Introducing the Doric Quartet

Firmly established as one of the leading quartets of its generation, the Doric String Quartet receives enthusiastic responses from audiences and critics across the globe. With repertoire ranging from Haydn through to Bartok, Ades and Brett Dean, the Quartet’s schedule takes them to the leading concert halls around the world including Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Vienna Konzerthaus, Berlin Konzerthaus, Hamburg Elbphilharmonie, Louvre, Carnegie Hall and Kioi Hall Tokyo as well as regular performances at Wigmore Hall.

A recent highlight of the Quartet’s programming has been Brett Dean’s String Quartet No 3. Given its world premiere in June 2019, “Hidden Agendas” was co-commissioned for the Doric by the Berlin Konzerthaus, Carnegie Hall, Amsterdam String Quartet Biennale, Edinburgh International Festival, Musica Viva Australia and the West Cork Chamber Music Festival.

With a curiosity for repertoire and setting, the Quartet was delighted to take on John Adams’ “Absolute Jest” for String Quartet and Orchestra. The Quartet was invited to give the Austrian premiere at the Vienna Konzerthaus with John Adams conducting, the Dutch premiere with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic at the Concertgebouw under Markus Stenz and performed the piece with the BBC Scottish Symphony and BBC Symphony Orchestras. Their recording of the piece 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 the “sumptuous sweetness and laser-like clarity” of its performance.

Alongside main season concerts the Quartet has a busy festival schedule and has performed at the Schwarzenberg Schubertiade, Grafenegg, Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Schwetzingen, Edinburgh, Aldeburgh, West Cork, Cheltenham, Delft, and Risør Festivals, collaborating with artists including Ian Bostridge, Mark Padmore, Alexander Melnikov, Pieter Wispelwey, Jonathan Biss, Chen Halevi, Elizabeth Leonskaja, Benjamin Grosvenor, Alina Ibragimova and Cédric Tiberghien.

Highlights of the current season include returns to Stockholm Concert Hall, Haydn String Quartet Festival and Festspiele Mecklenburg Vorpommern with other tours taking the Quartet to Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark and Israel. The Doric will also perform John Adams’ Absolute Jest with the Philharmoniscshes Staastorchester Mainz as well as returning to the Wigmore Hall for performances including a two-concert cycle of the complete Bartok Quartets. The Quartet returns to the US for its annual tour, where they will revisit their partnership with Jonathan Biss for performances including Philadelphia, Boston and Dallas. In Europe, collaborations include performances in Germany and the Netherlands with Cuarteto Quiroga as well as rescheduled performances with Alina Ibragimova and Cedric Tiberghien at the Vienna Konzerthaus and Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie.

Since 2010 the Doric Quartet has recorded exclusively for Chandos Records, with their releases covering repertoire ranging from Schumann through to Korngold and Walton as well as works with orchestra including Elgar’s Introduction and Allegro and John Adams’ Absolute Jest. The Quartet’s most recent release of the Mozart Prussian Quartets was awarded Editor’s Choice in Gramophone, as well as being praised in BBC Music Magazine for its “vivid and insightful interpretations”. 2019 saw the release of the Doric’s benchmark recording of the complete Britten String Quartets. Recorded at Snape Maltings Concert Hall in conjunction with a series of performances at the Britten Weekend celebrations, the disc was Album of the Week in The Sunday Times, Editor’s Choice in Gramophone and saw the Doric praised in BBC Music Magazine for its “extraordinary affinity” with Britten’s music. The Quartet’s ongoing commitment to Haydn has so far seen them record the complete Opus 20, Opus 76, Opus 64 and Opus 33 Quartets with the recordings attracting acclaim including Editor’s Choice in Gramophone, Choc du Mois in Classica Magazine and a shortlisting for a Gramophone Award. Future recording plans including quartets by Mendelssohn, Grieg and Sibelius.

Formed in 1998 the Doric String Quartet won first prize at the 2008 Osaka International Chamber Music Competition and 2nd prize at the Premio Paolo Borciani International String Quartet Competition. In 2015 the Quartet was appointed as Teaching Quartet in Association at the Royal Academy of Music in London and from 2018 the Quartet took over the Artistic Directorship of the Mendelssohn on Mull Festival, a position which sees them play a key role in implementing the Festival’s core mission of providing young chamber music professionals with a week of intensive mentoring, coaching and development.

The Quartet’s violist Hélène Clément plays a viola by Guissani from 1843, generously on loan from Britten-Pears Arts and previously owned by Frank Bridge and Benjamin Britten.

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