Edward Dusinberre (first violin) was born in 1968 in Leamington Spa, England, and has enjoyed playing the violin from a young age. His early experiences as concertmaster of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain encouraged him to choose music as a profession. He studied with the Ukrainian violinist Felix Andrievsky at the Royal College of Music in London and at the Juilliard School with Dorothy DeLay and Piotr Milewski. In 1990 he won the British Violin Recital Prize and gave his debut recital in London at the Purcell Room, South Bank Centre. Upon completion of his studies at Juilliard Dusinberre auditioned for the Takács Quartet, which he joined in 1993.
In July 2010 Edward released a recording of Beethoven's violin sonatas no. 9 and 10 with pianist David Korevaar on the Decca label. Andrew Clements wrote in The Guardian newspaper; “Edward Dusinberre brings the same wonderfully subtle and intensely musical qualities to these two violin sonatas as he does to Beethoven’s quartets…”
Edward Dusinberre enjoys writing about music. His book, Beethoven For a Later Age: The Journey of a String Quartet, was published by Faber in January 2016 and by the University of Chicago Press in May, 2016. The book takes the reader inside the life of a string quartet, melding music history and memoir as it explores the circumstances surrounding the composition of Beethoven's quartets and the Takacs Quartet's experiences rehearsing and performing this music. He has written articles for the Guardian, Financial Times and Strad Magazine.
Edward lives in Boulder, Colorado with his wife Beth, an archeologist who teaches at the University of Colorado, and their son Sam. He enjoys hiking in the mountains near Boulder and going to the theatre.
Károly Schranz (second violin) was born in 1952 in Budapest, Hungary. His first musical experiences were listening to the Gypsy bands in restaurants, which he has always admired for their virtuosity and musicianship. Mr. Schranz began playing the violin at the age of four under the very strict supervision of his mother who often resorted to unconventional methods of teaching and encouraging practice. ("To improve my bowing technique, she devised a method of attaching a string to my arm, and pulling in the desired direction. When this approach failed, she spanked me with a wooden spoon, which resulted in my hatred towards practicing.") At the age of fourteen, he entered the Béla Bártok Secondary Music School, where he met his future wife, also a violin student at the school. In 1980, he received his music diploma from the Franz Liszt Academy of Music where he studied with Mihály Szücs, András Mihály, and György Kurtág.
Geraldine Walther, violist of the Takács String Quartet, was Principal Violist of the San Francisco Symphony for 29 years, having previously served as assistant principal of the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Baltimore Symphony and the Miami Philharmonic.
A native of Florida, she first picked up the viola in a public school music program in Tampa. She went on to study at the Manhattan School of Music with Lillian Fuchs and at the Curtis Institute with Michael Tree of the Guarneri Quartet. In 1979 she won first prize at the William Primrose International Competition.
Among the many works Ms. Walther performed as soloist with the San Francisco Symphony are Mozart’s Sinfonia concertante, Telemann’s Concerto in G major, Berlioz’s Harold in Italy, Hindemith’s Trauermusik, Der Schwanendreher, and Kammermusiken Nos. 5 and 6, Tippett’s Triple Concerto, Martinu’s Rhapsody-Concerto, and the viola concertos of Walton, Piston, Henze, Musgrave, Bartók, Schnittke, and Penderecki. She performed the US premieres of several important works with the Orchestra, including Takemitsu’s A String Around Autumn in 1990, Lieberson’s Viola Concerto in 1999, Holloway Viola Concerto, and Benjamin’s Viola, Viola (together with SFS Associate Principal Violist Yun Jie Liu), also in 1999. In May 2002 she was soloist in William Schuman’s Concerto on Old English Rounds and the Britten Double Concerto for violin and viola.
In 1995 Ms. Walther was selected by Sir Georg Solti as a member of his Musicians of the World, an orchestra composed of leading musicians from around the globe, for concerts in Geneva to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the United Nations. She has also served as principal violist with the Mainly Mozart Festival in San Diego and has performed as soloist with other Bay Area orchestras. She has participated in leading chamber music festivals, including Marlboro, Santa Fe, Tanglewood, Bridgehampton, Cape Cod, Amelia Island, the Telluride, Seattle, and Green Music Festivals, and Music@Menlo. She has collaborated with such artists as Isaac Stern, Pinchas Zukerman, and Jaime Laredo, and has appeared as a guest artist with some of the world’s most renowned string quartets, including the Tokyo, Vermeer, Guarneri, Lindsay, Cypress, and St. Lawrence quartets. She joined the Takács Quartet as a regular member in the fall of 2005.
In addition to her recordings for Hyperion with the Takács Quartet, Geraldine Walther has released two MSR Classics recordings: Johannes Brahms Viola Sonatas and the Trio in A Minor with pianist David Korevaar and cellist Andras Fejer and Hindemith Viola Sonatas with pianist David Korevaar. Other recordings include Hindemith’s Trauermusik and Der Schwanendreher with the San Francisco Symphony (both on London/Decca), Paul Chihara’s Golden Slumbers with the San Francisco Chamber Singers (Albany), and Lou Harrison’s Threnody (New Albion) and as a member of the Volkert Trio, Delectable Pieces (Con Brio).
Geraldine is the mother of two grown daughters: Argenta, a soprano living in Los Angeles and Julia, a ceramicist, in Washington D.C., and lives in Longmont, Colorado with her husband Tom.
András Fejér (cello) was born in 1955 into a musical family. His father was a cellist and conductor, and his mother was a pianist. He began playing the cello at the age of seven, because as legend has it, his father was unwilling to listen to a violin-upstart practicing. Since an early age, his parents have held string quartet weekends, which, for the young cellist were the most memorable of occasions, if not for the music, then for the glorious desserts his mother used to prepare for those sessions.
After attending a music high school, Mr. Fejér was admitted to the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in 1975, where he was a pupil of Ede Banda, András Mihály, Ferenc Rados and György Kurtág. That same year he founded the Takács String Quartet with three fellow classmates. Although the quartet has been his sole professional focus since then, he does perform as a soloist occasionally as well.
Mr. Fejér is married to a literature teacher. They have three children and live in the Rocky Mountains, where they enjoy year-round sunshine in beautiful Boulder, Colorado. When he is not on tour, he enjoys reading, photography, tennis and hiking.