Since its founding at the Escuela Reina Sofia in Madrid under Professor Antonello Farulli in 1997, Cuarteto Casals has quickly become recognized as one of Europe's most distinguished string quartets. This Spanish ensemble has garnered extensive critical acclaim and has won top prizes at many international competitions, including First Prizes at the 2000 London and the 2002 Johannes Brahms International String Quartet Competitions. In 2005, the ensemble was honoured with the prize of the City of Barcelona, in 2006 received the National Music Award, the highest distinction for musicians in Spain, and in 2008 was chosen for the prestigious Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award in England.Upcoming and recent activities include performances at the Wigmore Hall and Barbican Center (London), Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall (New York), Philharmonie and Konzerthaus (Berlin), Tonhalle (Zurich), Library of Congress (Washington), Konzerthaus and Musikverein (Vienna), Philharmonie (Cologne), Chatelet (Paris) and tours throughout Europe, the United States, South America, Russia and Japan, as well as appearances at the Salzburger Festspiele and Lucerne Festival, Santa Fe, Bantry, City of London, Schleswig-Holstein, and Kuhmo festivals. The Cuarteto Casals residency at the Auditori in Barcelona, where it now performs an annual series of concerts, has been met with tremendous critical approbation and audience support. In addition, the quartet has accompanied the King and Queen of Spain on official state visits, as well as at the Palacio Real in Madrid, playing on the Royal Family's priceless collection of matched Stradivarius instruments.Cuarteto Casals records exclusively for Harmonia Mundi. Their recording of the complete quartets and piano quintet of Johannes Brahms is set for release in Autumn 2008.The quartet has worked with important composers in Europe today, premiering works by Jordi Cervelló, David del Puerto and Jesús Rueda of Spain, collaborating with James MacMillan of Scotland, and György Kurtág of Hungary, and at the composer's request, recording Christian Lauba's quartet Morphing. Cuarteto Casals has performed quintets with renowned musicians including Elizabeth Leonskaja, Oleg Maisenberg, Claudio Martinez Mehner, Christophe Coin, Thomas Riebl and Michael Collins and has been heard frequently on the radio and in live concert broadcasts from the Spanish National Radio, Radio France, Deutschland Radio, WDR, NDR, SWR, RAI, NPR and the BBC and seen on television throughout Spain and Germany.Cuarteto Casals is currently in residence at leading Spanish conservatory in Barcelona, and has been profoundly influenced by intensive studies with Professors Walter Levin and Rainer Schmidt, as well as by graduate work in Cologne under the Alban Berg Quartet.
27 April 2009