“Modern Day Vikings” – Jörg Widmann, Brahms (6PM) and Scandinavian Folk Music (9PM)
A series that blends folk and classical traditions wouldn’t be complete without the tremendous Danish String Quartet. They visited Richardson in 2014 and blew us away with their unorthodox, laid-back approach to standard repertoire and Scandinavian folk music alike. Now, we get the opportunity to join them onstage for two PUC125 performances, much like the evening with Barokksolistene—classical music at 6pm, and arrangements of Scandinavian folk tunes at 9pm.
About the Artist:
As a string quartet, we find ourselves at the core of the classical music world. On a daily basis we delve deeply into works by great masters such as Beethoven and Mozart, but we also play the occasional folk gig. Over the years we have been fortunate to study in many different places in masterclasses with renowned teachers and have had opportunities to perform in major concert halls across the world. Sometimes a friendly reviewer has written nice things about us too. We have participated in competitions and made some recordings as well. If you want to know more about all this stuff, check out the ‘press‘ page on our site, where you can download a PDF with all the text you could hope for.
Here’s a simpler story of the quartet: We are three Danes and one Norwegian cellist, making this a truly Scandinavian endeavor. We are often joking about ourselves being modern Vikings – perhaps a touch more harmless than our ancestors – we are not pillaging cities or razing the English coastline!
The three of us met very early in our lives in the Danish countryside at a summer camp for enthusiastic amateur musicians. Not yet teenagers, we were the youngest players, so we hung out all the time playing football and chamber music together. During the regular school year we would get together often to play music and just have fun. We became best friends. In 2001, professor Tim Frederiksen of The Royal Academy of Music in Copenhagen got in touch with us and started coaching us on a regular basis. All of the sudden, at the ages of 15 and 16, we were a serious string quartet. It all happened so fast that none of us seemed to notice the transition.
Time passed and we grew up. We were enrolled at The Royal Academy of Music and our life as music students had begun. None of us have any memory of our lives without the string quartet. In 2008 Norwegian cellist Fredrik joined in. We found him hidden away in a castle outside Stockholm. During his free time, Fredrik can be found fixing or sailing his sailboat somewhere in Scandinavia. The rest of us spend time with different hobbies – old cars, cooking, gaming, reading, playing, talking, and drinking. Yes, playing string quartets is our job, and yes it is hard work, but we mostly do it for pleasure, like we always did. There is so much amazing music to delve into, and our hope is to continue our travels through life and music together as a quartet. And if all goes well, around 2060 we will beat the world record for longest running string quartet. On that day we will host a giant feast – you shall all be invited!
Rune, Asbjørn, Fredrik and Frederik