Károly Schranz (second violinist of the Takács Quartet) was born in 1952 in Budapest, Hungary. His first musical experiences were listening to the Gypsy bands in restaurants, which he has always admired for their virtuosity and musicianship. Mr. Schranz began playing the violin at the age of four under the very strict supervision of his mother who often resorted to unconventional methods of teaching and encouraging practice. ("To improve my bowing technique, she devised a method of attaching a string to my arm, and pulling in the desired direction. When this approach failed, she spanked me with a wooden spoon, which resulted in my hatred towards practicing.") At the age of fourteen, he entered the Béla Bártok Secondary Music School, where he met his future wife, also a violin student at the school. In 1980, he received his music diploma from the Franz Liszt Academy of Music where he studied with Mihály Szücs, András Mihály, and György Kurtág.