Founded in 1969 by four Cambridge undergraduates, and continuing studies under Sidney Griller at the Royal Academy of Music, the Fitzwilliam String Quartet originally became well known through their close personal association with Dmitri Shostakovich. He entrusted them with the Western premières of his last three quartets, and they were the first ever group to perform and record all fifteen. This secured them a long-term contract with Decca, for whom they recorded Franck, Delius, Borodin, Sibelius, and Beethoven cycle. Their recordings have gained many international awards, including the accolade of the very first Gramophone Award for chamber music, in 1977. Their Shostakovich set (still available) was named by the same publication in its "Hundred Greatest-ever Recordings" in November 2005.
Their commitment to contemporary music has led to numerous additions to the new century's repertoire during the past eight years - notably a cycle of four annual commissions from the Swaledale Festival. At the other end of the musical spectrum, they use historical instruments for classical and early romantic music, and their Schumann CD with Richard Burnett, featuring the Piano Quintet, was a première recording on original instruments and a top recommendation on BBC Radio 3's Building a Library. They are unique in that they perform on both early and modern set-ups - sometimes within the same concert!
They were Quartet-in-Residence at the University of York for twelve years and at the University of Warwick for three, as well as Affiliate Artists at Bucknell University, USA, since 1978. Ten years ago they began a new Residency at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, with similar associations at Bangor and London Royal Holloway.
A new collaboration with Linn Records began in May 2000 with Haydn's Seven Last Words. Recordings continued with the Brahms Clarinet Quintet (released last January) and a disc of 20th cent English songs with James Gilchrist and Anna Tilbrook (including Vaughan Williams's On Wenlock Edge); the Bruckner String Quintet will follow in December, and future plans include string music by Purcell and the complete String Quartets of Tchaikovsky.
A world-wide concert schedule has taken them across Europe (including USSR/Russia), North America, Africa, and the Far East. Recent travels have taken them to Sweden, Slovenia, as well as to Munich, where they took part in an international dance film featuring Shostakovich's last three quartets. They are frequent visitors to the USA; and receive regular invitations to perform at Lorin Maazel's private concert hall. Future engagements include performances in Canada, the USA, Denmark, Switzerland, Greece/Turkey, South Africa, Germany, China, and India.
For more information please visit: www.rayfieldartists.com/fitzwilliam.html
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University of Nottingham, Lakeside Arts Centre: Djanogly Recital Hall
|Fitzwilliam Quartet give revelatory performance of Bruckner's String Quintet at Nottingham University|
|Bach’s Die Kunst der Fuge consists of 15 fugues (the last unfinished) and 4 canons, with no instrumentation specified - hence the subject of much discussion and controversy. The Fitzwilliam Quartet chose to play three of the fugues, beginning with the ‘simplest’, where the theme of the 14 completed fugues is presented.|
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Kings Place: Hall One
|East Meets West: An Extravaganza|
|Saturday night, The Grainger Elastic Band, with members of the Royal Artillery Orchestra and The Fitzwilliam String Quartet, and conducted by Roger Montgomery, put on an all-Percy Grainger concert at King's Place.
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