Saturday 16.9.17 7.30pm
St Thomas Church, Lymington
STRAUSS String Sextet Op. 85, “Capriccio”
SCHOENBERG Verklärte Nacht
Elias String Quartet
Navarra String Quartet
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A unique chance to hear three of the great German chamber music masterpieces from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Richard Strauss’s opera Capriccio opens with a rehearsal of this sextet, written by one of the characters. Schoenberg’s Verklärte Nacht is based on a poem of the same name by Dehmel, where, walking in a dark forest on a moonlit night, a woman admits to her husband that the child she is carrying is not his own. Mendelssohn’s Octet is a true miracle, written at the age of sixteen as present for his friend and violin teacher Eduard Ritz. This promises to be one of the highlights of all our festivals so far.
Elias String Quartet
The Elias String Quartet is internationally acclaimed as one of the leading ensembles of their generation. Known for their intense and vibrant performances, the quartet has travelled the globe collaborating with some of the finest musicians and playing in the world’s great halls.
2015 sees them complete their groundbreaking Beethoven Project: performing and recording the complete string quartets of Beethoven. Broadcast by BBC Radio 3 and performed in 11 major venues in the UK, the Quartet have also recorded the cycle for the “Wigmore Hall Live” record label. Six albums in total, the first was released in January 2015. The Elias will soon take all-Beethoven programmes to Carnegie Hall (New York) and San Francisco Performances. They have documented their journey on a dedicated website supported by the Borletti-Buitoni Trust: www.thebeethovenproject.com.
Highlights of 2014/2015 include a month long tour of the USA and Canada, their debut at the Theatre des Champs-Elysees in Paris, a return to The Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and concerts in Turkey, Holland, Belgium and Germany. They continue residencies with Glasgow Concert Halls, Turner Simms Concert Hall (Southampton) and The Brighton Festival. The Quartet will premiere a work written for them by young British composer Emily Howard at the Wigmore Hall and collaborate with various artists including Jonathan Biss, Francois-Rene Duchable and the Kungsbacka Trio.
The Quartet was chosen to participate in BBC Radio 3’s New Generation Artists’ Scheme 2009-11 and is the recipient of a 2010 Borletti-Buitoni Award. They were awarded the 2010 BBC Music Magazine’s Newcomer of the Year Award and were nominated in 2013 and 2014 for an RPS Award and in 2014 for an Australian Art Music Award. In 2013 they were awarded a Mentoring Scholarship from the Beethoven-Haus in Bonn. They received 2nd prize and the Sidney Griller Prize at the 9th London String Quartet Competition. They have performed in some of the world’s most prestigious venues including the Vienna Musikverein, Berlin Konzerthaus, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, New York’s Carnegie Hall, the Washington Library of Congress and the Wigmore Hall in London. The 13/14 Season saw the quartet take on major tours to the USA, Australia and Sweden as well as further performances across Europe in Vienna, Salzburg, Amsterdam, Luxembourg, Bonn, Venice and Padua.
They have performed alongside such artists as Leon Fleisher, Michael Collins, Christian Zacharias, Pascal Moragues, Ralph Kirshbaum, Dame Anne Murray, Joan Rogers, Mark Padmore, Michel Dalberto, Peter Cropper, Malin Broman, Simon Crawford-Philips, Piers Lane, Ettore Causa, Anthony Marwood, Huw Watkins, Roderick Williams, Allan Clayton, Melvyn Tan and the Endellion, Vertavo, Navarra, Heath, Belcea and Jerusalem Quartets.
The Elias are passionate about new music and have premiered pieces by Sally Beamish, Colin Matthews, Matthew Hindson and Timo Andres. They worked with Henri Dutilleux on his string quartet “Ainsi la Nuit” and recently recorded Huw Watkin’s “In My Craft or Sullen Art ” with Mark Padmore for NMC label.
