Ray Chen’s Made in Berlin Quartet

Wolf, Mozart, Ysaÿe, Françaix, Dvořák
Thu 31 Mar ’22 20:15 uur

Wolf - Italian Serenade
Mozart - Adagio & Fugue
Ysaÿe - Sonata for 2 violins
Françaix - String Trio
Ravel - String Quartet in F

Thu 31 Mar ’22
20:15 uur
  • Thu 31 Mar ’22
    20:15 uur
    Small Hall
    Past event

Over four years ago star violinist Ray Chen (winner of the Queen Elisabeth Competition) and three members of the Berlin Philharmonic made their overwhelming début in the Netherlands. The ensemble has returned, demonstrating its flexibility and agility with Hugo Wolf’s flashy serenade, Ysaÿe’s virtuoso duet and Françaix’s witty trio. The recital’s finale will be Ravel's unsurpassed quartet, in which the foursome will come together once more. 

There are only very few sonatas for two violins, and Eugène Ysaÿe’s impressive work from 1915 easily ranks among the most difficult. With all those double stops and chords it sounds as if you are listening to an entire string quartet playing! As a matter of fact, the first movement was also arranged by Ysaÿe himself for string trio. The person to whom Ysaÿe – one of the greatest Belgian violinists in history – dedicated this sonata was, without a doubt, everything but insignificant: Queen Elizabeth, after whom the famous competition was named. As she was one of Ysaÿe’s violin pupils, he enjoyed close ties with the Belgian royal family. Although the queen was certainly a capable violinist, it is doubtful whether she ever ventured to play one of the parts of this sonata.  

Ray Chen’s performances of violin concertos in Eindhoven in previous years – Tchaikovsky on 16 January 2014 and Bruch on 5 November 2015 – garnered tremendous acclaim. Born in Taipei, Chen moved to Australia at an early age, where he gave his first concert at the age of 8 with the Queensland Philharmonic Orchestra. The following year he played at the opening of the Winter Olympics in Osaka, Japan. His breakthrough came in 2009 when he won one of the most important competitions in the world, the Queen Elizabeth Competition in Brussels. During the semi-finals the young daredevil surprised the audience by playing from a laptop rather than printed sheet music, and by writing his own cadenza for the obligatory Mozart concerto. Chen derives his inspiration from some of the greatest violinists in history: the brilliancy of Jascha Heifetz, the charm of Fritz Kreisler, the thoroughness of David Oistrach and the integrity of Nathan Milstein. Chen signed a contract with Sony in 2010, under which label he recorded the violin concertos of Mendelssohn and Tchaikovsky, among others.


To keep waiting times down to an absolute minimum, this concert will make use of a cashless interval. A drink is included in your ticket, so you'll have more time to enjoy your company and your drink.