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Hagen Quartet, string quartet
Lukas Hagen - violin
Rainer Schmidt - violin
Veronika Hagen - viola
Clemens Hagen - violoncello
Regarded internationally as one of the foremost string quartets of the day, the Hagen Quartet consists of the two brothers Lukas and Clemens and their sister Veronika Hagen and, since autumn 1987, Rainer Schmidt. The Quartet studied at the Salzburg Mozarteum (where they have themselves taught since 1988) and in Basel, Hannover and Cincinnati, where they were taught by such distinguished musicians as Hatto Beyerle, Heinrich Schiff, Walter Levin and Nikolaus Harnoncourt. They won the Audience Prize and the Jury Prize at the Lockenhaus Festival in 1981, where they have since returned regularly, and went on to win first prize at the Evian Competition in 1983 and the Portsmouth Competition in 1982, which led to their Wigmore Hall debut.
Since then they have become frequent guests of major concert promoters across the globe, touring extensively throughout Europe, and to the USA, South America, Asia (especially Japan) and Australia. Last season they appeared in most of the major European cities, including London, Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels, Vienna, Salzburg, Munich, Milan, Rome, Madrid, Barcelona, Athens, besides touring North and South America. On 1 January 2002 they were special guests in the famous New Years Day concert of the Vienna Philharmonic, which is broadcast to 800 million people around the world.
The Hagen Quartet is committed to interpreting works by contemporary composers such as Ligeti and Lutoslawski, alongside their explorations of the rich heritage of the quartet repertoire stretching back to Bach. This is reflected in their diverse recordings for Deutsche Grammophon, with whom they have had an exclusive contract since 1985. In 1987 they were awarded the Grand Prix International du Disque for their Dvorak/Kodaly disc, and won it again in 1990 for their recording of three Haydn Quartets. Their latest releases include the complete Bartok quartets, Verdi/Puccini, and a Dvorak/Schulhoff/Kurtag disc.
Lukas Hagen plays a violin made by Antonius Stradivarius in Cremona 1724, and Veronika Hagen plays a viola by Giovanni Paolo Maggini of Brescia, both of which were kindly loaned to them by the Austrian National Bank (Österreichische Nationalbank).
April 2002/375 words
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