Arcadia Quartet

Winners of the 2014 Osaka International Chamber Music Competition, the 2012 Wigmore Hall London International String Quartet Competition, the 2011 Almere International Chamber Music Competition in 2011 and the International Chamber Music Competition Hamburg in 2009, the Arcadia Quartet is rapidly establishing itself as one of the most exciting string quartets of their generation.



Biography

ARCADIA QUARTET

Ana Török Violin
Rasvan Dumitru Violin
Traian Boala Viola
Zsolt Török Cello

“The Romanian ensemble lives through the emotional eruptions in Janácek’s music with heart and soul … every accent is a stich into the heart.”
Marcus Stäbler, FonoForum, April 2014

‘the playing has such intensity….The result is an assault on the senses, piercing the heart of this unsettling music’ The Financial Times, September 2013

Winners of the 2014 Osaka International Chamber Music Competition, the 2012 Wigmore Hall London International String Quartet Competition, the 2011 Almere International Chamber Music Competition in 2011 and the International Chamber Music Competition Hamburg in 2009, the Arcadia Quartet is rapidly establishing itself as one of the most exciting string quartets of their generation.

Formed in 2006 while students at the Gheorghe Dima Music Academy in Romania, the quartet has performed across the world including performances at the Budapest Spring Festival, George Enescu Festival in Heidelberg, Cite International des Arts in Paris, Alte Oper Frankfurt, Pollack Hall in Montreal, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Wigmore Hall, Q’arto Mondi Festival in Poland, Salle Gaveau in Paris, Tel-Aviv, Portugal, Mecklenburg Vorpommern Festival, Kammermusiktage Mettlach, Zeist Music Days Festival in The Netherlands, throughout the United Kingdom and and in Beijing. The 14/15 season included a 12 concert tour of Japan and concerts throughout Europe including at the Wigmore Hall, Vienna Musikverein, Aldeburgh Festival, Berlin Konzerthaus, North Norfolk Music Festival, Enescu Festival and in Madrid. The Quartet made their BBC Radio 3 debut with a broadcast concert from the Wigmore Hall in March 2015, and in April 2015 were invited to become the prestigious ‘Tinerimea Română’ National Art Centre of Bucharest’s Quartet-in-Residence, playing six concerts a year broadcast by the Romanian Broadcasting Company.

The Quartet returned to the United Kingdom in the 15/16 season to give a 14 concert tour of Scotland and the United Kingdom and perform extensively throughout Europe including performances at the Musikfestival Rheinhessen, Grafenegg Festival, Silver Lyre Festival in Saint Petersburg, Euroarts Festival in Prague and further concerts in Germany, Transylvania and Romania. This year the Quartet made their debut in Venice, Bologna and Istanbul alongside further concerts in Germany, Romania, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom including the Wigmore Hall and the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester in February where their concert was recorded by BBC Radio 3. Amongst other concerts, the 17/18 season will see them return twice to the Wigmore Hall, tour the United Kingdom and give concerts in Germany, Sweden and Romania.

The Arcadia Quartet’s debut disc of works by Mendelssohn and Brahms was released by Fontenay Classics in 2009 attracting critical acclaim. Ensemble Magazin wrote of “their intimate performance”, “their exceptional sonority” and their “expressive power which leaves a deep impression on the listener”. Their recording of Janacek Quartet No.1 and No.2 was released on the Orchid Classics label in October 2013. The Sunday Times wrote of of ‘a beauty that pierces the heart’ that ‘both works are played with searing intensity by the fine young Romanian quartet’. The Financial Times wrote that the quartet ‘create a mood of edgy expressionism that, in its violent swings and chromatic stresses, is shockingly direct and dramatic, like an opera – or a nightmare’, that ‘the result is an assault on the senses, piercing the heart of this unsettling music.’

The Quartet is delighted to announce that the 17/18 Season will see them recording the complete 6 Bartok quartets for Chandos Records for release in late 2018.

Valid until April 2018

Reviews

The Romanian ensemble lives through the emotional eruptions in Janácek’s music with heart and soul … every accent is a stich into the heart

Marcus Stäbler, FonoForum, April 2014

"I’ve rarely heard Janáček’s quartets in such homogeneous texture, as if made from one piece“, rarely interpreted with such charm, such fervor. For me, the Arcadia Quartet is – at least concerning Janáček – the current cutting edge among European interpreters…..leaves nothing to be desired either. Outstanding!"

The Listener, 2013

the playing has such intensity….The result is an assault on the senses, piercing the heart of this unsettling music

The Financial Times, September 2013

Each fresh hearing of Janacek’s quartets is a shock... turbulent, unpredictable outpouring, with violent tempo changes, ferocious sul ponticello and beauty that pierces the heart. Both works are played with searing intensity by the fine young Romanian quartet.

