- Richard Wigmore
English string quartet. The quartet, which is based in London, was formed by Corina Belcea and Laura Samuel (violins), Krzysztof Chorzelski (viola) and Matthew Talty (cello) in 1994, while all four were students at the RCM. Early mentors included the Chilingirian Quartet, Simon Rowland-Jones and the surviving members of the Amadeus Quartet. The group later studied with the Alban Berg Quartet in Cologne. In 1998, the year of the Belcea’s Wigmore Hall début, Alasdair Tait replaced Talty as cellist. The following year the group won first prize at both the Osaka and the Bordeaux International String Quartet competitions. In the 1999–2000 season the Belcea represented Great Britain in the European Concert Hall Organization’s ‘Rising Stars’ series (including a début in the Vienna Musikverein), and from 1999 to 2001 they took part in the BBC Radio Three New Generation Artists scheme. The group’s first recording, of quartets by Debussy, Ravel and Dutilleux, was widely praised for its polish, sensitivity and exquisitely observed detail, and won the ...