An internationally renowned Anglo-Irish string quartet based in the UK, the versatile and award-winning Carducci String Quartet has performed everything from brand new quartets, classic works by Haydn, complete Shostakovich cycles, and even partnered with folk-rock icon Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull. Founded in 1997 around the talents of Matthew Denton (violin), Michelle Fleming (violin), Eoin Schmidt-Martin (viola), and Emma Denton (cello), the quartet has won numerous international competitions, including Concert Artists Guild International Competition 2007 and First Prize at Finland’s Kuhmo International Chamber Music Competition 2004. In 2016, they took home a Royal Philharmonic Society Award for their performances of cycles of the complete Shostakovich Quartets. This Shostakovich15 project was accompanied by a recording of quartets no. 4, 8 and 11: their second disc for Signum Classics, and it was recognised by BBC Music Magazine as “a fine achievement, boasting excellent ensemble, musical insight and sensitive attention to detail”. The quartet has released a bevy of acclaimed recordings on their own label, Carducci Classics, as well as Signum Classics. Their Naxos recordings of Philip Glass Quartets have had over six million plays on Spotify.
Described by The Strad as presenting “a masterclass in unanimity of musical purpose, in which severity could melt seamlessly into charm, and drama into geniality″, the Carducci Quartet is recognised as one of today’s most successful string quartets. Performing over 90 concerts worldwide each year the quartet also run an annual festival in Highnam, Gloucester and are quartet in residence at Dean Close School in Cheltenham, where they teach young string players and coach chamber music.
In September 2014 they curated their first Carducci Festival in Castagneto-Carducci, Italy: the town from which they took their name.
The quartet has appeared at prestigious venues across the globe including the Wigmore Hall, London; National Concert Hall, Dublin; Tivoli Concert Hall, Copenhagen; The Frick Collection and Carnegie Hall, New York, Library of Congress and John F Kennedy Center, Washington D.C., St Lawrence Center for the Arts, Toronto and Concertgebouw, Amsterdam. Festival residencies include Cheltenham, Ryedale, Lichfield, Presteigne, Kilkenny and West Cork and many more further afield.
2018 sees the quartet perform complete cycles of the Bartok Quartets at Kings Place in London, Gloucestershire and Oxford. Other concerts include performances in Canada, Italy, France, Germany, Spain, Ireland and throughout the UK.
Recent and upcoming collaborations include performances with pianists Denis Kozhukhin and Martin Roscoe, guitarist Craig Ogden, oboist Nicholas Daniel, clarinettists Julian Bliss and Emma Johnson, and cellists Benedict Kloeckner and Guy Johnston.
Highly celebrated for their interpretation of contemporary repertoire, the Carducci Quartet has curated many diverse projects and is regularly invited to perform new works. Recent premieres have included works by Simon Rowland-Jones, Gavin Higgins and Kemal Yusuf. In 2015 they curated projects around Philip Glass and Steve Reich, as part of the RPS Award winning ‘Minimalism Unwrapped’ at Kings Place, London, and recently released an acclaimed recording of David Bruce’s clarinet quintet “Gumboots” with Julian Bliss, for Signum Classics.
Education work is an important element of the Carducci Quartet’s work, earning them a place on the Royal Philharmonic Society Award shortlist for their family concert ‘Getting the Quartet Bug!’. The Carducci Music Trust was set up to support their work in schools and with young musicians. They are also The Carne Trust Ensemble in Residence at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, London and perform a number of school concerts each year supported by the CAVATINA Chamber Music Trust.