Pavel Haas Quartet

Since winning the Paolo Borciani competition in Italy in Spring 2005, the Pavel Haas Quartet has established itself as one of the great chamber ensembles of today, performing at the world’s most prestigious concert halls and recording four award-winning CDs. Based in Prague, the Quartet studied with Milan Skampa, the legendary violist of the Smetana Quartet, and continues to enjoy a close relationship with him.

In 2013-14 the Quartet performed residencies at the Cologne Philharmonie, Birmingham Town Hall and the Prague Spring Festival, and will appear in concerts at the Zurich Tonhalle, the Auditorium du Louvre, Munich Herkulessaal and London Wigmore Hall. They will collaborate with pianist Daniil Trifonov to performances of Shostakovich Piano Quintet, and with Colin Currie for two premieres of works for quartet and percussion. Last season’s highlights include performances in London Wigmore Hall, Rome Santa Cecilia, Louvre in Paris, Rotterdam De Doelen and the Schubertiade Festival.

The Pavel Haas Quartet records exclusively with Supraphon. Their most recent recording, released in September 2013, features Schubert’s String Quartet in D minor Death and the Maiden, as well as the Cello Quintet with Danjulo Ishizaka.

Their previous recording, a disc of DvoÅ™ák’s String Quartets No. 12 in F major ‘American’ and No. 13 in G major, was released in autumn 2010 and gathered widespread critical acclaim: the Sunday Times awarded the recording five stars, commenting: “Their account of the ‘American’ Quartet belongs alongside the greatest performances on disc. In this repertoire, they are simply matchless today.” In October 2011, the recording was awarded the prestigious Record of the Year at the Gramophone Awards.

The quartet won the Diapason d’Or de l’Année for its disc featuring Prokofiev’s String Quartets Nos. 1 & 2 and Sonata for Two Violins, with Diapason commenting “This is now the definitive recording of the Prokofiev quartets... to be discovered without hesitation.” The first two recordings were equally well received. The first recording of Janáček’s Quartet No. 2, Intimate Letters and Haas Quartet No. 2, From the Monkey Mountains was voted one of the CDs of 2006 by the Daily Telegraph and received a 2007 Gramophone Award. The Quartet’s second disc saw them complete their recordings of the string quartet works by Haas and Janáček. Gramophone commented “To describe a CD as musically important is to court a certain level of controversy but I’ll stick my neck out and claim extreme importance for this particular release.”

In 2007, the Cologne Philharmonic nominated the Quartet as ECHO Rising Stars, resulting in a tour to major concert halls worldwide. The Quartet took part in the BBC New Generation Artists scheme between 2007—2009, and in 2010 it was awarded the Special Ensemble Scholarship of the Borletti-Buitoni Trust. The 2010/11 season saw the Quartet begin a three-year residency in Glasgow Royal Concert Halls.

The Quartet takes its name from the Czech composer Pavel Haas (1899-1944) who was imprisoned at Theresienstadt in 1941 and tragically died at Auschwitz three years later. His legacy includes three wonderful string quartets.