The Albion Quartet
Formed in 2016, the Albion Quartet brings together four of the UK’s exceptional young string players who are establishing themselves rapidly on the international stage.
Having previously made their debuts at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam as well as the Auditorium du Louvre in Paris, the 2018/19 season saw the Albion Quartet’s debuts at the Wigmore Hall and at Town Hall/Symphony Hall Birmingham, as well as the release of the first disc of their Dvořák cycle for Signum records. They also continued their residency at London’s Kings Place and performed at the Oxford Lieder Festival.
Over the past seasons they have held a number of residencies, including at the Sainte-Mère Festival in France, and in the UK at Snape Maltings as well as Ryedale and Honeymead Festivals. They also appeared at BBC Radio 3’s Hay Festival, Roland Pöntinen’s Båstad Chamber Music Festival in Sweden and at the Chapelle Musicale Reine Elisabeth in Brussels.
The coming season will see performances at several festivals, including BBC Belfast International Arts Festival, Presteigne, Stratford, as well as return visits to Oxford Lieder Festival, King’s Place London and Kettle’s Yard Cambridge. The Albion Quartet will also return to Wigmore Hall in November to perform the world premiere of a new string trio by Freya Waley-Cohen, commissioned by the Wigmore Hall. In January 2020 they will appear during the Beethoven String Quartet Weekend at St. George’s Bristol.
The ensemble's creative curiosity has already led to collaborations with several composers: In spring 2019, they premiered a new work for soprano and string quartet by Kate Whitley at THSH Birmingham, and June 2019 has seen the world premiere of a new full-length quartet by Freya Waley-Cohen at the Aldeburgh Festival. The Albion Quartet has also collaborated with renowned artists such as bass Matthew Rose at the Aldeburgh Festival 2016, violist Douglas Paterson of the Schubert Ensemble, Miguel da Silva, formerly the violist of the Ysaÿe Quartet and pianist Roland Pöntinen. In September 2018 they performed Whitacre’s Five Hebrew Melodies with the MartinůVoices at Kloster Corvey in Germany.
Passionate about education, the quartet holds a residency at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama, where they regularly give masterclasses and performances in the Dora Stoutzker Hall. They were Quartet-in-Residence at Gresham’s School in the 2017/18 season, where they opened the new Britten Concert Hall in 2017. As a Cavatina Chamber Music Trust ensemble, they also give workshops at primary schools.
The quartet will be recording a series of discs for Signum Records over the next few years, including the string quartets of Antonin Dvořák as well as a disc of quartets by Walton and Shostakovich. They have also recorded Richard Blackford's Kalon for string quartet and orchestra with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, which was released in May 2019.
The members of the quartet play on a fine collection of instruments, including a Stradivarius and Guarnerius.