Philip Glass at Saint John’s Smith Square
We’re very excited to perform Philip Glass’s Quartets Nos 1-5 at Saint John’s Smith Square on the 23rd of March. This will be a rare opportunity to hear these very beautiful and intimate works all in one concert. Not to be missed! You can see all of the details and book here
. We hope to see you there!
Canada, commissions and the beginning of Bartok 2018!
Before the end of 2017, we managed trips to Holland and Spain for concerts before a well earned break over Christmas. We’ve hit the ground running at the beginning of 2018, immersing ourselves in the world of Bartok and his incredible string quartets. We’ll be performing a lot of Bartok throughout the year so keep an eye out for concerts near you! Our year began with a concert in Cheltenham, where we gave the premiere of Simon Rowland-Jones’s fantastic piece, Flock of Knot. Then, after concerts in Ipswich, London and Oxford (to name a few) we jetted of to snowy Hamilton, Canada to perform, but allowing enough time to explore Toronto (pictured) and visit Niagara Falls! We now look forward to beginning our Bartok series at Syde Manor, where we will be performing the complete cycle across three concerts along with introductions from BBC Radio 3’s Stephen Johnson.
Cruise, recordings and Canada!
We’ve had an exciting few months, performing concerts and travelling to new places! In September, we performed on the Black Watch cruise ship with Kirker Music Holidays, visiting Copenhagen, Helsinki, St Petersburg and Tallinn. On our return, we performed a live lunchtime concert for BBC Radio 3 at LSO St Lukes and a concert at St Peter’s Eaton Square with Emma Johnson (clarinet). Shortly after, we performed the Beethoven septet with Emma at Turner Sims Concert Hall. This was a live recording, which will be released next year. We spent a lovely few days recording the clarinet quintets of Mozart and Weber with Julian Bliss at Wyastone Concert Hall in beautiful Monmouthshire. We travelled to Hull, the European City of Culture 2017 for two concerts with Craig Ogden (guitar) as well as concerts in Canterbury, Eastbourne and Oxford. We have just returned from an exciting trip to Canada, where we performed our Toronto debut at St Lawrence Centre for the Arts. As we recover from the jetlag, we look forward to some more travelling in the next few weeks!
Summer festivals and more
We’ve had a fantastic Summer, performing a lovely variety of repertoire at many festivals! We also had the privilege to perform at the Stoller Hall, a beautiful new venue in Manchester, as well as a BBC lunchtime concert at Wigmore Hall. In June we recorded our second Shostakovich disc for Signum Classics and can’t wait to hear the results. We will certainly let you know when it is available! We flew to Ireland for the Great Music in Irish Houses Festival, where we performed with Michael Collins (clarinet) and Irish pianist, Finghin Collins. This Summer, we revisited our Shostakovich cycle at the Ryedale Festival, performing the quartets alongside poetry read by the wonderful actor, Alex Jennings and we returned to Syde manor (pictured) for an immersive Mendelssohn weekend for the Cheltenham Music Festival. We are now excitedly looking forward to a new season!
Alongside many concerts around the UK, a trip to Valencia (Spain) and some post-marathon recovery, we excitedly completed our preparations for our 11th Carducci Festival at Highnam! We were thrilled with the turnout this year and the wonderful audience reaction. This year, we performed our family concert in the extraordinary setting of the barn at Over Farm Market. It was slightly chilly but this didn’t dampen the spirits of the many families in attendance! Many thanks to our fantastic guest artists for some truly memorable concerts. The festival finished with a particularly moving performance of Beethoven’s Letters by actor Crawford Logan, interspersed with movements of his quartets. We now look forward to next year’s festival so watch this space for more details!
Touring and Running
It’s been a very busy few months with lots of travelling! We loved returning to our beloved Wigmore Hall with a lovely, varied programme of Haydn, Shostakovich, Webern and Beethoven. We had a wonderful few days in Scotland including a fun evening collaborating with the Katona Twins Guitar Duo! Shortly after, the quartet flew to Spain to perform Monk’s Music with baritone Gordon Jones in the stunning city of Salamanca. Meanwhile, Emma and Eoin were finalising their preparations for the Virgin London Marathon. A huge congratulations to them for completing the Marathon and raising so much money for RP Fighting Blindness, along with Emma’s brother, Ben. You can still donate to this worthy cause by clicking here!
Highnam Festival tickets now available!
We are excited to announce that tickets are now available for the Carducci Festival at Highnam 2017! We have a wonderful line-up of guest artists this year. Martin Roscoe will return to perform the magnificent Schumann Piano Quintet, Emma Johnson will be joining us in Beethoven’s Septet and actor Crawford Logan will take part in what promises to be a fascinating concert, where he will read Beethoven’s letters, interspersed with movements from his quartets. There will also be a number of free events throughout the weekend. For more information and booking, please click here. We look forward to seeing you there!
And now for something completely different…
This year we had the fantastic experience of working with the legendary band, Jethro Tull in recording the upcoming album, ‘Jethro Tull – The String Quartets’! We spent a few days recording in the stunning environment of the crypt at Worcester Cathedral and also the beautiful historic St Kenelm’s Church, Sapperton. The album comprises a number of the band’s greatest hits, brilliantly arranged by John O’Hara for string quartet, flute, guitar and vocals and we loved working with Ian Anderson and John on this unique project. There are copies available for pre-order here and you can also download the single ‘Pass the Bottle’ – just in time for Christmas!
Festivals and flights!
We’ve had a wonderfully varied autumn, performing in fantastic festivals and travelling to beautiful places! First up was Leicester International Music Festival, where Nicholas Daniel curated an incredible programme of English music, old and new. We then had the joy of performing Schubert’s glorious Trout quintet with Martin Roscoe (piano) and Leon Bosch (Double Bass) at Beverley Festival.
We travelled to Spain for a number of concerts in the stunning historic town of Cuenca, followed by a trip to Amsterdam for our debut at Concertgebouw, one of the most beautiful concert halls in the world! A week later, we were in New York for another debut, at the Frick Collection, another wonderful setting. After arriving home, we performed at the Two Moors Festival with pianist Peter Donohoe and returned to our beloved Wigmore Hall for a coffee concert. What an exhilarating few months!
Summer travels and festivals
We’ve had an amazingly varied Summer, travelling around Europe and playing at many wonderful festivals! In june, we gave a concert at the beautiful National Botanic Gardens for the Great Music in Irish Houses Festival, performing the Schubert Quintet with Guy Johnston. We then took a cruise to the Norwegian Fjords, with many concerts along the way, and it was a joy to collaborate with soprano Gillian Keith and pianist Simon Lepper. Then, for something completely different, we performed Steve Reich’s ‘Different Trains’ at Body and Soul Festival in Ireland, in torrential rain! Luckily we were well covered but didn’t have any wellies to go exploring after our performance.
The highlight of July was an incredible weekend performing Schubert masterpieces for the Cheltenham Music Festival, including Death and the Maiden, The Trout, the Cello Quintet and the epic Octet – an unforgettable experience! In August, alongside performances at North Norfolk and Presteigne Festivals, we also had the pleasure of coaching young string quartets at Concorda, a chamber music course in Ireland which was founded by Hugh Maguire. Eoin and Michelle have very fond memories of having attended this course in their teens and this was where they first played chamber music together!