The Ansonia Quartet
Formed at The Juilliard School in September 2016, the Ansonia Quartet was awarded a Gluck Community Service Fellowship and a position in the Honors Chamber Music Program at Juilliard for the 2017/18 academic year. The Ansonia launched a successful crowdfunding campaign over the summer of 2017 to finance a Japanese tour. Since then, the quartet has held a residency at the Lunenburg Academy of Music Performance, had a one-week Toronto Tour, appeared at the Chamber Music Society at Lincoln Center for a masterclass with Ani Kavafian, performed with the New York City Ballet and at Juilliard’s 2018 Focus! Festival, and given a recital at the Harvard Club of New York.
Chieko Arai (violin), Ilhem Ben Khalfa (violin), Hyo Eun Ryoo (viola), Hugo Estaca (cello)
The Benyounes Quartet
Currently celebrating its 10th anniversary, the Benyounes Quartet has forged a reputation for fresh, vivid performances and interpretations of refinement and integrity. Recipients of the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Julius Isserlis Scholarship, the quartet’s international accolades include 2nd prize at both the 2014 Orlando International String Quartet Competition and the International Sandor Vegh String Quartet Competition in Budapest.
The Benyounes Quartet has established a presence at major venues including Vienna Konzerthaus, Wigmore Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall and Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall and at festivals such as Budapest Spring, Quatuors a Bordeaux, Verbier, Aix-en-Provence, Aldeburgh and West Cork Chamber Music. In 2015 the Benyounes took over the Artistic Directorship of South Downs Summer Music.
Throughout their career they have championed contemporary works by both established and emerging composers and, in recent years, have premiered new works by Philip Cashian, Simon Bainbridge and Poul Ruders.
Formed at the Royal Northern College of Music, the Benyounes Quartet subsequently studied with Gabor Takacs–Nagy at the Haute École de Musique in Geneva. They have also worked closely with Peter Cropper, Quatuor Ebène, Eberhard Feltz, Andràs Keller and David Waterman. The quartet held the Richard Carne Junior Fellowship at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance (2011-13) and is currently resident at Bangor University.
Their debut recording of Mozart Piano Concertos with Jeremy Young was released on Meridian Records to critical acclaim. They featured on Champs Hill Records complete works for string quartet by Mendelssohn (BBC Magazine’s critics choice 2014).
The Bozzini Quartet
Since 1999, Quatuor Bozzini has been an original voice in new, experimental and classical music. The quartet cultivates an ethos of risk-taking, and venture off the beaten track. Quatuor Bozzini stands out with their “extraordinary playing.” (Alex Ross, The New Yorker). They have nurtured a vastly diverse repertoire, unbiased by the currents of fashion. This has led to close to two hundred commissioned pieces, as well as over three hundred premiered works.
The group presents an annual concert series in Montréal and also tours extensively in Canada, the US, South America and Europe. Notable festivals and venues include MärzMusik (Berlin), Ultima (Oslo), Huddersfield (UK), Klangspuren (Austria), Tsuda Hall (Tokyo), Musiekgebouw (Amsterdam), November Music (Netherlands), Présences (France), Kortrijk (Belgium), TimeSpans (NYC), Porgy&Bess (Vienna) and Other Minds (San Francisco). The quartet runs its own recording label, Collection QB.
The Callino Quartet
Since its formation at the West Cork Chamber Music Festival in 1999 the Callino Quartet has been impressing international audiences and critics alike with their bold, imaginative and sensitive performances. They have cultivated a challenging and eclectic repertoire, performing and collaborating with many diverse musicians including the Belcea Quartet, double bassist Edgar Meyer, pianist Barry Douglas, rock band Arcade Fire, Bell Orchestre and jazz musicians John Abercrombie and Sophie Dunér.
Winners of several international prizes and distinctions, including second prize in the 2008 Tromp International String Quartet in the Netherlands, the quartet studied intensively with Rainer Schmidt (Hagen Quartet) in 2008 at the Musik Akademie in Basel, Switzerland and in Italy with the Hungarian composer Gyorgy Kurtàg.
In February 2010 they were a resident quartet at the Banff Centre for the Arts in Canada and gave their Carnegie Hall début in March, at the invitation of the Kronos Quartet. A new recording of Haydn’s Seven Last Words with poetry written and performed by Andrew Motion was released in 2015.
Prizewinners of the International Anton Rubinstein Chamber Music Competition (2018) and finalists in the Royal Overseas-League Music Competition (2019), the Echéa Quartet was formed in 2017 at the Royal Academy of Music, London. They are currently Chamber Music Fellows at the Royal Academy and artists for the Concordia and City Music Foundations (2019/20). The quartet are recent recipients of the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Albert and Eugenie Frost Chamber Music Prize (2019/20).
