Takács Quartet in the Daily Telegraph

Harmonies travel in different aisles
Ingrid Piper, The Daily Telegraph
June 19, 2012

The internationally renowned Takacs Quartet has found a simple solution to the inevitable pressure of living, working, performing and touring together for decades – just avoid your colleagues while on a plane.

“We don’t sit next to each other on long- haul flights,” violinist Edward Dusinberre admits. “If I want to read a trashy novel and one of the others wants to study a miniature score, then I’ll feel bad like I should be doing some work.

“When we check into hotels, they’re always quite surprised when we say we want the rooms to be far apart from each other. It’s nothing personal, it’s just that if I want to take a nap, I don’t want to feel guilty hearing someone else practising in the room next to me”.

The Takacs Quartet was formed in Hungary in 1975. Its two founding members Karoly Schranz (violin) and Andras Fejer (cello), together with US musician Geraldine Walther (viola) and British-born Dusinberre all now live in Colorado. It seems Colorado has proved a fertile base for the chamber music group.

“It’s right on the edge of Rocky Mountains and there’s gorgeous scenery, a nice university and it’s a very good place for us to work and recharge after a tour,” Dusinberre says. “Of course it’s not so pleasant after the recent wildfires – that’s the down side of living here.”

The Takacs Quartet has toured Australia a number of times but Dusinberre says his 1993 Musica Viva tour was a personal milestone because he had just joined the quartet.

“It was a great adventure and one of the first tours I did was with Musica Viva,” he says. “I felt more fully a member of the quartet after that Australian tour.”

The close relationship the group has formed with Australia has benefited local musicians. On their 2011 Musica Viva tour, the quartet worked with the Orava String Quartet, a young group of Sydney musicians which Dusinberre says will shortly move to Colorado to study.

Dusinberre says he’s also looking forward to meeting Australian composer Gordon Kerry whose string quartet is part of their eclectic 2012 program of Janacek, Britten, Debussy and Ravel.


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