Veronika Hagen
Veronika Hagen

Veronika Hagen

About Veronika Hagen

Austrian violist Veronika Hagen has performed widely and recorded as a soloist and in duo music. She is also internationally known as a member of the Hagen Quartett, which she formed with her three siblings. Hagen was born May 5, 1963 in Salzburg, Austria. Her father was the concertmaster of the Mozarteum Orchestra of Salzburg, and he gave Veronika her first lessons at age six. She went on to study at the Musikhochschule Salzburg with Helmut Zehetmair and then moved to the Musikhochschule Hannover for work with Hatto Beyerle. Hagen won the Budapest International Viola Competition in 1984. By that time she had already co-founded and begun to perform with the Hagen Quartett, consisting of violinists Lukas and Angelika Hagen, Veronika on viola, and cellist Clemens Hagen. One of only a few all-sibling string quartets, the group remains active although Angelika Hagen has been replaced by Rainer Schmidt. To put an inaugural date on the quartet's existence is difficult, for the four members had played together since they were children. Around 1980, however, they began to consider themselves an established ensemble, and the following year they were invited by violinist Gidon Kremer to perform at Austria's Lockenhaus Chamber Music Festival; they won Jury and Audience prizes. The following year they took home first prize at the Portsmouth String Quartet Competition in Britain, which brought them a booking at London's Wigmore Hall and further exposure in Britain. Meanwhile, Veronika Hagen was building a reputation as a duo player who worked with some of the world's top soloists. She has performed or recorded with Joshua Bell, Paul Gulda (who joined the Hagen Quartett for a recording of Schumann's chamber music in 1995), Steven Isserlis, Heinrich Schiff, and more. In 2000, Hagen recorded the Mozart Sinfonia Concertante in E flat major for violin, viola, and orchestra, K. 364, for the Deutsche Grammophon label, and she has appeared as a soloist with the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande and the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra. She has also made frequent appearances at European summer festivals. In 2018 Hagen recorded the String Quintet in E flat major, Op. 97, and String Sextet in A major, Op. 48 of Dvorak with the Jerusalem Quartet on the Harmonia Mundi label. ~ James Manheim