AUER STRING QUARTET
Vilmos Oláh, violin I
Gábor Berán, violin II
Csaba Gálfi, viola
Ákos Takács, violoncello
The Auer Quartet was formed in 1990 by students of the Budapest Ferenc Liszt Music Academy. Their tutors included András Mihály, György Kurtág, Ferenc Rados, and Sándor Devich, a founder member of the Bartók String Quartet. The ensemble’s name honours the world famous Hungarian violinist and teacher Lipót Auer (1845–1930). As guests of the Royal Academy of Music in London in 1991, the members of the ensemble attended the courses of the world-famous Amadeus String Quartet and those of György Pauk. From that date on, they were regularly invited to attend the master-courses of the Amadeus Quartet held in London and in Semmering until 1995.
The Auer Quartet has won recognition at numerous Hungarian and international competitions. They won the first prize at the Leó Weiner Chamber Music Competition held at the Ferenc Liszt Music Academy in 1991, and second prize at the Viotti Competition held in Italy in 1992. In addition to being awarded the second prize at the Evian International String Quartet Competition held in France in 1993, the ensemble was also awarded the Special Prize of the music critics and that for the best Mozart performance. The quartet’s real breakthrough came in 1997, when the ensemble won First Prize at the Seventh London International String Quartet Competition, with Lord Yehudi Menuhin as chairman. They also won the special audience award, and the Sydney Griller Trophy for the best interpretation of a contemporary work.
The Auer Quartet has been invited to leading concert halls, including the Wigmore Hall in London, the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, and the Casals Hall in Tokyo, among other venues, and to festivals including those of Edinburgh, Schwetzingen, Bath, Kuhmo, Cheltenham, the Prague Spring, and the Budapest Spring. The quartet has toured in Japan, Australia, New Zealand, India and North Africa. There have been collaborations with distinguished contemporaries, broadcasts and recordings.
In 2000 the ensemble was awarded the Liszt-Prize by the Hungarian State.