Alban Berg Quartett
Registered as:

Alban Berg Quartett

General Information

Year of Foundation:  1971
Year of Breakup:  2008

For more than 30 years the Alban Berg Quartet has performed regu­larly in music capitals and major festivals throughout the world. The Quartet has its own concert series at the Vienna Konzerthaus (where it debuted in 1971 and is now an Honorary Member), Royal Festival Hall in London, (where it is an Associate Artist), and at the Opera Zurich, the Theatre des Champs-Elysees in Paris, the Cologne Philharmonic and the Alte Oper Frankfurt.


Since its founding the Alban Berg Quartet has been a prolific recording ensem­ ble and has received more than 30 major international awards, including the Grand Prix du Disque, the Deutsche Schallplattenpreis, the Edison Prize, the first International Classical Music Award, the Japan Grand Prix and the Gramophone Magazine Award. The public and critics regard many of these recordings as definitive.


The Quartet's many recording projects include the complete quartets by Beethoven, Brahms, Berg, Webern and Bartok, the com­plete late Mozart and late Schubert quartets, quartets by Haydn, Dvorak, Schumann, Ravel, Debussy, Stravinsky, von Einem and Haubenstock-Ramati, as well as live record­ ings from Carnegie Hall, the Opera Comique in Paris, Queen Elizabeth Hall in London and the Konzerthaus in Vienna. Following its original Beethoven cycle recorded in the studio some years ago, the live recording of its Beethoven cycle at the Konzerthaus dur­ ing the Vienna Festival in 1989 has been released on CD and video. The Quartet has also made live recordings of works by Janacek, Lutoslawski, Berio, Schnittke, Urbanner and Rihm (most of which are dedicated to the Alban Berg Quartet), as well as the Dvorak Piano Quintet (with Rudolf Buchbinder), Schubert's late quartets, Brahms's Clarinet Quintet and String Quintet, Op. Ill, and Mozart's Piano Quartet in E-flat Major and Piano Quintet, KV 414 with Alfred Brendel, the quartets Op. 51 and Op. 106 of Dvorak and, most recently, also live, Mendelssohn's quartets Op. 12 and Op. 13.


Reviews for the Alban Berg Quartet confirm its reputation, having been hailed as "one of the great ensembles of our time" by the San Francisco Chronicle, and described as exhibiting "stunning perfection" by The Washington Post. The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung proclaims, "the Alban Berg Quartet have achieved legendary standards in cham­ber music playing."


More important to the Quartet than the superlative praise in the press is its self-appointed mission of giving the most harmonious interpretation of the works it performs and of extending its repertoire from the classical to the avant-garde; the name "Alban Berg" symbolizes this commitment. The Alban Berg Quartet also takes responsibility for the training of young musicians; its members are professors at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna and in 1993, joined the Music Academy in Cologne as successors of the Amadeus Quartet. The members of the Quartet are as dedicated to this task as they are to their own musical work and performance.




Lineup/Description of Style

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