Navarra Quartet

Taking its name from a bottle of red from the wine region famously known for its multi-coloured landscapes, the Navarra Quartet’s diverse cultural backgrounds are united in serving the music with relentless passion and commitment.

Highlights in 2021/2022 include chamber music at the Lammermuir Festival, and performances in Ireland, Holland, Tenerife and across the UK. They direct the eighth edition of their chamber music festival in Weesp, and record works by Samuel Barber, Edward Gregson and Alissa Firsova. In 2022, the Navarra Quartet also celebrate their 20th anniversary, with the release of the complete Mozart quartets dedicated to Haydn, new commissions, and tours to Europe, the USA, and Australia. 

Previous appearances at major venues throughout the world include the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Luxembourg Philharmonie, Berlin Konzerthaus, Queen Elizabeth Hall, King’s Place, Sydney Opera House and international festivals such as Lockenhaus, Verbier, Aix-en-Provence, Grachten, Schwetzinger, Heidelberg, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, and the BBC Proms.  It has also toured extensively to Russia, the USA, China, South Korea and the Middle East. 

NSQ enjoys sharing the stage with a variety of partners such as Tom Poster, Mark Simpson, Francesco Piemontesi, Guy Johnston, Allan Clayton among others, and their friends the Castalian and Elias Quartets. Beyond the versatile repertoire from di Lasso to Kurtág, the quartet finds collaborating with contemporary composers highly nourishing. New commissions by Simon Rowland-Jones, Joseph Phibbs and Mauricio Hidalgo are dedicated to the Navarra Quartet and featured in eclectically crafted programmes along Beethoven and his contemporaries. 

Highly-acclaimed recordings include Joseph Haydn’s The Seven Last Words for Altara Records and a disc of Pēteris Vasks’ first three String Quartets for Challenge Records, which was recorded whilst working closely with the composer himself. The disc was described by critics as “stunning”, “sensational” and “compelling”, and was nominated for the prestigious German Schallplattenkritik Award.

Their development continued with intense studies in Cologne with the Alban Berg Quartet, Pro-Quartet in Paris, the International Musicians Seminar at Prussia Cove as well as residencies at the Britten-Pears School in Aldeburgh and the Verbier Festival in Switzerland. Driven by the desire to explore new depths, the Quartet plays regularly to revered musicians such as Rainer Schmidt, Eberhard Feltz, Ferenc Rados and Gabor Takács-Nagy. They also enjoy teaching the next generation in masterclass and summer courses. NSQ was the Quartet in Residence at the Royal Northern College of Music and Associated Ensemble at the Birmingham Conservatoire. 

Selected for representation by the Young Classical Artists Trust (YCAT) in 2006, NSQ is winner of the MIDEM Classique Young Artist Award, a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship and top prizes at the Banff, Melbourne and Florence International String Quartet Competitions. In 2017, the prestigious Kersjes Prize in the Netherlands was awarded to NSQ, enabling the creation of many exciting and unique programmes.

The Quartet plays on a variety of fine instruments which include a violin by Annibale Fagnola made in Turin in 1927, an unknown old violin, an Amati model German viola from early 18th century and a Grancino cello made in Milan in 1698, generously on loan from the Cruft-Grancino Trust which is administered by the Royal Society of Musicians.

Since 2014, NSQ has been in charge of the artistic vision of the Weesp Chamber Music Festival, located in a charming historic city near Amsterdam.

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