The Balanescu Quartet is a string quartet founded in 1987 by Alexander Bălănescu that 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. 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. They performed the current version of University Challenge's title music (since 2000) on BBC2 in the UK.
The Quartet was initially formed by Alexander Bălănescu (violin), Clare Connors (second violin), Bill Hawkes (viola), and Caroline Dale (cello). Current members are Alexander Bălănescu (violin), James Shenton (violin), Helen Kamminga (viola) and Nick Holland (cello).
- Possessed (1992)
- Luminitza (1994)
- Angels & Insects (1995) (soundtrack)
- East Meets East (1997)
- Maria T (2005)
- This Is The Balanescu Quartet (2011)
- Michael Nyman - String Quartets 1-3 - featuring the Balanescu Quartet (1991)
- Balanescu Quartet Play Byrne/Moran/Lurie/Torke - featuring David Byrne, Robert Moran, John Lurie and Michael Torke (1992)
- Geoff Smith - Gas • Food • Lodging - featuring the Balanescu Quartet (1993)
- Kevin Volans - String Quartets Nos. 2 & 3 - performed by the Balanescu Quartet (1994)
- Gavin Bryars - The Last Days - featuring the Balanescu Quartet (1995)
- Spiritualized - Pure Phase (1995)
- Rabih Abou-Khalil - Arabian Waltz - featuring the Balanescu String Quartet (2002)
- Optimo - How To Kill The DJ (Part 2) - featuring music by the Balanescu Quartet (2004)
- Michael Torke - Six - featuring the Balanescu Quartet (2005)
- Stateless - Matilda featuring the Balanescu Quartet (2011)
- Ada Milea & Alexander Balanescu - The Island - featuring the Balanescu Quartet (2011)
- Teho Teardo - Diaz - featuring the Balanescu Quartet (2012) (soundtrack)
- "Balanescu Quartet - Music Biography, Credits and Discography". allmusic.com. 2013. Retrieved 30 May 2013.
- "Balanescu Quartet: "25 Years"". Palace of Arts, Budapest. 2013. Retrieved 30 May 2013.
- "The Balanescu Quartet - Possessed". Discogs (in French). Retrieved 2017-09-07.