Abel Tomàs violin
Vera Martinez violin
Jonathan Brown viola
Arnau Tomàs cello
“A quartet for the new millennium if I ever heard one ” wrote Strad magazine upon hearing Cuarteto Casals for the first time, shortly after its inception in 1997 at the Escuela Reina Sofía in Madrid.
Since winning First Prizes at the London and Brahms-Hamburg competitions, Cuarteto Casals has been a repeated guest at the world’s most prestigious concert halls including Wigmore Hall, Carnegie Hall, Musikverein Vienna, Philharmonie Cologne, Cité de la Musique Paris, Schubertiade in Schwarzenberg, Concertgebouw Amsterdam and the Philharmonie in Berlin, among many others throughout Europe, North America and Japan.
The quartet has compiled a substantial discography with the Harmonia Mundi label, including to date 11 CD’s, with repertoire ranging from lesser known Spanish composers Arriaga and Toldrá to Viennese classics Mozart, Haydn, Schubert and Brahms, through 20th Century greats Bartok, Kurtag and Ligeti. In Fall 2015 the quartet will record its first Beethoven CD and release a five-DVD set of the compelete Schubert quartets, recorded live at L’Auditori in Barcelona in 2013.
“A sonic signature entirely its own,” raved the New York Times, describing Cuarteto Casals’ distinctive range of expression. A prize from the prestigious Borletti-Buitoni Trust in London enabled the quartet to purchase a matching set of Classical period bows which it uses for works from Purcell through Schubert, refining its ability to distinguish between diverse musical styles. In addition, the quartet has been profoundly influenced by its work with living composers, especially György Kurtag, and has given the world premiere of quartets written by leading Spanish composers. Keen to broaden the string quartet repertoire, Cuarteto Casals has commisioned a new concerto for string quartet and orchestra as well as six new pieces to complement each of the programs of its Beethoven cycle, scheduled for its 20th anniversary season in 2017-18.
In recognition of Cuarteto Casals’ unique position as the first Spanish string quartet with a truly international profile, the quartet has been honored with the Premio Nacional de Música as well as the Premi Ciutat Barcelona. The quartet has accompanied the King of Spain on diplomatic visits and often performed on the peerless collection of decorated Stradivarius instruments in the Royal Palace in Madrid.
Cuarteto Casals often appears on television and radio throughout Europe and North America and is Quartet in Residence at the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln and the Escola Superior de Musica de Catalunya in Barcelona, where all four members reside.