DSQ. Photo: Britten Pears (detail) View full image

Doric String Quartet

DOQ . Photo: Camilla Greenwell

“Luminous beauty of sound…”

The Daily Telegraph, 11 June 2022

The Doric String Quartet brings an elegance and intimacy both to the Classical canon and new music and as they go into their 25th anniversary this season, the players continue to deepen their interpretations and win fans across the world. Having performed cycles of Haydn, Mendelssohn, Britten and Bartók at famous venues around the world, including Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, Vienna Konzerthaus and Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie, this season they turn their attention to Beethoven, embarking on a recording project for Chandos, with the first instalment out this year, and culminating in 2026–27 with the 200th anniversary of the composer’s death.

Their intellectual rigour has led them to use specially made original-style bows for performing Classical repertoire from Haydn to Mendelssohn, and while they are known for their refined performances of this repertoire, they are also committed to new music, performing works by composers such as Peter Maxwell Davies and Donnacha Dennehy. In 2019 they gave the world premiere of Brett Dean’s String Quartet no.3, commissioned for them by Musica Viva Australia, Carnegie Hall, Edinburgh Festival, Berlin Konzerthaus, Amsterdam String Quartet Biennale and West Cork Chamber Music Festival.

The Doric String Quartet’s curiosity and flexibility are represented by a discography of more than 20 recordings for Chandos, with whom they have recorded exclusively since 2010, ranging from Purcell to John Adams. They are regular visitors at Snape Maltings and London’s Wigmore Hall, where they were the first group to perform to a live audience after lockdown. They make an annual tour of the US and visit Japan every other year, with venues including Suntory Hall.

They often perform repertoire for string quartet and orchestra, including Elgar’s Introduction and Allegro, and were invited to give the Austrian premiere of John Adams’ Absolute Jest for String Quartet and Orchestra at the Vienna Konzerthaus, with Adams conducting. They also gave the Dutch premiere with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic at the Concertgebouw under Markus Stenz, and have performed the piece with the BBC Scottish Symphony and BBC Symphony Orchestras. Their recording with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Peter Oundjian, released on Chandos in 2018, was named Recording of the Month in BBC Music Magazine and praised for its ‘sumptuous sweetness and laser-like clarity’.

As a group, they enjoy working with other musicians, such as Jonathan Bass, Elisabeth Leonskaja, Alina Ibragimova, Alexander Melnikov. They recently toured the US alongside Benjamin Grosvenor, worked with Cuarteto Quiroga and recorded Mendelssohn String Quintets with Timothy Ridout. This season they work with Tabea Zimmerman, Liza Ferschtman and Julius Drake.

Having themselves benefitted from coaching by groups such as the Hagen, Alban Berg, Artemis and LaSalle quartets, the group is keen to support young musicians and has been Teaching Quartet in Association at the Royal Academy of Music since 2015 and Artistic Directors of the Mendelssohn on Mull Festival since 2018.

Alex Redington plays on a violin made by Paulo Castello c.1770, Ying Xue on a violin by Giovanni Gabrielli from 1754, Hélène Clément plays a viola by Francesco Giussani from 1843, previously owned by Frank Bridge and Benjamin Britten and on generous loan from Britten-Pears Arts, and John Myerscough performs on a cello made by the Brothers Amati in 1587.

Further details

Recordings The quartet has recorded exclusively for Chandos since 2010, with releases including of Korngold, Haydn Quartets opp.20, 33, 64 and 76, Walton, Britten and Mozart. In 2019 they recorded the complete Britten quartets at Snape Maltings Concert Hall and this season they release the first album of their Beethoven cycle, including op.18 no.1, op.59 no.1, op.95 and op.127.

Festivals Recent visits include to Schwarzenberg Schubertiade, Grafenegg, Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Schwetzingen, Edinburgh, Aldeburgh, West Cork, Cheltenham, Delft and Risør Festivals.

Collaborations Regular collaborations include with Ian Bostridge, Mark Padmore, Alexander Melnikov, Pieter Wispelwey, Jonathan Biss, Chen Halevi, Elizabeth Leonskaja, Benjamin Grosvenor, Alina Ibragimova and Cédric Tiberghien.

Awards Awards include first prize at the 2008 Osaka International Chamber Music Competition.

2024/2025 Season Programmes

6 publicity photos