About the Carducci String Quartet

Matthew Denton
Violin

Michelle Fleming
Violin

Eoin Schmidt-Martin
Viola

Emma Denton
Cello

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 their own recording label Carducci Classics; an annual festival in Highnam, Gloucester; and in September 2014, curated their first Carducci Festival in Castagneto-Carducci, Italy: the town from which they took their name.

Winners of international competitions, including the Concert Artists Guild International Competition 2007 and Finland’s Kuhmo International Chamber Music Competition,the Anglo-Irish quartet has appeared at prestigious venues across the globe including the Wigmore Hall, London; National Concert Hall, Dublin; Tivoli Concert Hall, Copenhagen; Carnegie Hall, New York and Library of Congress and John F Kennedy Center, Washington D.C. Festival appearances include Cheltenham Music Festival; Festival Messiaen au pays Meije; West Cork Chamber Music festival; Kuhmo Festival; and the Wratislavia Cantans Festival in Poland.

2018 will see the quartet perform complete cycles of the Bartok Quartets at Kings Place – London, Syde Manor – Glos, and at the Holywell Room in Oxford. Other concerts include performances in Italy, France, Germany, Ireland and throughout the UK.
In 2015 the quartet presented the complete catalogue of Shostakovich’s string quartets – commemorating 40 years since the composer’s death – for which they won an RPS Award 2016 in the ‘Chamber Music and Song Category’. ‘Shostakovich15’ included a performance of all 15 string quartets across one day at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, Shakespeare’s Globe, as well as various other international cycles, and was accompanied by a recording of quartets no. 4, 8 and 11: their second disc for Signum Classics, recognised by BBC Music Magazine as “a fine achievement, boasting excellent ensemble, musical insight and sensitive attention to detail”.

Recent and upcoming highlights include performing debuts at The Frick Collection, New York and Concertgebouw, Amsterdam; tours to the USA, Canada, Spain, Germany and Scotland and collaborations with pianists Denis Kozhukhin and Martin Roscoe, guitarist Craig Ogden, clarinettists Julian Bliss and Emma Johnson, and cellist Guy Johnston.

Highly celebrated for their interpretation of contemporary repertoire, the Carducci Quartet is regularly invited to perform new works. Recent premieres have included works by Simon Rowland-Jones, Matthew Taylor, Gavin Higgins and Kemal Yusuf. In 2015 they curated projects around Philip Glass and Steve Reich, as part of the RPS Award winning ‘Minimalist Unwrapped’ at Kings Place London, and recently released an acclaimed recording of David Bruce’s clarinet quintet “Gumboots” with Julian Bliss, for Signum Classics.
In addition to a growing catalogue for Signum Classics, the quartet has received wide critical acclaim for recordings on their own label Carducci Classics and for their NAXOS recordings of Philip Glass quartets.

In 2011, the Carducci Quartet was nominated for a Royal Philharmonic Society Award for their family concert ‘Getting the Quartet Bug!’. Educational work remains important to the quartet who set up the Carducci Music Trust, to support their work in schools and with young musicians. They also perform a number of school concerts each year supported by the CAVATINA Chamber Music Trust.
The quartet studied with members of the Amadeus, Alban Berg, Chilingirian, Takacs and Vanbrugh quartets and, as part of the ProQuartet professional training programme in France, with Gyorgy Kurtag, Walter Levin and Paul Katz.

"a performance of supreme clarity, focus and precision." Gramophone Magazine
"…playing of constant variety, a masterclass in unanimity of musical purpose." The Strad
"'...the Carducci players displayed a deep and almost familial sense of unity in everything they played… full of life and vitality...extravagantly beautiful...' The Washington Post
"...technical rigour, penetrative musical insight and lively yet unified individualism...winning in every sense of the word..." The Irish Times
"...high-octane playing balanced control with devil-may-care spontaneity..." The Guardian
"...the Carducci String Quartet were stunning...they are clearly musicians of high intelligence..." The Times
"...The Carducci Quartet played a blinder at the Wigmore Hall...playing of vivacity and constant rhythmic subtlety..." The Strad
"...their ascent into the league of the world's major quartets has been phenomenal..." The Yorkshire Post