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Founded in 1987 by Romanian-born first violinist Alexander Balanescu, the Balanescu String Quartet achieved fame through the release of several complex cover versions of songs by German experimental electronic music band Kraftwerk on their album ‘Possessed’. The quartet are mainly notable for their very distinctive style of music, which encompasses odd time rhythms, sound dissonances and complex arrangements.Since 1992, they have released several albums on Mute Records and Argo.

The Quartet was initially formed by Alexander Bălănescu (violin), Clare Connors (second violin), Bill Hawkes (viola), and Caroline Dale (cello) It currently consists of Alexander Bălănescu (violin), James Shenton (violin), Katie Wilkinson (viola) and Nick Holland (cello).

They have performed multiple works with a variety of other artists, including Philip Glass, David Byrne, Gavin Bryars, Michael Nyman, Rabih Abou-Khalil, Kevin Volans, Hector Zazou, Un Drame Musical Instantané, Spiritualized, Yellow Magic Orchestra, Stateless and Pet Shop Boys. The Quartet provided strings on Kate Bush’s song Reaching Out, arranged by Michael Nyman.