The Quartet is steadily building a recording catalogue that has been met with widespread critical acclaim. Alongside three releases on the Wigmore Live label they have released discs of Mendelssohn and Britten. They have also released a disc of French harp music with harpist Sandrine Chatron for the French label Ambroisie, Goehr’s Piano Quintet with Daniel Becker for Meridian Records and most recently Schumann and Dvorak Piano Quintets with Jonathan Biss.
The Quartet take their name from Mendelssohn’s oratorio, Elijah, of which Elias is the German form. They formed at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester where they worked closely with the late Dr. Christopher Rowland and later became Junior Fellows and Associate Quartet. They also spent a year studying at the Hochschule in Cologne with the Alban Berg String quartet. Other mentors in the quartet’s studies include Peter Cropper, Hugh Maguire, Gyorgy Kurtag, Gabor Takacs-Nagy and and Rainer Schmidt. For four years they were resident string quartet at Sheffield’s “Music in the Round” as part of Ensemble 360, taking over from the Lindsay Quartet.
Navarra String Quartet
Since its formation in 2002, the Navarra Quartet has built an international reputation as one of the most dynamic and poetic string quartets of today. Selected for representation by the Young Classical Artists Trust (YCAT) from 2006 to 2010, they have been awarded the MIDEM Classique Young Artist Award, a Borletti- Buitoni Trust Fellowship, a Musica Viva tour and prizes at the Banff, Melbourne and Florence International String Quartet Competitions.
The Navarra Quartet has appeared at major venues throughout the world including the Wigmore Hall, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Luxembourg Philharmonie, Berlin Konzerthaus, and international festivals such as Bath, Grachten, Sandviken, Schwetzinger, Rheingau, Mecklenburg- Vorpommern, Huntingdon (Australia), Aix- en-Provence, Bellerive and the BBC Proms. Further afield they have given concerts in Russia, the USA, China, Korea and the Middle East and have been broadcast on BBC Radio 3, RAI 3 (Italy), Radio 4 (Holland), SWR (Germany), Radio Luxembourg and ABC Classic FM (Australia). The Quartet has collaborated with artists such as Li-Wei, Guy Johnston, Mark Padmore, Allan Clayton, Francesco Piemontesi, John O’Conor, Jack Liebeck, Simone Young and the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain.
Highly-acclaimed recordings include Haydn’s The Seven Last Words for Altara Records and a disc of Pēteris Vasks’ first three String Quartets for Challenge Records, which they recorded whilst working closely with the composer himself. The recording was described by critics as “stunning”, “sensational” and “compelling”, and was nominated for the prestigious German Schallplattenkritik Award. Earlier in 2013, the Navarra Quartet recorded a disc for NMC Records featuring the music of Joseph Phibbs, due for release in the coming months.
Formed at the Royal Northern College of Music, they commenced their studies under the guidance of the late Dr. Christopher Rowland. Their development continued with studies in Cologne with the Alban Berg Quartet, Pro- Quartet in Paris, the International Musicians Seminar at Prussia Cove and from residencies at the Britten-Pears School in Aldeburgh and at the Verbier Festival in Switzerland.
The Navarra Quartet is the Associated Ensemble in Residence at the Birmingham Conservatoire and was the recipient of the ChamberStudio Mentorship 2013, generously supported by the Musicians Benevolent Fund. Combined with their constant desire for evolution, the mentorship has allowed them to continue working with renowned musicians such as Eberhard Feltz, David Waterman and Ferenc Rados.
The Quartet plays on a variety of fine instruments which include a Hieronymus II Amati and Panormo violins, an unknown, old English viola and a Ruggieri cello.
Highlights this season and beyond include appearances at the Royal Festival Hall, Wigmore Hall, Concertgebouw, Sydney Opera House, Laeiszhalle in Hamburg and at the Four Winds Festival in Bermagui, Australia.
The Navarra Quartet are excited to hold the inaugural Weesp Chamber Music Festival at the beautifully renovated Van Houten Church, in the picturesque town of Weesp, close to Amsterdam.