A Book of Inventions is a ‘jigsaw’ gradually being pieced together to reveal a whole. It is the over-arching title of a set of six string quartets by composer John Woolrich, each given its own name, so far including Badinerie, Villanesca, Débricollage, Scamander and Another Journey Calls. Following the premiere of Badinerie at MoMA in New York in July 2018 by the young Ansonia Quartet, others will be heard in the UK from autumn 2018 across two seasons. Performances are presented by a number of brilliant Quartets, young and established, beginning with the Benyounes Quartet in October 2018, continuing with the Tesla Quartet from the US, the Callino Quartet, the Quatuor Bozzini from Montreal, and with others to follow. Involving a number of festivals and venues across the country with specially-devised programmes for each, some curated by the composer, each performance will have a flavour of its own, some including talks and Insights with the composer and performers, others including workshop opportunities for student composers.
The University of Birmingham hosts three concerts across 2018/19: first, the Benyounes in October; then the Quatuor Bozzini visits in March 2019 as part of The University of Birmingham’s Arts & Science Week with an Insight event touching on some fascinating research into ‘music and the brain’, and a student composition workshop; finally the Callino Quartet in May 2019 including a piece by a young composer selected from the Quatuor Bozzini’s workshop.
‘….a thoroughly captivating musical journey…’ nationalsawdust.org on Badinerie, July 2018, MoMA, New York
This year we are delighted to be celebrating our 10th anniversary as the Benyounes Quartet!
In 2007 we began playing together as students at the Royal Northern College of Music when the RNCM’s annual Chamber Festival (renowned for laying down a challenge!) saw us plunge in at the deep end with Tchaikovsky’s monumental String Quartet no.2! We launched into rehearsals with enthusiasm, good humour (and extra large packets of chocolate biscuits), rehearsing late into the night and becoming firm friends. The rest, as they say, is history…
Our first performance at the 2007 RNCM Chamber Festival of Tchaikovsky String Quartet no.2 is a memory that we hold fondly.
We are looking forward to revisiting Tchaikovsky’s wonderfully rich quartet in the forthcoming season, 10 years on…!
We’re delighted to announce that we have taken over the artistic directorship of Alfriston Summer Music. This festival has been running for 10 years in the incredibly picturesque village of Alfriston in East Sussex. The dates this year are 26th – 31st July, for more details of the line up please visit the website www.alfristonsummermusic.co.uk
We’re looking forward to our Bangor Residency 2016 in April, our first performance in the exciting new venue ‘Pontio’ will be a themed concert based around how folk music has inspired classical composers. On the 28th the concert will feature the final works of three of the greatest chamber music composers – Haydn, Beethoven and Schubert.
Last week we had our last performance of the year for Hampstead Garden Suburb Society where we were delighted to play Hugh Wood String Quartet no.3 in the presence of the composer! Thank you to all who have supported us this year, we’re looking forward to an exciting 2016 which includes becoming Artistic Directors of Alfriston Summer Music and performing two world premieres by Simon Bainbridge and Paul Ruders.