Carducci String Quartet

Matthew Denton & Michelle Fleming violins
Eoin Schmidt-Martin viola
Emma Denton cello

Described by “The Strad” as presenting “a masterclass in unanimity of musical purpose, in which severity could melt seamlessly into charm, and drama into geniality”, the Carducci Quartet perform over 90 concerts worldwide each year. They also run their own recording label, Carducci Classics; an annual festival in Highnam, Gloucester; and in September 2014, curated their first “Carducci Festival” in Castagneto-Carducci: the town from which they took their name.

Winners of the Concert Artists Guild International Competition 2007 and Finland’s Kuhmo International Chamber Music Competition, the Anglo-Irish quartet has appeared at prestigious venues and festivals across the globe including the Wigmore Hall, London; National Concert Hall, Dublin; Tivoli Concert Hall, Copenhagen; Carnegie Hall, New York and Library of Congress and John F Kennedy Center Washington D.C; Cheltenham Music Festival; Festival Messiaen au pays Meije; West Cork Chamber Music festival; Kuhmo Festival; Palazzetto Bru-Zane in Venice and the Wratislavia Cantans Festival in Poland.

In 2015 the quartet presented the complete catalogue of Shostakovich’s String Quartets, commemorating 40 years since the composer’s death. Shostakovich15 included a full-day performance of all 15 String Quartets at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, Shakespeare’s Globe, as well as various other international cycles, and is accompanied by a recording of Quartet’s no. 4, 8 and 11: their second disc for Signum Classics, recognised by BBC Music Magazine as “a fine achievement, boasting excellent ensemble, musical insight and sensitive attention to detail”. Further upcoming highlights include tours to Germany, the Netherlands, North and South America including Colombia, and collaborations with guitarist Craig Ogden, clarinettist Julian Bliss and cellists Guy Johnston and Christian-Pierre La Marca. In 2017 the Carducci Quartet celebrate 20 years and will embark on Inspired by Beethoven, presenting the complete Quartets of Beethoven alongside works by composers influenced by his writing.

Highly celebrated for their interpretation of contemporary repertoire, the Carducci Quartet is regularly invited to perform new works. Last season saw them present the world premiere of Anthony Gilbert’s cello quintet, Haven of Mysteries with Guy Johnston and curate two projects at Kings Place, London around Steve Reich and Philip Glass.

The quartet has received wide critical acclaim for recordings on their own record label. Their catalogue features two world premiere recordings: G. Whettam (‘recording of the month’ MusicWeb International) and J. Horovitz, as well as masterpieces from composers such as Haydn and Mendelssohn. They have also recorded Vivaldi and Piazzolla with the Katona Twins for Channel Classics, Philip Glass for Naxos, and more recently a selection of British premieres, Into the Ravine, with oboist Nicholas Daniel.

The Carducci Quartet was nominated for a Royal Philharmonic Society Award in 2011 for their family concert ‘Getting the Quartet Bug!’ They also run chamber music courses for young musicians in the UK, France and Ireland, and regularly coach on the National Youth String Quartet Weekend. Their work is supported by the Carducci Music Trust.

The quartet studied with members of the Amadeus, Alban Berg, Chilingirian, Takacs and Vanbrugh quartets and, as part of the ProQuartet professional training programme in France, with Gyorgy Kurtag, Walter Levin and Paul Katz.

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