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Endellion String Quartet
The Borodin Quartet commands a position of singular prestige in the world of chamber music. In existence for more than 60 years, it has preserved a unique performance tradition, focusing on the masterpieces at the very heart of the quartet repertoire. The Quartet’s interpretations are celebrated for their intensity and focus, in which individualism is subsumed to the collaborative spirit of chamber music with its total commitment to the composer’s vision. In addition to performing quartets, the Borodin Quartet regularly joins forces with other distinguished musicians to further explore the chamber music repertoire. Their partners have included Dmitri Shostakovich, Sviatoslav Richter, Mstislav Rostropovich, Yuri Bashmet, Elisabeth Leonskaja, Natalia Gutman, Elisso Virsaladze and Christoph Eschenbach. The Quartet also holds regular master classes.
The Endellion String Quartet
The Endellion String Quartet is renowned as one of the finest quartets in the world. Over the years, its schedule has included regular tours of North and South America, Australasia, the Far East, the Middle East and South Africa, as well as every West European country. All over the world, the Endellion String Quartet ‘sets the audience ablaze’ (Daily Telegraph) and ‘captivates concertgoers with a remarkable rapport’, its members ‘playing to each other with a sense almost of discovery, communicating to the audience on a level of unusual intimacy’ (Guardian). In Britain, the Endellion String Quartet has appeared at nearly all the major concert series and festivals, including the Proms, and has broadcast many times on BBC radio and television, as well as featuring as the subject of Radio 3’s ‘Artist of the Week’ and ‘Artists in Focus’. Its presence in London has been marked by concert cycles at both the Southbank Centre and Wigmore Hall, where its members have been Artistic Directors of several ‘Quartet Plus’ series. They have also worked with guest artists, including members of the former Amadeus Quartet, as well as Sir Thomas Allen, Joshua Bell, Michael Collins, Steven Isserlis, Mitsuko Uchida and Tabea Zimmermann. In 1996, the Quartet won the Royal Philharmonic Society Award for Best Chamber Ensemble.
Since its triumph in 2004 at the ARD International Competition in Munich, where the Ebène Quartet was awarded five additional special prizes, the quartet has grown from being a “promising young ensemble”, to one of today’s foremost quartets on the international scene. The ensemble has studied extensively with the Ysaÿe Quartet in Paris as well as with the eminent musicians Gábor Takács, Eberhard Feltz and György Kurtág. Since the season of 2007-2008, the quartet has been heard throughout the most prestigious concert halls of Europe, Canada and the United States, including Wigmore Hall, London, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, the Berliner Philharmoniker and New York’s Carnegie Hall.
Since it was founded in 1994, the Zemlinsky Quartet has become a much-lauded exemplar of the Czech string quartet tradition. In 2010 the quartet won the 1st Grand Prize in the Bordeaux International String Quartet Competition. It has also enjoyed a string of top prizes in the Banff International String Quartet Competition, the Prague Spring International Music Competition and the London International String Quartet Competition. The quartet has moreover been the recipient of the Alexander Zemlinsky Advancement Award.
Brecon Baroque, founded in 2007 by Rachel Podger as resident ensemble at her annual Brecon Baroque Festival, specialises in the music of J.S. Bach and his contemporaries, also appearing as a small Baroque orchestra for Vivaldi, Telemann, Purcell and Handel. Recent highlights include tours of continental Europe and Japan and a Baroque Opera collaboration with Robert Hollingworth in Wroclaw, while upcoming performances include Bach’s St John Passion and The Art of Fugue at this year’s Brecon Baroque Festival. In 2010 Rachel and Brecon Baroque recorded Bach’s Violin Concertos for Channel Classics, a debut CD which attracted universal critical acclaim. Their 2013 recording of Bach’s Double and Triple Concertos, released on the same label, has been equally well received, and was named CD of the week by Classic FM, BBC Radio 3’s CD Review, HR2 Kultur (Germany) and WQXR (New York). Their latest release is a complete recording of Vivaldi’s L’Estro Armonico.
Few other ensembles can match the range of Fretwork’s repertory, spanning as it does the first printed music of 1501 in Venice, to music commissioned by the group this year. Their recordings of arrangements of J. S. Bach have won particular praise, but they have recently issued a disc containing music by Grieg, Debussy, Shostakovitch, Warlock & Britten. This extraordinary breadth of music has taken them all over the world in the 25 years since their debut, and their recordings of the classic English viol repertory – Purcell, Gibbons, Lawes & Byrd – have become the benchmark by which others are judged. Their 2009 recording of the Purcell Fantazias won the Gramophone Award for Baroque Chamber Music.
The consistently high standards they have achieved have brought music old and new to audiences hitherto unfamiliar with the inspiring sound-world of the viol.
ASPECT FOUNDATION FOR MUSIC AND ARTS is a non-profit organization registered in New York under registration number 45-51-25
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