The quartet has been featured on BBC Radio 3, and on CBC National Radio (Canada) as part of their six-week tour of the west coast of North America. They have appeared at international festivals such as Ferrandou Musique (France), Festival de los Siete Lagos (Argentina), West Cork Chamber Music (Ireland) and at the Philharmonie’s String Quartet Biennial (Paris). The quartet also attended a residency at the Banff Centre in 2019. In 2020, the quartet will attend IMS Prussia Cove, Festival d’Aix, and will be fellows for the Advanced String Quartet Program at Aspen Summer Music Festival.
Just two weeks after first playing together in 2016, the Kirkman Quartet was awarded a coveted place on the Davey Poznanski string quartet scheme at the Royal Academy of Music. They have since received a place on the Frost ASSET scheme for two consecutive years. In 2017, the quartet was the winner of the Wolfe Wolfinsohn string quartet prize. Last season saw them as Quartet in Residence at the Wye Valley Chamber Music Festival 2019 and the HARMOS festival in Porto.
This season includes a masterclass with the Navarra Quartet as part of the Hatfield House Chamber Music Festival and a recital at the Avon Valley Festival.
The Kirkman Quartet has given recitals across the UK in venues such as Wigmore Hall, Colston Hall, the Ashmolean Museum and Southwark Cathedral. They also performed in Garsington Opera’s 2018 production of Strauss’ Capriccio, playing on stage in the string sextet.
Caroline Heard (violin), Imogen Brewer (violin), Katie Le Feuvre (viola), Rebecca Bradley (cello)
Winners of the Royal Philharmonic Society award for Young British String Players, the critically-acclaimed Ruisi Quartet has established a reputation as a charismatic and expressive ensemble, one of the leading British string quartets of its generation. The quartet performs regularly throughout the UK and Europe and won the Kirkman Concert Society Artists award for 2018/19, as well as being recipients of a Career Development Award from the Banff International String Quartet Competition 2019.
The group has given concerts at many leading venues, including the Wigmore Hall, Kings Place, Royal Albert Hall and Conway Hall, plus appearances in Spain, Germany and Austria. In 2016 the group was Quartet in Residence at the Wye Valley Chamber Music Festival, and in the same year was selected as Tunnell Trust Award winners. Recent highlights include debuts at the Wigmore Hall and St John’s Smith Square in London, performances in France and Canada and live broadcasts on BBC Radio 3. The group made its Russian debut in 2020.
The Sacconi Quartet
The award-winning Sacconi Quartet is recognised for its unanimous and compelling ensemble, consistently communicating with a fresh and imaginative approach. Performing with style and commitment, the Quartet is known throughout the world for its creativity and integrity of interpretation. Formed in 2001, its four founder members continue to demonstrate a shared passion for string quartet repertoire, infectiously reaching out to audiences with their energy and enthusiasm. The Quartet have enjoyed a highly successful international career, performing regularly throughout Europe, at London’s major venues, in recordings and on radio broadcasts. The Sacconi is Quartet in Association at the Royal College of Music.
The Tesla Quartet
Praised for their “superb capacity to find the inner heart of everything they play, regardless of era, style or technical demand”, the Tesla Quartet brings refinement and prowess to both new and established repertoire. The quartet has garnered top prizes at numerous other international competitions, including the Gold Medal at the 2012 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, Third Prize and the Best Interpretation of the Commissioned Work at the 6th International Joseph Haydn Chamber Music Competition in Vienna, and Third Prize at the 2012 London International String Quartet Competition.
The quartet performs regularly across North America, with recent international appearances in Austria, Canada, China, Germany, Hungary, South Korea and the United Kingdom. Notable festival appearances include the 10th Joseph Haydn String Quartet Festival at the Esterházy Palace in Fertőd, Hungary, the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festival, and the Swannanoa Chamber Music Festival. 2018/2019 season highlights include performances at Stanford University, a return to London’s Wigmore Hall, and their debuts at the New York’s Lincoln Center and the Banff Centre International String Quartet Festival. Having served as the Marjorie Young Bell String Quartet-in-Residence at Mount Allison University in New Brunswick, Canada, from 2016-2017, the Tesla Quartet also holds a community residency in Hickory, North Carolina that includes performances and workshops at local colleges, universities, and in the public school system, as well as a dedicated chamber music series.
Community involvement and outreach are integral parts of the Tesla Quartet’s mission. In addition to their current work in North Carolina, the ensemble spent three years in partnership with the Aspen Music Festival’s Musical Odysseys Reaching Everyone program.
The Tesla Quartet was formed at The Juilliard School in 2008. From 2009 to 2012 the quartet held a fellowship as the Graduate String Quartet-in-Residence at the University of Colorado-Boulder, where they studied with the Takács Quartet. They have also held fellowships at the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival and the Aspen Music Festival’s Center for Advanced Quartet Studies.
The Tesla Quartet is Ross Snyder (violin), Michelle Lie (violin), Edwin Kaplan (viola), and Serafim Smigelskiy (cello).