David Cairns, The Sunday Times, 28 September 2013

..."Dark and stormy or light and lyrical, the fevered idiom of Mendelssohn’s Second Quartet suited the Arcadia Quartet (Romania), who got a lovely “dancing to keep from crying” energy in the third movement."...

Nick Kimberley, London International String Quartet Competition, Wigmore Hall, London Evening Standard, April 2012

"The bleak, almost suicidal, loneliness of the opening of Beethoven’s Op131 was painfully impressive"....."This was a totally convincing reading of what for me is Beethoven’s finest quartet."

Dr. Brian Hick, Royal Greenwich String Quartet Festival, Lark Reviews, April 2013

Nouvelle révélation hier soir à l'Académie internationale de quatuor à cordes de McGill : le Quatuor Arcadia, de Roumanie. Au premier-violon, une énergique jeune femme entraîne avec elle ses trois coéquipiers masculins, qui n'en perdent pas pour autant leur personnalité. En fait, les quatre sont de force égale et traversent le Quartettsatz de Schubert -- le plus connu des deux mouvements en do mineur ainsi identifiés - avec une tension de tous les instants, que redouble la reprise des premières pages et que dissipe plus tard une réconfortante accalmie.

Claude Gringas, McGill University, La Presse, 18 August 2012

It rarely happens that an experienced audience, faced with the often sterile perfection of professional classical musicians, is given the opportunity to live an "Aha!" experience. More than 200 spectators present in the overcrowded church enjoyed such a glorious musical moment. Arcadia String Quartet captivated the audience, impressing them with a musicality that touches the heart, with their technical virtuosity and the delicacy and naturalness portrayed by these young artists.

Segerberger Zeitung, 13 November 2010

"I had undoubtedly come to Snape that evening solely in order to hear Ian Bostridge sing Britten and Tippett, I left feeling the most astonished, and exhilarated, by Britten's extraordinary String Quartet no. 1, played with blistering skill and forensic intensity by the Arcadia Quartet.... Britten's String Quartet no. 1 had a tremulous, magical opening into which larger notes fell like huge raindrops scattering onto a wind-harried sedge, finding strange synergies between notes, before plunging into a journey in which the violin is the hero. Ideas evolve from a deep and changing harmonic structure, like bubbles floating to the surface of a deep lake. Different movements finish with a sprightly flourish, almost a touch of insouciance. The Arcadia Quartet's superb playing had the audience spellbound, while the whole piece seemed to express a complex and sophisticated joy, one which is not achieved without pain and endeavour along the way."

Backtrack (Concert at Aldeburgh Festival June 2016)

"Transylvanian magic landed in Newton last Sunday: magic because the audience was so spellbound by the Romanian muscians As soon as the Arcadia Quartet were playing the first few bars of Haydn’s ‘Joke’ Quartet I felt there was something sonorously different. There was a warm balanced tone and also beautifully resonant pianissimos. The Scherzo gave us the jollity and the expressive light heartedness one expects of Haydn. Arcadia’s credentials now firmly established, we came to the Largo sostenuto and a complete change of mood: for me a slight frisson in that I felt a surreal edge to this movement’s pomposity. And as any comedian knows, one must establish credibility before a joke will work. The Arcadia’s poise and timing worked a treat in the finale. To programme Borodin’s ‘This is My Beloved’ quartet after Haydn’s ‘Joke’ seemed rather a risk too close to the hackneyed. However the Arcadia transported us well clear of the commonplace. Mercifully, we were spared excessive use of vibrato. Instead we delighted in their clarity of tone, sensitivity of dynamics and pianissimos to die for! Perhaps it is the fact that this quartet has travelled together so extensively through the concert halls of the world that they play so effectively as one. There was no need of physical flamboyance or affectation; the music arose from the group. It felt somewhat of a relief to be free of the, admittedly engaging and visually exciting, experience of a live performance of a string quartet where the melodic line is thrown around as a ‘pass-the-parcel’ exercise. The Arcadia transcended this; their music was all. The second half of the concert was Shostakovich’s String Quartet No. 8 in C minor ‘Dresden’, something I should admit is not in my comfort zone. However, what a huge difference performers can make to the perception of a piece of music. The intensity of emotion was overwhelming whether in a lament of despair, hauntingly eerie passages, or the startling shrieks of the ‘Psycho-like’ episode. The final movement left the audience numb. Eventually applause started, then grew and persisted until the Arcadia gave us an encore. The viola player said that they would leave us with a more cheerful mood of a Folk Bagatelle. What a masterpiece of planning that was, and how amazingly versatile the Arcadia Quartet is."

NASDA Concert review, 18 February 2018