February 25, 2014
On Wednesday, March 5, the Hampden-Sydney Music Series hosts The Talich Quartet in concert. For several decades, the Talich Quartet has been recognized internationally as one of Europe's finest chamber ensembles, and as the embodiment of the great Czech musical tradition.
With its legendary name, the latest generation of the Talich Quartet has been performing as a more youthful ensemble, led by Jan Talich Jr., the current first violinist, who took over the reins from his father and is surrounded by talented musicians Roman Patočka, Vladimír Bukač, and Petr Prause. The Quartet was founded in 1964 by Jan Talich, during his studies at the Prague Conservatory, and named for his uncle Vaclav Talich, the renowned chief conductor of the Czech Philharmonic. During the 1990s, there was a gradual and complete change in personnel, rejuvenating the Quartet while continuing the tradition of its predecessors through involvement in a wide spectrum of musical engagements and recording activities.
The Talich Quartet is regularly invited to prestigious chamber music festivals such as the Pablo Casals Festival in Prades, Prague Spring Music Festival, Europalia Festival, Printemps des Arts in Monte Carlo, Tibor Varga Festival of Music, and the International String Quartet Festival in Ottawa; and frequently visits such venues as New York's Carnegie Hall, le Théâtre des Champs-Elysées and Salle Gaveau in Paris, and London's Wigmore Hall.
The Talich's recordings of the complete string quartets by Felix Mendelssohn, released on the Calliope label between 2001and 2004, have been widely praised. Other recording projects include, also for Calliope, Dvorak's "American" quartet and viola quintet (2003), Smetana's two string quartets (2003), and a live recording of Schubert's "Death and the Maiden" and the Dvorák Quintet (2004). The Quartet's Janácek recording was honored by Gramophone with a nomination for the best chamber recording of 2006-the only recording by a string quartet to be selected.
The concert, free and open to the public, begins at 7:30 PM in Crawley Forum. The Hampden Sydney Music Series will present one more concert in April. This series is part of Hampden-Sydney's continuing commitment to the intellectual and cultural enrichment of the Southside community.