Opus 76 Quartet

Opus 76 Quartet

From its hometown of Kansas City, The Opus 76 Quartet has become recognized in journals worldwide for its entertaining and energetic interpretations of the classics. The Strad reviewed a recent performance, commenting “a beautiful Sunrise from [the] Opus 76 Quartet…you’re still allowed to watch [the performance], in fact we insist that you do.” The Spectator (London), reviewing a recent performance of a Late Beethoven Quartet lauded the group, remarking: “a brilliant young string quartet…[a] luminous performance.” In the USA, The Kansas City Star recently described the group’s complete Beethoven Cycle as “certainly passionate performances, fully expressing all of Beethoven’s many emotions from the the lighthearted and jocular to the feverish and intense.”

Artists-in-residence at the Midwest Trust Center at Johnson County Community College, The Opus 76 Quartet perform 50 concerts a year nationwide.

In the 2021-22 season, the Quartet made their debut with orchestra, and appeared as guest artists with the Kansas City Ballet, delivering critically acclaimed performances of works by Philip Glass in the Ballet’s season opening performance of “Wunderland” at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. Bachtrack noted that Opus 76’s performances of the Glass were “complements to the movements, athletic, sinuous, centripetal and centrifugal, both tense and harmonious. It was a powerful, postmodern mix..” – with Broadway World commenting: “Of note is the accompaniment provided by the Opus 76 Quartet and pianist Ramona Pansegrau. This was a relentless, memorable performance, and easily this reviewer’s favorite piece of the evening.”

They also recorded the Six Quartets dedicated to Haydn by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart for Kansas Public Radio, and became the first Artists-in-Residence at The Midwest Trust Center.

Highlights of this season includes the Opus 76 Quartet beginning an educational residency with The Youth Symphony of Kansas City, continuing their artistic residency at The Midwest Trust Center for concerts in Fall 2022 and Spring 2023, and making their much anticipated debut at Carnegie Hall in March 2023.

During the Pandemic of 2020, The Opus 76 Quartet performed and recorded all 18 Beethoven String Quartets in front of a live audience over a six week period. These performances were broadcast statewide on Kansas Public Radio. The ensemble released complete recordings of these works in association with KPR digitally on iTunes, Spotify and other streaming services and physically on their own label, available for purchase in their online shop. The group established a Digital Residency at the Midwest Trust Center, performing an innovative new streaming Concert Series “Eat, Drink & Play!” pairing staples of the classical repertoire with regionally sourced fine food and drink – in documentary format.

In addition to performances with The Kansas City Ballet, the Quartet has collaborated with a number of celebrated artists and groups, including “The Priests” on a tour of the USA, American clarinetist David Krakauer, as well as Norwegian pianist Julie Coucheron and French ‘cellist Noemie Golubovic. In addition to the Beethoven Quartets, the ensemble’s discography includes Schubert’s C Major Quintet, Mendelssohn’s op.44 no.1 and Brahms’s F minor Piano Quintet. Recordings to be released in 2023 include new performances of Beethoven op.130, 131 & 135, Dvorak’s American Quartet, Schubert’s “Death & The Maiden” & “Rosamunde,” The Brahms G Major viola quintet, a number of works by Mozart and more.

The Quartet looks forward to performances with pianist Ramona Pansegrau and violist Paul Neubauer in 2023 & 2024.

The Opus 76 Quartet is fully committed to improving society through music – and its non-profit foundation, The Friends of the Opus 76 Quartet, oversees its “Music Making Minds” initiative – which performs charitable works in the community of Kansas City. The foundation’s goal is to improve society’s ability to listen to one another calmly, and promote greater understanding for the different perspectives on life we all have. Providing interactive educational programs and learning resources, such as workshops, podcasts and digital presentations, has helped deliver advocacy for the problems the Kansas City community faces. It’s encouraged volunteerism and donations to sister organizations which directly serve those in need, particularly during the Pandemic of 2020, and has worked to demonstrate awareness of the common dignity we all share as human beings – irrespective of social or economic status.

The Opus 76 Quartet continues to be mentored by retired founding member of the Takács Quartet, Károly Schranz.