All roads lead to Rome, except the middle road.
Anton Hanson, violin (1992, UK)
Jules Dussap, violin (1990, France)
Gabrielle Lafait, viola (1991, France)
Simon Dechambre, cello (1991, France)
Founded in 2013, Quatuor Hanson was formed on the initiative of Hatto Beyerle (European Chamber Music Academy), Quatuor Ebène and Jean Sulem at the Conservatoire of Paris. Guided by their advice, they used Haydn’s quartets as their aesthetic and musical anchor. The study of classical works enabled them to highlight the rhetorical, often whimsical and always poetic facet of Haydn’s music. At the same time, they approached the works of contemporary composers such as Toshio Hosokawa, Wolfgang Rihm, and Mathias Pintscher, whose French premiere of Figura IV they performed at the IRCAM Festival. Learning to master the music of their day is for them a means to reflect on the role of the performer and their place in modernity. Through its intertextual links and anachronistic encounters, this comprehensive vision of the repertoire has become for the quartet the driving force behind a reflection that is essential to today’s musicians.
Supported by both the Fondation Banque Populaire and the Fondation Singer-Polignac, where they are in residence in Paris, the four musicians have won many international competitions: third prize and the audience prize at the Lyon Competition in 2015, second prize in Geneva in 2016, as well as second prize at the Joseph Haydn Competition in Vienna, where they were awarded several special prizes (Haydn Prize, Audience Prize and Best interpretation of a 20th-century work). They have been invited to such prestigious festivals as the Printemps Musical des Alizés, the Deauville Festival, La Roque d’Anthéron, and the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence. Their concerts at the Wigmore Hall in London, the Auditorium of the Maison de la Radio in Paris, the Victoria Hall in Geneva and the ORF Kulturhaus in Vienna have allowed them to shine in Europe and abroad (China, Morocco, Norway, etc.). During the 2016–2017 season, they performed Beethoven’s 7th Quartet in a series of concerts at the Salle Cortot as part of the Centre de Musique de Chambre de Paris. They also participated in a three-part radio series on the France Musique show “Plaisirs du Quatuor,” with Haydn and Mozart’s classical aesthetic as the red thread.
In order to feed on external influences, the four musicians work with such outstanding personalities as Mathieu Herzog, Miguel Da Silva, Peter Cropper and Johannes Meissl, and they regularly share the stage with musicians such as Michel Lethiec, Paul Meyer, Bruno Philippe, Vadim Kholodenko, Amaury Viduvier and Guillaume Bellom. The mutual curiosity resulting from these different exchanges is a field of exploration and discovery for the quartet. Through these encounters and thanks to the search for the essence of each piece, Quatuor Hanson aspires to offer a concert experience beyond performance, leaving the listener free because it is perhaps towards freedom that all music converges.