A shared belief in the visceral, communicative power of the string quartet brought together four outstanding performers of their generation to form the Albion Quartet in 2016 following years of close collaboration at different festivals. These players are delighted to further their reputation for creative and imaginative performances in this exciting new venture. Forthcoming engagements include recitals at Wigmore Hall, London and The Concertgebouw, Amsterdam.
The Albion Quartet is currently Quartet-in-Residence at Gresham’s School, and opened Gresham’s new Britten Concert Hall in 2017. In 2017/2018 they embark on a number of new residencies: they are Quartet-in-Residence at London’s Kings Place, the Sainte-Mère Festival in France, Honeymead Festival, the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama, and at Aldeburgh Music.
A thirst to explore the string quartet repertoire through innovative programming is quickly becoming the quartet’s benchmark. The ensemble’s creative curiosity has led them to curate concerts focused around specific themes and presenting lesser-known works alongside core quartet repertoire – a characteristic manifested in their Kings Place residency programmes. Through the themes of Mentors, War, Folk and Hymn, the quartet will explore the music of a great variety of composers ranging from Haydn, Schubert, Ravel, Dvořák, as well as Britten, Maconchy and Fribbins. Every programme will go on a musical voyage linking each one of these themes to British and European music throughout different periods in time.
The Quartet collaborated with bass Matthew Rose at last year’s Aldeburgh Festival. In 2017 they also performed with violist Douglas Paterson of the Schubert Ensemble. In January 2018 the quartet performs with Miguel da Silva, formerly the violist of the Ysaÿe Quartet, in England and Belgium.
The quartet feels a particular affinity for the chamber music of Antonin Dvořák. Whilst the ‘American’ quartet is a much-loved part of the quartet canon, the majority of Dvořák’s quartets (he wrote fourteen in total) are rarely performed. Following on from their residency at Snape Maltings in March 2018, their debut recordings of Dvořák’s quartets will be released later this year, the first in a series of discs for Signum Records. The also look forward to a recording of Richard Blackford’s Kalon with the Czech Philharmonic this Spring.
They play a stunning quartet of instruments, including a Stradivarius and Guarnerius.