The Guastalla Quartet is a chamber music group dedicated to the exploration of the string quartet repertoire, from its roots to as-of-yet unwritten works. Formed in 2013, The Guastalla Quartet brings together Swiss, German and English musicians from three of the finest conservatoires in Europe. Boasting an impressive wealth of experience, between them they have: performed at world-famous venues including the Royal Albert Hall, