Famed quartet founder dies, at 74

Famed quartet founder dies, at 74


norman lebrecht

April 21, 2020

The violinist Jan Talich, founder of the string quartet that bore his name, has died in Prague after a period of ill health.

He named the quartet after his uncle, the formidable conductor Vaclav Talich, and served as its first violinist from 1964 to 1970,

His nephew, Jan Talich junior, now occupies his seat.

Jan’s son has posted this message:

S lítostí oznamuji, že dne 16.4. zemřel můj otec, Jan Talich, violista a zakládající člen Talichova kvarteta a jeden z nejlepších muzikantů, které jsem poznal.

Rozloučení proběhne 27.4. v Ústřední obřadní síni na Olšanech v 11.00.

Pokud jste ho znali, věnujte mu vzpomínku.

With great sadness I would like to announce that my father Jan Talich sr., the founding member of the Talich quartet and one of the finest musicians I knew, died on the 16.4.

For those who would like to say goodbye personally, the service will be at Olšany, Ústřední obřadní síň on the 27.4. at 11.00.



  • Petr Prause says:

    Thanks, Norman.

  • MezzoLover says:

    As an addendum to NL’s post – Jan Talich, Sr. became the violist for the Talich Quartet in 1970, when Petr Messiereur took over the first violin desk.

    One of the finest Czech string quartets that came into existence during the 2nd half of the last century, they have a deep, dark, warmly lustrous sound cultivated, in all likelihood, by their viola-playing leader Jan Talich. I like to think of them as the Staatskapelle Dresden of string quartets.

    Their complete Beethoven String Quartet cycle is justly famous, but to me their crowning achievement is their 1990s recording of the six String Quintets by Mozart (with Karel Rehak as second viola). If you came to know and love these infinitely fascinating masterpieces through the guiding hand of Authur Grumiaux et al., as I did, then give the Talich a listen – and find out what you have been missing all along.

    • Ruben Greenberg says:

      Mezzo: a fine tribute to Mr. Talich and his great quartet. Rest in peace Jan Talich and thanks for the memories.