Artists in Residence
English String Quartet
Diana Cummings violin Keith Lewis violin
Luciano Iorio viola Nick Holland cello

Photo of the English String Quartet - 144 KBThe English 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 - UNICORN-KANCHANA

  • RUBBRA, TATE & WISHART - String Quartets - TREMULA 
Contact Details:

English String Quartet
44 Gondar Gardens 
London, NW6 1HG, UK 
Tel: (+44) 20 7435 6232 
Fax: (+44) 20 7431 6843 


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