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. They are passionately committed to contemporary music and have worked closely with many composers.
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. The quartet were also invited to Italy to work with the distinguished Hungarian composer and pedagogue 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. They gave the premiere of a new quartet by Kevin Volans in March 2013, commissioned with the support of the Arts Council of Ireland. A new recording of Haydn’s Seven Last Words with poetry written and performed by former Poet Laureate Andrew Motion was released in 2015.