Over the next year we will perform the complete cycle of Bartok’s string quartets three times – as part of the Ryedale Festival in Yorkshire (19-22 July 2015), at Middlebury College in Vermont, USA (14, 21 January and 4 February 2016) and finally at Wigmore Hall in an two immersive evening concerts (11 and 13 May 2016).
In the beginning of our quartet’s life we spent an unforgettable week in Madrid working on the third quartet, which is his most condensed and in some ways the most exciting to perform. We realised that we all responded strongly to the challenges presented by the music.
The six quartets span the entirety of Bartok’s career and one can hear how radically his style changed.
From the tenderness and youthful optimism of the first quartet to the desolation and bitter satire of the sixth, Bartok was always responding to the changing world around him.