The KOPELMAN QUARTET returns to Moscow’s Dom Muziki on 13 November 2016 for a concert including the world premiere of a string quartet written by Evgeny Kissin. This season also sees them return to Prague and to the Concertgebouw. Due for release in spring 2017, on Nimbus Records, is a recording taken live from their Edinburgh Festival debut in 2003, a performance which received extraordinary praise in the press.
The MICHELANGELO QUARTET looks forward to concerts in Europe this season, including concerts in Berlin and Denmark and at the Wigmore Hall, London. Their tour to the USA was a great success and their return is in preparation.
The Michelangelo Quartet was enthusiastically received by audiences in Washington, Indianapolis, Philadelphia and New York on their November tour. They played at the Library of Congress in Washington, in the Indiana History Center in Indianapolis (for the International Violin Competition Laureate Series), in the Perelman Theatre at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia and at The Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. They also gave masterclasses in several cities and venues. Each concert included one of Beethoven’s Razumovsky quartets; other repertoire comprised Haydn, Shostakovich and Schumann. It was a busy but satisfying visit to America.
Christian Poltera returned to the Sage, Gateshead, to play the Elgar concerto with Northern Sinfonia and Mario Venzago. The Northern Echo wrote of him: From the work’s dramatic opening flourish, Poltera had complete command of the stage, producing singing phrases of eloquence, depth and purity. Christian's perceptive, considered and also passionate performance of the Elgar was followed by a wonderful encore of solo Bach, in which the unique acoustics of the hall and the sound of the "Mara" Stradivarius cello were perfectly harnessed. Christian's next UK performance is with the Zimmermann String Trio at the Wigmore Hall on March 12.
The Bennewitz Quartet had a huge success at the Brighton Dome on 17 February, in a programme of Mozart, Dvorak and Smetana. Their success was witnessed by exceptional CD sales, completely selling out of their Smetana recording. The Brighton Herald wrote that the Bennewitz combined "intensity with sympathy that was never less than riveting" and called their Bach encore "17 perfect bars". The Bennewitz returns to the UK in August, at Dartington Summer School and returns to the Wigmore Hall in December.
On 22 November, the Kopelman Quartet had a great success with Penderecki's 3rd string quartet, Leaves from an unwritten diary, at the Musikverein, Vienna, in a concert which included the Franck piano quintet with Elisabeth Leonskaja. The Kopelman Quartet has brought the Penderecki to a number of prestigious international halls, including the Concertgebouw, and will be recording this piece in 2013. Die Presse wrote of their Penderecki performance: A rewarding piece for artists that have not only virtuosity but also flexibility and take pleasure in poignant melodic development... it was an impressive interpretation.
The Michelangelo Quartet continues with its Beethoven cycle at Perth Concert Hall, with further concerts on 19 December, 13 February, 27 March and 8 May. After their last concert in the cycle, The Herald wrote that the Michelangelo's playing was out of this world, with structural and dynamic organisation, alongside ensemble coordination, mesmerising in perspicacity and emotional depth.
No strangers to Italy, the Aronowitz Ensemble has curated and played concerts at the Spoleto Festival. The ensemble was delighted to return to Italy to play in the beautiful Sala dei Notari in Perugia on 9 December, with a programme of Bridge, Mendelssohn and Dvorak. The audience made quite clear its appreciation of this talented group. The ensemble looks forward to their return to Germany when they play again at the Musikhalle in Hamburg on 12 January - the programme is Bridge, Beethoven and Dvorak.
This outstanding quartet celebrates the 10th anniversary season of its foundation with concerts including the Wimbledon Festival (17 November 2012), the Musikverein, Vienna (22 November 2012), Pamplona, Bilbao and Madrid (21, 23, 24 May 2013), the Platonov Festival, Voronezh (10 June 2013) and the Wigmore Hall (18 June 2013). They play the UK premiere of Penderecki's 3rd string quartet, Leaves of an Unwritten Diary, on 15 November 2012 in the Leicester Lunchtime series of concerts (for this season, at Holy Trinity Church, Regent Road) and will record this piece later in the season, in continuation of their Shostakovich Plus series for Nimbus Records. Described by the Strad as "oozing musical authority" and "revealing depths... that normally remain hidden", this string quartet continues to win audiences and to make a significant contribution to the string quartet world."
The Aronowitz Ensemble is delighted to be appearing at the Queen Elizabeth Hall with Alison Balsom on 30 October 2012. The concert includes composers as varied as Vivaldi, Albinoni and Piazzolla, and will also include the rarely-performed septet by Saint-Saens for trumpet, strings and piano, as well as the world premiere of a piece by Aronowitz pianist Tom Poster. The Aronowitz Ensemble will also be playing live in Radio 3's Words and Music: Freethinking programme from Gateshead, on 3 November."
Mihaela Martin - violin
Daniel Austrich - violin
Nobuko Imai - viola
Frans Helmerson - cello
This mature string quartet was formed in 2002 by distinguished and experienced musicians, known for the quality of their playing and their chamber music. The quartet plays regularly at major international concert halls in many countries, including the Concertgebouw, the Wigmore Hall, the Tonhalle, Zurich and venues in the Far East. They play at the Wigmore Hall on 3 November this year and over the 2012/13 season will be giving a complete Beethoven cycle in Perth, Scotland. Their concert in Perth last season drew an exceptional review from The Herald: "the finest, most spellbinding concert performances I have heard of Haydn's glorious Sunrise Quartet, Bartok's First String Quartet, rivetingly detailed and atmospheric, and of Dvorak's American Quartet, played with extraordinary elan, and securing from the music heart-beating joy of a quality rarely heard."
On 26 January, Buckingham Palace announced that the 2011 Queen's Medal for Music had been awarded to Nicholas Daniel. The prize, established in 2005, is awarded to an outstanding individual or group of musicians who have had a major influence on the musical life of the nation; previous recipients include Sir Colin Davis and Bryn Terfel. Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, Master of the Queen's Music, says, “ I can’t think of a more deserving person given his reputation not only as one of our most highly regarded oboists but also a leading ambassador for the musical life of the nation. Many people know Nicholas as a passionate advocate of baroque and 19th century music but he has also proven a driving force behind new repertoire for his instrument. Long may he continue to spread his passion and knowledge for music throughout Great Britain and beyond.” Sir Peter Maxwell Davies will present the award at a concert given by Nicholas Daniel and the Haffner Wind Ensemble at King's College, Cambridge, on Sunday 29 January.
The KOPELMAN QUARTET's return to the Edinburgh Festival at the end of August was exceptionally well received by the audience and was much praised in the press. The Strad called their playing "gloriously aristocratic" and "spellbinding" and said "They played very much as four individuals, whose separate voices were clearly discernable at all times, yet they breathed as one in their considered interpretations." Referring to the Shostakovich, the Scotsman said "the message delivered by his fourth quartet, in which soaring moments led to melancholic collapse, seemed designed for these players". You can read the full reviews on this website.
The BENNEWITZ QUARTET, from the Czech Republic, shows outstanding musicality and maturity and has won numerous prizes including, in 2008, the Paolo Borciani competition in Italy. As well as mainstream quartet repertoire they play much Czech music by less well known composers and are delighted to return to the Wigmore Hall on 4 February 2012. Read more about them here.
The EGGNER TRIO, from Austria, is formed of three brothers whose fine playing and ensemble, together with their engaging stage presence, make them regulars in many European festivals, such as the Schubertiade in Austria, and at the Wigmore Hall. The Trio is particularly known in Australia and New Zealand as they won the Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition as well as the Musica Viva Australia Special Prize. Read more about them here.