Saturday 22 February 2014

Sacconi String Quartet

Haydn Quartet in C Op.20 no.5

Britten Quartet no.2 in C Op.36

Schumann Quartet in F major Op.41 no.2

 

The name Sacconi Quartet comes from the outstanding twentieth-century Italian luthier and restorer Simone Sacconi, whose book The Secrets of Stradivari is considered an indispensable reference for violin makers. Ben Hancox plays an 18th century Italian violin on loan from an anonymous owner, and Hannah Dawson an unknown Italian from 1750.  Robin Ashwell plays a large Sacconi viola made in New York in 1934 and Cara Berridge a Nicolaus Gagliano cello from 1781, both generously on loan to them. Cara wishes to thank the Royal Society of Musicians, a charity which helps musicians in need, for the use of the cello.

 

The Sacconi Quartet is recognised for its unanimous and compelling ensemble, performing with style and commitment and consistently communicating with a fresh and imaginative approach. Formed in 2001, its four founder members continue to demonstrate a shared passion for string quartet repertoire, infectiously reaching out to audiences with their energy and enthusiasm. Over the past decade they have enjoyed a highly successful international career, performing regularly throughout Europe, at London’s major venues, in recordings and on radio broadcasts. The Sacconi is Quartet in Association at the Royal College of Music and Quartet in Residence at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre.

In 2008, the Quartet held the inaugural Sacconi Chamber Music Festival in Folkestone, Kent. Now in its sixth year, the festival is an established event in the cultural calendar and is expanding year on year with challenging programming and exciting collaborations. This year’s festival focuses on the music of Benjamin Britten and features performances with Mark Padmore, Richard Watkins and Gary Matthewman. The Sacconi Quartet has performed at all the major London venues including Wigmore Hall, Kings Place, Cadogan Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room and Conway Hall. They have travelled extensively throughout the rest of the UK and Europe to venues including Bridgewater Hall in Manchester, The Queens Hall in Edinburgh, Musikverein in Vienna, Muziekgebouw in Amsterdam, L'Auditori in Barcelona and Auditorio Nacional de Música in Madrid as well as many venues in Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, France, Finland, Norway and the Czech Republic. In 2008 the Sacconi made their debut at the Liceo de Cámara Madrid, and in 2009 at the Concerts du Midi, Brussels and the Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern in Germany. The Quartet also made their first visit to the Middle East in 2009, where they were invited by the British Council to give concerts and workshops in Jordan’s capital city, Amman.