THE SCHUBERT ENSEMBLE
Simon Blendis violin
Douglas Paterson viola
Jane Salmon cello
William Howard piano
2018 is the 35th Anniversary of The Schubert Ensemble, coinciding with their decision to make it their final year, while they are still performing to the highest standards.
DVORAK Piano Quartet No. 1 in D, Op. 23
Charlotte BRAY Zustände for piano quartet (2017)
FAURE Piano Quartet No. 1 in C minor, Op. 15
Since its first concert in January 1983, the Schubert Ensemble has become widely recognised as one of the world's leading exponents of music for piano and strings. The ensemble has performed in over 40 different countries, has over 80 commissions to its name, has recorded over 30 critically acclaimed CDs and is familiar to British audiences through regular broadcasts on BBC Radio 3. In 1998 the Ensemble's contribution to British musical life was recognized by the Royal Philharmonic Society when it presented the group with the Best Chamber Ensemble Award, for which it was shortlisted again in 2010.
In the past few years the Ensemble has enjoyed a busy international schedule, with performances in Bermuda, Canada, the Czech Republic, China, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Spain, the United Arab Emirates, and the USA. The Ensemble has also released recordings for the Chandos label of works by Martinu, Fauré, Enescu and Dvorák, all of which have been widely praised. The Dvorák disc and the most recent of two Enescu discs were chosen as CD of the month by the BBC Music Magazine. It has recently released a new recording of piano quartets by Chausson and Saint-Saëns which received a double 5-star review in BBC Music Magazine. Engagements in 2015-16 included tours to Bermuda, the USA, Holland and Italy, and performances at the Cambridge, Petworth, Spitalfields, Buxton, Gower, Tetbury and Bath/Mozart Festivals as well as a two-concert Fauré/Schumann series at London’s Wigmore Hall.
Plans for the coming months include the premiere of a piano quartet, Zustände, by Charlotte Bray at the Wiltshire Music Centre, the recording for Champs Hill Records of another recent commission, Cheryl Frances-Hoad’s The Whole Earth Dances and several visits to Birmingham Conservatoire, where the Ensemble is enjoying the ninth year of a Residency.
The Ensemble has decided to bring its 35-year career to a close at the end of June 2018. It will see out its final season in celebratory style, with around fifty concerts planned in the UK and abroad, including return visits to Romania and Luxembourg and two tours of the USA. The final two concerts of the Ensemble’s piano quintet series Quintessentials at Kings Place will take place on October 12th and November 9th, 2017, and its final concert at Wigmore Hall will be on March 21st, 2018.
Biggar Music has enjoyed a long and happy relationship with The Schubert Ensemble - we have welcomed them six times, from their first concert with us in 1988.
"A superb performance (Enescu's Piano Quintet), alive to the music's every nuance." BBC music magazine 2013
"…..they gave a performance so forthright and passionate that at times it sounded as if a chamber orchestra were playing. A hugely impressive concert " Strad 2006
"...The Schubert Ensemble of London are a marvellously unified ensemble, imparting their energy and lyricism to anything to which they turn their expert hands... " Classic FM Magazine
“..vital spontaneity, expressive phrasing and an instinctive way of animating the music’s textures so that they are close-knit but at the same time luminously articulated” The Daily Telegraph
"To say they play with seasoned eloquence, a unanimity of feeling born of deep communal consideration, is an understatement, for they demand superlatives. " Sunday Times 2011
"A relaxed assurance, a purity of line and a manifest affection for the pieces to hand. The Fauré (piano quartet No.1) was ravishing in its effortless singing lines and interplay of details, particularly in the Mendelssohnian scherzo. " Yorkshire Post 2010
" ...an account that combined passion, refinement and, in the slow movement, sheer desolation with impeccable control" Independent on Sunday 2003
- 08 Mar 2018 08:00 PM
The opening concert was a joy for members and visitors alike, so now's the time to plan ahead for the next one in the midst of the Festival. Tickets can be booked through the Festival Box Office.
Your season ticket also gives you access to concerts in Lanark and Peebles for half price - well worth the money. If you have not yet renewed membership, there is still good value in joining for seven concerts at the price of five and comes with a complimentary ticket so you can bring a friend. A particular welcome to those who have joined for the first time.
Next concert is Moishe's Bagel on 24th October, in the Biggar Little Festival, with a mix of Klezmer, jazz and Latin music, then the Pomegranate Piano Trio on 14th November and Maxwell String Quartet with Anna Hashimoto making up the clarinet quintet on 7th December.
After Christmas, 17th January sees the Navarra String Quartet, Sunday afternoon, 10th February, is the BBC Young Musician winner, saxophonist Jess Gillam, with pianist Zeynep Ozsuca. Sarah Beth Briggs returns on 8th March with her wonderful piano mastery and we end the season on 25th March with the A4 Brass Quartet, winners of the Tunnell prize.