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The Grammy-nominated Takács Quartet, long recognized as among the best chamber music ensembles in the world, will present a concert 8 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 29, at the Williams Center for the Arts. The group will perform Mozart’s Quartet in B-flat major, K. 589; Schubert’s Quartet in G major, Op. 161; and “Life in Wayang” by Malaysian composer Su Lian Tian, presented just four days after its world premiere.

Tickets cost $4 with Lafayette ID and $18 for the public. They may be purchased by calling the box office at 610-330-5009.

The Washington Post has called Takács Quartet “artists of the highest caliber.” The ensemble earned the Gramophone Magazine Chamber Music Recording of the Year award in 1998 for its recording of the Bartók Quartet Cycle, and again last year for its rendition of Beethoven Quartets Opp. 59 & 74. The Toronto Star recently praised the group’s “remarkable ensemble sound, a unity that shaped two centuries of music so clearly and cleanly that one could almost reach out and caress the sound sculptures.”

Takács Quartet was formed by Gabor Takács-Nagy, Károly Schranz, Gabor Ormai and András Fejér in 1975, while all four were students at Budapest’s Liszt Academy. It first received international attention in 1977, winning First Prize and the Critics’ Prize at the International String Quartet Competition in Evian, France. Thereafter, the group won the Gold Medal at the 1978 Portsmouth and Bordeaux Competitions and First Prizes at the Budapest International String Quartet Competition (1978) and the Bratislava Competition (1981). The quartet made its North American debut tour in 1982.

Takács Quartet’s many award-winning recordings on the London label, along with its compelling and insightful performance tours, have made it one of the most in-demand ensembles in the concert industry. Since its formation in 1975, the ensemble has appeared regularly in every major music capital and prestigious festival, with frequent appearances at Lincoln Center, Library of Congress, San Francisco Performances, and Chicago’s Symphony Hall.

The quartet is based in Boulder, Colo., where it has held a residency at University of Colorado since 1983. The group is a resident quartet at the Aspen Festival and its members are also visiting fellows at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London.

During the 2002-2003 season, Takács Quartet is performing more than 40 concerts in the U.S., touring extensively in Europe. Special projects include a tour with famed Hungarian gypsy ensemble Muzsikas, several concerts with pianist Garrick Ohlsson, and a Beethoven cycle presented by Cleveland Orchestra. In addition to its annual residency at the Aspen Festival and a residency at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, worldwide 2002-2003 tour cities include Washington, Miami, Montreal, Honolulu, Ann Arbor, Caramoor, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, Urbana, Williamstown, Kansas City, London, Paris, Amsterdam, Hamburg, Zurich, Copenhagen, and Berlin. In 2001-2002, the group toured in 15 cities with former U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky, culminating in a concert at Lincoln Center.

Recent Takács seasons have included Bartók cycles in London, Madrid and Seville; Schubert cycles in London, Lisbon, Utrecht and Spain; and a Brahms cycle in London. The ensemble has performed Beethoven cycles in Paris, London, Zurich, Sydney, New York, at Middlebury College, and numerous concerts surrounding the Mozart anniversary year in 1991. During the summer of 1993, the quartet gave a cycle of three concerts at the Salzburg Festival featuring the quartets of Bartók and Brahms. The quartet made its Lincoln Center debut on the Great Performers Series in 1989, and performed six concerts at the Haydn Festival in 1991 with pianist Andras Schiff at Metropolitan Museum of Art (repeated in London’s Wigmore Hall). The quartet made its Carnegie Hall debut in 1992.

The nationally recognized Performance Series attracts more than 10,000 people each season. It has been cited for performing excellence by National Endowment for the Arts, National Dance Project, Chamber Music America, Lila Wallace Reader’s Digest Fund, Pennsylvania Arts and Humanities Councils, and Association of Performing Arts Presenters.

The 2002-03 Performance Series at Lafayette is supported in part by gifts from Friends of the Williams Center for the Arts; by the F.M. Kirby Foundation; by provisions of the Alan and Wendy Pesky Artist-in-Residence Program, the James Bradley Fund, and the Ed Brunswick Jazz Fund; and by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, Pennsylvania Performing Arts on Tour, and New England Foundation for the Arts.

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