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The Kontra Quartet

The Kontra Quartet is today absolutely one of the leading string quartets in Europe. The quartet is constantly busy and gives concerts in the USA, in Japan and all over Europe as well as making recordings, playing in TV productions and giving master classes. In 1973 the quartet was formed around the Hungarian violin virtuoso Anton Kontra, whose dynamic artistic personality has been setting new standards for the violin and music in general in Scandinavia since 1956. Along with three of Denmark’s leading string players, Anton Kontra has now played quartet music for over quarter of a century, and the Kontra Quartet is one of Denmark’s most sought-after ensembles. The Kontra Quartet is particularly active and more or less constantly has the whole quartet literature in its repertoire, while still working intensely to expand it in collaboration with very many of the leading composers of our age. The Kontra Quartet regularly plays cross-over concerts with jazz musicians like Chick Corea, Niels Henning Ørsted Pedersen and Mads Winding. Thanks to a huge recorded output – so far over forty recordings for among other labels BIS, EMI, Philips, Columbia and Dacapo – the quartet has left its unmistakable mark on all genres of the repertoire: for example complete recordings of the quartets of Tchaikovsky, Dvorak, Kodaly, Vagn Holmboe, Niels W. Gade, Rued Langgaard, Poul Ruders, Hans Abrahamsen, Per Nørgaard and others. Particularly worth singling out is the recording of Vagn Holmboe’s collected quartets, which has received innumerable awards and has been crucial to the composer’s international breakthrough. The members of the quartet are Anton Kontra (1st violin), Boris Samsing (2nd violin), Peter Fabricius (viola) and Hans Nygaard (cello).