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Chamber Music Royalty Performs Two NZ Concerts in August

MEDIA RELEASE: For Immediate Release
Chamber Music Royalty Performs Two New Zealand Concerts in August

“… revealing the familiar as unfamiliar, making the most traditional of works feel radical once more” – The New York Times

“Even in the most fiendish repertoire these players show no fear, injecting the music with a heady sense of freedom. At the same time, though, there is an uncompromising attention to detail: neither a note nor a bow-hair is out of place.” – Financial Times (London)

Widely considered chamber music ‘royalty’, the Takács Quartet returns to New Zealand for two concerts only in Auckland and Wellington in August.

In this Chamber Music New Zealand 2017 season highlight, the quartet performs music from the Old and New Worlds highlighting their superb artistry and technical excellence.

The Takács Quartet plays at the Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington on Friday 4 August, and at Auckland Town Hall on Saturday 5 August.

It’s five years since the Takács Quartet last toured to New Zealand and violist Geraldine Walther said the quartet was looking forward to the return visit.

“The audiences for Chamber Music New Zealand are so attentive and appreciative, it makes us want to do our very best, each and every performance, and to play in a new way; to explore the works again freshly as we play them.

“The New Zealand audience has an open-minded freshness in the way they listen.”

Since the quartet’s last New Zealand tour, Geraldine said they have toured extensively in the United States, Canada, London, Europe, Asia and South America and collaborating with guest artists including Garrick Ohlssohn, Marc-Andre Hamelin, Lawrence Power, and Alexander Madzar, as well as acclaimed American actress, Meryl Streep. In 2014 they became the first string quartet to win the prestigious Wigmore Hall Medal and most recently the Takács Quartet completed performing four cycles of the Beethoven quartets at Princeton University.

Established in 1975 in Budapest, Hungary and now based in Boulder, USA, the Takács Quartet still features two founding members, violinist Károly Schranz and cellist András Fejér. Violinist Edward Dusinberre joined the quartet in 1993 and Geraldine Walther has been with the ensemble for 10 years.

András Fejér says that playing with the same people for a long period of time has the same advantages as for any team players “be it football, or in marriage or in a chamber orchestra, but with all that time on the road and in rehearsals we are still just working to figure out what the composer’s intentions were with any given piece.

“Even after having played a quartet hundreds of times we always try to fine-tune characters, colours, momentum within the various melodies and that sort of questioning and analytical work makes rehearsing enjoyable and we don’t notice the passing of the years.”

The programme for the Takács Quartet concerts feature Haydn’s mature and lyrical Quartet No. 64 alongside Anton Webern’s gloriously romantic Langsamer Satz, Dvořák’s last quartet and Anthony Ritchie’s evocation of the New Zealand landscape, Whakatipua.

Geraldine Walther said the works on the programme are very different to each other, yet are similar in that they share a wide emotional and expressive range for the string quartet.

“Webern’s Langsamer Satz stands by itself as a beautiful, romantic, evocative shorter piece that everyone seems to love hearing as much as we love playing it and learning Whakitipua brings to mind the natural beauty of Queenstown’s Lake Wakatipu. Anthony Ritchie brings an element of nature and timelessness.”

The Takács Quartet performs two concerts only in New Zealand – on Friday 4 August at the Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington and on Saturday 5 August at Auckland Town Hall. Pre-concert talks feature prior to each concert. Tickets for the Wellington concert are available through Ticketek, and for the Auckland concert, tickets are available through Ticketmaster. For further details and booking information visit


Experience Takács Quartet here

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  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland