Astaria String Quartet
About Astaria String Quartet
Quartet in Residence at Huntingdon Hall Worcester Selected Artists - Making Music Concert Promoter’s Network 2017 / 2018 Inspirational and innovative, the Astaria String Quartet continues to explore not only less well known works for string quartet, but also aspects of audience development with their exciting new programme ‘An Evening of Requests’ and the commissioning of new music by local composers. They were awarded an ‘Arts4All’ Grant from the National Lottery to study with the distinguished chamber musician Gábor Takács-Nagy in Geneva and were also awarded a bursary to attend the prestigious ‘International Musicians Seminar Prussia Cove’. They have recorded their first album, ‘Fiesta', a celebration of Spanish and Latin American music, which includes compositions by Turina, Villa-Lobos and a first recording of the ‘Tango Ballet’ by Piazzolla for string quartet. Most recently they have also recorded music by Clement Jewitt, which includes compositions for voice and string quartet featuring Wendy Nieper, called ‘The coming of Light’ and two quartets by Helen Ottaway - String Quartet No.1 and No.2 ('Rain'). Their busy touring schedule has seen the Astaria String Quartet performing throughout the UK, including recitals across Scotland for Enterprise Music Scotland and the ‘Argyll and Bute Concert Tours’, in Devon for Beaford Arts and in Shropshire for ‘Arts Alive’. They were first Selected Artists for the Making Music Concert Promoter’s Network during the 2013 / 2014 Season. They were invited to present a recital at the BCU Birmingham Conservatoire as part of the ‘Salute to Midlands Composers’ Series. This included the rarely performed ‘String Quartet in A’ by Edgar Bainton, ‘On Wenlock Edge’ by Ralph Vaughan Williams with Julian Pike and Edward Elgar’s Piano Quintet, with Robert Markham. The Astaria String Quartets commitment to education and music in the community is reflected through coaching, master-classes, workshops and performances in both primary and secondary school settings as well as hospices and Camphill Communities. They particularly enjoy creating musical stories with a narrator for their annual Family and Christmas shows. Both the 'Snowman' and the 'Nutcracker' amongst others, have featured at these events. They continue to develop their festival ‘Chamber Music at Worcester’, which aims to create a vibrant, accessible and enjoyable environment, where people of all ages can interact with chamber music concerts and related events.
but in Schubert's 'Death and the Maiden' they reached the heights of quartet playing, sailing into the music as though it were written for them, and playing as one. Every light and depth in this amazing work was brought forward with an assured togetherness which was a joy to watch as well as to listen to; it was in the variations especially, with the first violin soaring deftly and rhythmically above the sonorous and rock-solid lower strings, that the feeling of ensemble was almost palpable and breathtaking. A wonderful evening's music indeed...'