6th Season
 3 - 28 October 2000

English String Quartet
Martin Jones piano
Stacey Watton double bass
John Elliott didgeridoo
Michael Whight clarinet
Errika Collins viola
Katherine Jenkinson cello


The 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. 

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Photo of Martin JonesMartin Jones  is one of Britian's most highly regarded solo and chamber music pianists. He has performed with the major British orchestras, has appeared in all the main concert halls throughout the country and has extensively toured Europe, Russia and North and South America. His many discs include the complete solo piano works of Brahms, Debussy, Grainger, Mendelssohn, Stravinsky and Szymanowski. He has recently released two boxes of CDs of Spanish music, and a third will soon follow, including the major works of Albeniz and Turina as well as the complete piano works by de Falla, Granados and Mompou.  Martin has played at the London Festival of Chamber Music every year since it began.

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Photo of Stacey Richard WattonStacey Richard Watton is a very versatile double bass player.  He made his concerto debut at the age of thirteen, and has recently appeared live on Russian television and radio, as a prize winner at the Koussevitzky International Double Bass Competition in Moscow.  He has been guest principal with most of the major chamber orchestras in England, including the English and the London Chamber Orchestras, and the London Mozart Players, and is currently guest principal of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.  He also performs with several chamber ensembles, and appears on recordings, television and radio broadcasts.  He has also a keen interest in Pop music, and has recently recorded his first single, singing "When I am ready" with Hurley and Todd Production Company.

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Photo of John ElliotJohn Elliott Although mainly known as a tuba player, John Elliott has a large collection of unusual instruments, all of which he plays professionally.  He has played the didgeridoo for several Foster's Lager TV advertisements (possibly the didgeridooist's ultimate achievement?), and in addition to playing for the background music to the TV series "Hetty Wainthrop", he also had to teach the entire cast the basics of didgeridoo technique.  He regularly gives amusing lectures during which he performs on the tuba, the sousaphone, the didgeridoo, the ophicleide, the serpent, the hose-pipe and several instruments that he constructs himself from vegetables!

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Photo of Michael WhightMichael Whight, who has recently relinquished the position of principal clarinet of the Philharmonia Orchestra, which he held since 1990, now plays regularly as guest principal with all the major London orchestras.  Highlights of his engagements as soloist include the Mozart Concerto conducted by Leonard Slatkin and a recording of Stravinsky's Ebony Concerto conducted by Robert Craft, both with the Philharmonia.  In 1998 he played the Mozart Concerto at the Royal Albert Hall and the Barbican with the Mozart Festival Orchestra.  In the 2000-2001 season he will be recording the Mozart Concerto with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and performing the John Adams concerto 'Gnarly Buttons' with Kent Nagano.  As a chamber musician he is a founder member of the Classical Wind Quintet, and has worked with Barry Douglas; Robert Cohen; Gidon Kremer and Friends; the Lindsays, the Nash Ensemble and several other ensembles; he has recorded the complete wind music of Richard Strauss with London Winds for Hyperion.  He has already played at the London Festival of Chamber Music in 1996.

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Photo of Erika CollinsErrika Collins, viola, and Photo of Katherine JenkinsonKatherine Jenkinson, cello, are two students of the Royal Academy of Music who join the English String Quartet in 4 concerts, performing the Sextet "Capriccio" by Strauss, and the Sextet No.2 by Brahms.  Errika is in the final year of her undergraduate course, and studies with Yuko Inoue; Katherine is in her third year, and studies with David Strange.

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