Since its formation in Madrid in 1997, Cuarteto Casals has quickly achieved recognition as one of Europe’s most distinguished string quartets. The group came to public attention when it won first prize at both the 2000 London International Competition and the 2002 Brahms International Competition. It now performs regularly in the finest halls in London, Paris, Berlin, Vienna, Zurich, Amsterdam, Madrid, New York and Tokyo, and has appeared at such festivals as Salzburg and Lucerne. The quartet has accompanied the King of Spain on state visits and performed at the Royal Palace of Madrid on the royal family’s set of matching Stradivarius instruments.
The quartet — Vera Martínez Mehner and Abel Tomàs Realp (violins), Jonathan Brown (viola) and Arnau Tomàs Realp (cello) — is named after the Catalan cellist Pablo Casals, one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century.
Cuarteto Casals has premiered works by the Spanish composers Jesùs Rueda, David del Puerto and Jordi Cervelló, collaborated with the HungarianGyörgy Kurtág and the Scot James MacMillan, and recorded Morphing by the French composer Christian Lauba. The quartet was honoured in 2005 with the Prize of the City of Barcelona, in 2006 with the Spanish National Music Award, and in 2008 with the Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award. It has broadcast on radio and television throughout Europe and North America. Cuarteto Casals is currently in residence at conservatories in Barcelona and Saragossa. The principal influences on its style have been Walter Levin, Rainer Schmidt, and the Alban Berg Quartet.
Header image: © Josep Molina 2012 for harmonia mundi