Borletti-Buitoni Trust
BBT Artists Rewarding Musical Excellence
Danish String Quartet
String Quartet
BBT Award 2016

Danish String Quartet - Biography

Danish String Quartet was supported by BBT between 2016 and 2022. For an up-to-date biography please visit

Frederik Øland violin
Rune Tonsgaard Sørensen violin
Asbjørn Nørgaard viola
Fredrik Schøyen Sjölin cello

With their technical and interpretive talents matched by an infectious joy for music-making and “rampaging energy” (Alex Ross, The New Yorker), the Danish String Quartet is in demand worldwide by concert and festival presenters alike. Giving concerts selected by the New York Times as highlights of the year for 2012 and 2015, the group of musical friends has demonstrated a passion for Scandinavian composers, who they frequently incorporate into adventurous contemporary programs, while also proving skilled and profound performers of the classical masters.

The Danish String Quartet’s scope of talent secured them a three-year appointment in the coveted Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s CMS Two Program from the 2013-14 season. The quartet was also named a BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist for in 2013 for two years. In November 2014 the quartet released their recording of Danish folk songs, Wood Works on the Dacapo label, which was selected by NPR as one of the best classical albums of the year. The 2015-16 season sees the release of their debut disc on ECM Records.

In 2009 the Danish String Quartet won First Prize in the 11th London International String Quartet Competition (now ‘Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition’), as well as four additional prizes from the same jury. Since winning the Danish Radio P2 Chamber Music Competition in 2004, the quartet has been greatly desired throughout Denmark and since 2007 they have presented the annual DSQ-Festival, a four-day event held in Copenhagen every October, bringing together talented collaborators the quartet has met on its travels.

For us it was first and foremost an incredible honour to be included as a part of the ‘BBT-family.’ It is a pretty nice list of musicians and the friendliest organisation on the planet. On a more practical level, the grant enabled us to upgrade our gear: for many years, we have all essentially been using random bows of sub-par quality; bows that didn’t even come close to matching the level of our instruments. The award from BBT has helped us to replace them with much better bows. We are convinced that they have already had a huge effect on our sound, and they certainly make our concert life much easier.

Photographs by Caroline Bittencourt