Lukas Hagen, Leader

“I have always considered the COE as the most interesting and best orchestra and, rather unexpectedly, I was given the opportunity to play with them in 1995. I remember this first project in Ferrara with Heinz Holliger and an incredibly varied repertoire. I would never have been able to go through this without the support and patience of the orchestra and I have always been grateful for that. These were wonderful years, experiences that I wouldn’t want to miss and friendships that have lasted to this day. The Brahms’s symphonies with Nikolaus Harnoncourt are among the absolute highlights for me, and of course two operas with Claudio Abbado, Figaro in Salzburg and Don Giovanni in Ferrara. Not to mention the countless culinary highlights thanks to cellist Howard Penny! It was during the project with Emmanuel Krivine in Lucerne in 2000 that I decided that this would be my last COE tour. I miss the atmosphere in the orchestra, the outstanding musical quality, the many wonderful friends, and I carry these memories with me and thank everyone along the way for these extraordinary years that had such great influence in shaping my personal and artistic development.”


The Hagen Quartet is legendary – and still active more than 40 years after its founding. It is a first-prize winner in international competitions and has recorded around 45 CDs exclusively for Deutsche Grammophon for 20 years. The latest recordings are now appearing on Myrios classics. The quartet has now been awarded the Echo-Klassik Prize twice. Of the original four siblings, three are still there today, including Lukas Hagen as leader of the world-famous string quartet. He was born in Salzburg, studied at the Mozarteum Salzburg and received private lessons from Gidon Kremer. Since 1999 he has been a professor of violin and chamber music at the Mozarteum University. He was vice-rector for artistic affairs there and is now head of the chamber music institute. Lukas Hagen receives invitations as a juror to international competitions and is chairman of the jury of the International Mozart Competition for String Quartet. He also gives master classes worldwide. He played as concertmaster in the Chamber Orchestra of Europe for seven years and was a member of the Lucerne Festival Orchestra. In 2004, Lukas Hagen, together with his wife Iris Juda, founded and directed the Hagen Open chamber music festival at Burg Feistritz, south of Vienna, for ten years.

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