String Quartet has a wide national and international reputation, with
concerts and extensive tours in this country, Europe and the USA, and broadcasts
for the BBC and radio stations abroad. Many CDs have been recorded
for several labels, including Chandos, Meridian and Unicorn-Kanchana, and
the disc of Mendelssohn Quartets received the British Music Retailers Association
Award for Excellence in Chamber Music. The English String Quartet
has been 'resident ensemble' at the Festival since 1995.
The English String Quartet was originally
formed in 1909, and in its long history its members have included some
of Great Britain's most distinguished string players: the violist and composer
Frank Bridge, the cellist Ivor James, and the violinists Marjorie Haywood
and Nona Liddell amongst others. Diana
Cummings took over the leadership of the Quartet in 1982.
She is a recitalist and concerto soloist, a leader of chamber and symphony
orchestras, and a Professor at both the Royal Academy and Trinity College
of Music. In the same year her husband Luciano
Iorio joined as violist: he teaches at the Royal Academy Junior
Department and Eton College, has been member of several well known chamber
ensembles, and is the Artistic Director of the London Festival of ChamberMusic.
Subsequently Keith Lewis joined as
second violin and Nick Holland as
cellist. Before joining the Quartet Keith developed his career in
chamber music both in this country and in Venezuela, where he played with
a number of ensembles and taught at the University of Valencia. Nick Holland
has had a very varied career in baroque, classical and contemporary music.
He was for many years a member of the Balanescu Quartet, performing in
many countries and at major festivals, and has made many recordings.
The Quartet's numerous recordings have
been enthusiastically praised by critics of many countries, and their compact
disc of Mendelssohn Quartets, Op.44 nos.2 & 3, has received the British
Music Retailers Association Award for Excellence in Chamber Music.
MENDELSSOHN - String Quartets Op 44, Nos 2
& 3 - MERIDIAN
BAX - String Quartet No 1 - Piano Quartet
with John McCabe - Harp Quintet with Skaila Kanga - CHANDOS
DVORAK - Cypresses for String Quartet - Terzetto
Op 74 for 2 violins & viola - UNICORN-KANCHANA
HAYDN - 3 String Quartets Op 0, Op 42 &
Op 103 - MERIDIAN
VAUGHAN WILLIAMS - String Quartets Nos 1 &
2 - Phantasy Quintet with Norbet Blume (2nd viola) - UNICORN-KANCHANA
WALTON - String Quartet - Piano Quartet with
John McCabe - MERIDIAN
VARIOUS ENGLISH - Quartets & Quintets
by Bax, Holst, Jacob and Moeran, with Sarah Francis (oboe) - CHANDOS
SCHUBERT - String Quartets No 4 in C, No 8
in B flat & No 11 in E, Op 41 No 3 - UNICORN-KANCHANA
GRIEG - String Quartet in G minor Op 27 -
RUBBRA, TATE & WISHART - String Quartets