The Kodaly (string) Quartet was founded in 1966 by students of the Ferenc Liszt Academy, and named after the Hungarian composer Zoltán Kodály. They were and are the ambassadors of Hungarian string quartet culture both internally and on international levels. They toured with great success in the last few decades in almost all European countries, as well as in the United States, Japan, China, India, Australia and New-Zealand. The Kodály Quartet has recorded the complete Haydn, Beethoven, and Schubert quartets, among others, which were met by critical applause worldwide. To present the works of Kodály and other Hungarian composers is of great importance for them. Consequently, they recorded both of Kodály’s string quartets for a second time in 2014.
Considered by many to be the most difficult of all the musical instruments, the oboe is often called the “ill wind that no one blows good.” Oboist Thomas Gallant is one of the world’s few virtuoso solo and chamber music performers on this instrument and he has been praised by The New Yorker magazine as “a player who unites technical mastery with intentness, charm and wit.”
Thomas Gallant is a First Prize Winner of the Concert Artists Guild International New York Competition. His performances have taken him to Avery Fisher Hall, Weill Recital Hall and the Frick Collection in New York City, to Washington, DC, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, to the Spoleto Festival in Italy, and to the Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center. He has appeared as guest soloist with the Kronos Quartet at the Ravinia Festival and has collaborated with flutist Jean-Pierre Rampal, with Cuarteto Casals, the Colorado, Calder and Lark Quartets, Cuarteto Latinoamericano, Adaskin String Trio and is currently touring with the Kodaly String Quartet.
Thomas Gallant is dedicated to performing neglected and contemporary works for the oboe and has given the New York premieres of works for oboe and strings by Berio and Penderecki as well as the Washington, DC premiere of Elliott Carter’s Quartet for oboe and strings. He is a member of the trio Ensemble Schumann and he is the Artistic Director of the chamber music group Frisson.
Thomas Gallant was born into a large working class family to a Portuguese mother and French father outside of Boston. When he first brought home an oboe from the local band program his family was rather disappointed as they did not know what an oboe was and asked him to “go back to school and return it for an instrument like all the other kids play such as the trumpet or clarinet”. After initial successes at a young age he stopped performing for many years and only in recent years has he returned to performing “the ill wind that no one blows good”. Thomas Gallant lives in New York City.