The recent recording of the Hagen Quartet, Mozart String Quintets K 387 and K 458, has been awarded the Diapason d'or and the Choc of the Classica Magazin and the Echo Klassik 2016 for the best chamber music recording of the 17th/18th Century.
In the 2016/ 2017 season the Quartet highlights the six Haydn Quartets op. 76 and perform at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, the Cologne Philharmonic, Toppan Hall Tokyo, Konzerthaus Vienna, Teatro della Pergola Florence, at the opening of Pierre Boulez Hall in Berlin in April 2017, and in Madrid in April 2017 performing the long-awaited premiere of the Jörg Widmann’s clarinet quintet.
In 2011, the Hagen Quartet celebrated their 30th anniversary with two recordings released on Myrios Classics, of works by Mozart, Webern, Beethoven, Grieg and Brahms (clarinet quintet with Jörg Widmann). The Hagen Quartet received the prestigious ECHO Klassik award as Ensemble of the Year 2011; in 2012, the quartet was named Honorary Member of Vienna’s Konzerthaus.
The unprecedented three-decade career of the Hagen Quartet began in 1981. Its early years, marked by a series of prizes in chamber music competitions and an exclusive recording contract with Deutsche Grammophon that was to produce around forty-five CDs over the following twenty years, enabled the group to work its way through the virtually unlimited quartet repertoire from which the distinctive profile of the Hagens has emerged. Collaborations with artistic personalities such as Nikolaus Harnoncourt and György Kurtág are as important to the Hagen Quartet as its concert appearances with performers including Maurizio Pollini, Mitsuko Uchida, Sabine Meyer, Krystian Zimerman, Heinrich Schiff and Jörg Widmann.
The group’s concert repertoire and discography feature attractive and intelligently arranged programmes embracing the entire history of the string quartet, from its pre-Haydn beginnings right through to Kurtág. The Hagen Quartet also works closely with composers of its own generation, whether by reviving existing works or by commissioning and premiering new pieces.
For many young string quartets, the Hagen Quartet is a model in terms of sound quality, stylistic plurality, ensemble playing and serious commitment to the works and composers of its chosen genre. As teachers and mentors at the Salzburg Mozarteum and the Hochschule in Basel, as well as in international masterclasses, the quartet’s members pass on their wealth of experience to their younger colleagues.
Since mid-2013, the Hagen Quartett has been performing on instruments made by Antonio Stradivari, known as the "Paganini" quartet, generously on loan by the Nippon Music Foundation.