October 17, 2019
Danish Quartet: Musical America's 2020 Ensemble of the Year

"They bonded around a football stuck in a tree. “It was our first challenge as a string quartet,” quips DSQ violist Asbjørn Nørgaard. Several years and first prizes later, the foursome faces a different challenge: a complete Beethoven cycle and recordings of the late quartets for ECM." 

Read the full article by Clive Paget HERE.

This season, the Quartet returns to North America as one of the most prominent musical voices in the monumental celebrations of Beethoven’s 250th year. The Quartet’s fresh, inventive approach to repertoire and warm, emotional performances continue to delight critics, with audiences “flocking to witness the combination of gritty energy and expressive urgency that these four musicians put on display.” (San Francisco Chronicle) With three sweeping North American tours, the Danish thrills and delights that expansive audience, focusing its entire performance season on the towering Beethoven string quartets, alongside many important works which inspired, and were inspired by, these revered giants of the classical canon.

As part of a three-year residency with the La Jolla Music Society, the Danish String Quartet brings a series of five concerts that mirror the programs in its ongoing recording project with ECM New Series, PRISM.  PRISM I, released in 2018, was nominated for a Grammy®, and the second disc in the series, PRISM II, was released on September 13, 2019.

"A revelatory connected soundscape in which Beethoven’s introspection feels more unsettling than usual." - BBC Music

"Blistering performance...One awaits the rest of the Danish String Quartet's series breathlessly..." - AllMusic

"Naturally trimmed for precision and temperament, the Danish String Quartet can deal perfectly with Beethoven's audacity embodied in the Great Fugue like few of its competitors. The light and darkness of the fugue are ideally staged on the basis of soft sound generation and also find their ideal counterpart in the preceding string quartet, which is interpreted as a prelude to the mighty finale in the form of the great fugue. PRISM II proves to be a milestone in the still short history of the PRISM series by ECM with the well-placed, multi-faceted Danish String Quartet." - High Res Audio

Each PRISM program is an exploration of the symbiotic musical and contextual relationships between Bach fugues, Beethoven string quartets, and works by Shostakovich, Schnittke, Bartok, Mendelssohn, and Webern, forming an expertly curated musical evolution within each individual program and across the entire PRISM repertory.  

La Jolla Music Society
Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center
Saturday, November 16, 2019
Wohltemporierte Klavier II, Fugue no. 7 in Eb major, BWV 876 (arr. Mozart)
SHOSTAKOVICH String Quartet No. 15 in E-flat minor, Op. 144
BEETHOVEN String Quartet in E-flat Major, Op. 127

Sunday, November 17, 2019
 Fugue No. 24 in B minor, BWV869
SCHNITTKE String Quartet No. 3
BEETHOVEN String Quartet in B-flat Major Op. 130 with Grosse Fuge, Op. 133

Friday, November 22, 2019
 Fugue no. 4 in C# minor from Well-Tempered Clavier Book 1, BWV 849 (arr. Förster)
BARTÓK String Quartet No. 1
BEETHOVEN String Quartet in C-sharp minor, Op. 131

Saturday, November 23, 2019
 Fugue no. 16 in G minor, from Well-Tempered Clavier Book 1, BWV 861 (arr. Förster)
MENDELSSOHN String Quartet in A minor, Op. 13
BEETHOVEN String Quartet in A minor, Op. 132

Fugue No. 18: Fuga a 3 soggetti; Contrapunctus XIV from Art of Fuge, BWV 1080
WEBERN String Quartet (1905)
BACH Vor deinen Thron tret' ich, BWV 668
BEETHOVEN String Quartet in F Major, Op. 135

In February 2020, the Danish returns to North America as the featured string quartet performing the entire Beethoven cycle at Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center over the course of six concerts.  The following May, the Quartet returns to the United States to perform the cycle in St. Paul, MN at the Schubert Club.

Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center:
Friday, February 7, 2020 at 7:30PM
Sunday, February 9, 2020 at 5:00PM
Tuesday, February 11, 2020 at 7:30PM
Thursday, February 14, 2020 at 7:30PM
Sunday, February 16, 2020 at 5:00PM
Tuesday, February 18, 2020 at 7:30PM

Schubert Club:
Wednesday, May 6, 2020 at 7:30PM
Friday, May 8, 2020 at 7:30PM
Sunday, May 10, 2020 at 4:00PM
Tuesday, May 12, 2020 at 7:30PM
Friday, May 15, 2020 at 7:30PM
Sunday, May 17, 2020 at 3:00PM

Additional North American Tour Dates:


Nov. 1 / Minneapolis, MN /American Swedish Institute
Nov. 3/Vancouver, BC/Vancouver Recital Society
Nov. 4-5/Portland, OR/Portland Friends of Chamber Music
Nov. 7/Seattle, WA/Meany Center for the Performing Arts
Nov. 8/Rohnert Park, CA/Sonoma State University
Nov. 10/Berkeley, CA/Cal Performances
Nov. 12-13/Santa Barbara, CA/UC Santa Barbara Arts & Lectures
Nov. 19/Irvine, CA/Philharmonic Society of Orange County

Jan. 30/Montreal, QB/Fondation Arte Musica
Jan. 31/Chicago, IL/University of Chicago
Feb. 1/Detroit, MI/Detroit Chamber Music Society
Feb. 3-5/Denver, CO/Friends of Chamber Music Denver
May 3/Boston, MA/Celebrity Series of Boston
May 4/Iowa City/University of Iowa

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