmore Hall, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, multiple dates in Denmark, as well as tours of Germany, Brussels, the Netherlands, Italy, and Spain. In 2007, the quartet established the DSQ Festival, now in its twelfth year, which takes place in an intimate and informal setting at Copenhagen’s Bygningskulturens Hus. The 2019 DSQ Festival features an array of meticulously curated programs including such guests as pianists Víkingur Ólafsson and Wu Qian, violinist Alexi Kenney, and violist Jennifer Stumm. In 2016, they inaugurated a new music festival, Series of Four, in which they both perform and invite colleagues – the Ebène Quartet, mandolin player Chris Thile, among others – to appear at the Danish Radio Concert Hall. Concerts this season include collaborations with pianist Gabriel Kahane and violinist Pekka Kuusisto.

Since its debut in 2002, the Danish String Quartet has demonstrated a special affinity for Scandinavian composers, from Carl Nielsen to Hans Abrahamsen. The quartet’s musical interests also encompass Nordic folk music, which was the focus of Wood Works, an album of traditional Scandinavian folk music, released by Dacapo in 2014. The quartet released Last Leaf for ECM, which was named one of the top classical albums of 2017 by NPR, Spotify, and the New York Times, among others.

The Danish String Quartet has received numerous citations and prizes, including first prize in the Vagn Holmboe String Quartet Competition and the Charles Hennen International Chamber Music Competition in the Netherlands, as well as the Audience Prize at the Trondheim International String Quartet Competition in 2005. In 2009, the Danish String Quartet won first prize in the 11th London International String Quartet Competition, now known as the Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition, and return to the celebrated London concert hall frequently. The quartet was the awarded the 2010 NORDMETALL–Ensemble Prize at the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festival in Germany, and in 2011, they received Denmark’s prestigious Carl Nielsen Prize.

The Danish String Quartet most recently appeared on the UChicago Presents series on October 28, 2016, at Mandel Hall.