Violinist Sara Wolstenholme is on maternity leave and must regretfully withdraw from this performance. Natalie Klouda will perform in her place.
·· Oliver Heath, Violin
·· Sara Wolstenholme, Violin
·· Gary Pomeroy, Viola
·· Christopher Murray, Cello
Natalie Klouda, Violin
HAYDN String Quartet in D Major, Op. 20, No. 4
BRITTEN String Quartet No. 1 in D Major
BEETHOVEN String Quartet in C Major, Op. 59, No. 3, "Razumovsky"
At a Glance
HAYDN String Quartet in D Major, Op. 20, No. 4
Haydn’s six Op. 20 string quartets dazzled audiences in the 1770s with their prodigal display of formal and melodic invention. In making the four players more or less equal partners, Haydn distanced himself from the top-heavy part writing that characterized the instrumental chamber music of the rococo period. The Hungarian-flavored finale of the D-Major Quartet is a genuine tour de force.
BRITTEN String Quartet No. 1 in D Major, Op. 25
Composed in 1941 at the tail end of his three-year sojourn in the US and Canada, Britten’s first mature string quartet coincided with his discovery of the poetry of George Crabbe, which would bear fruit four years later in his operatic tragedy Peter Grimes. Although the composer would be increasingly preoccupied with opera over the next three decades, he found time to write two more quartets.
BEETHOVEN String Quartet in C Major, Op. 59, No. 3, “Razumovsky”
The three great quartets that Beethoven composed in 1806 for the Russian Count Andrey Razumovsky marked a turning point both in his stylistic development and in the evolution of the string quartet. They exerted a seminal influence on Schumann, Mendelssohn, Brahms, and many other composers. The C-Major Quartet holds listeners on the edges of their seats from its darkly mysterious choral introduction to its sparkling fugal finale.
The dynamic and charismatic Heath Quartet is one of the most exciting British chamber ensembles of the moment, steadily building a reputation for its upbeat and integrated sound. The quartet’s recording of Sir Michael Tippett’s string quartets on the Wigmore Hall Live label received widespread acclaim and won the 2016 Gramophone Chamber Award. A subsequent release on Harmonia Mundi of Tchaikovsky’s First and Third quartets was selected as “Disc of the Week” by both The Sunday Times and BBC Radio 3. The quartet’s complete Bartók cycle (recorded live at Wigmore Hall) was released by Harmonia Mundi in June 2017.
In 2012, the Heath Quartet became the first ensemble in 15 years to win the Royal Philharmonic Society’s prestigious Young Artists Award. Formed in 2002 at the Royal Northern College of Music, the quartet was selected for representation by the Young Classical Artists Trust, awarded a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Special Ensemble Scholarship, and, in 2012, won the ensemble prize at the Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, where the musicians are now regular invitees.
The 2018–2019 season includes appearances at The Mansion at Strathmore (Maryland) and the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, performing a rich program of works by Tippett and Britten, plus the US premiere of Scottish composer Helen Grime’s String Quartet; a program of Haydn, Britten, and Beethoven with the Buffalo Chamber Music Society; and a return appearance at Toronto’s Mooredale Concerts. The Heath’s overseas engagements cover venues throughout Great Britain, including Wigmore Hall.
Champions of contemporary music, the Heath Quartet has worked with numerous leading composers, including Hans Abrahamsen, Louis Andriessen, Brett Dean, Anthony Gilbert, Sofia Gubaidulina, Steven Mackey, and John Musto. Deeply committed to education and outreach, the musicians are professors of chamber music at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where they each hold instrumental teaching posts on the faculty.
Natalie Klouda is a British violinist and composer. She received her early training at the Yehudi Menuhin School. She was greatly influenced by Menuhin; a project to write new music for his 80th birthday engaged her passion for chamber music performance and composition.
As a chamber musician, Ms. Klouda has performed at major venues across Europe, including the Purcell Room, Wigmore Hall, Royal Concertgebouw, Sony Auditorium Madrid, and Queen Elizabeth Hall. She has recorded for the Resonus Classics label. Ms. Klouda was a founding member of the award-winning Finzi Quartet, which received the Wiener Klassik Preis for its Haydn interpretations, first prize at the 2010 Royal Over-Seas League Annual Music Competition, and an award from the Swiss Global Artistic Foundation. Ms. Klouda’s 2018–2019 season has included performances with the Ossian Ensemble, Solstice String Quartet, Ensemble 360, Jigsaw Players, and the Heath Quartet on its American tour.
As a composer, Ms. Klouda’s most recent recording is her Piano Trio No. 1, “Fantasy Triptych.” Commissioned and performed by the Monte Piano Trio for the GENUIN label in 2017, it has been aired on radio stations in Finland, Germany, Switzerland, and the US. Trio Isimsiz performs the work this season across the UK and Germany.
Ms. Klouda is a founder of the Highgate International Chamber Music Festival and has been co-artistic director since its inaugural year in 2012.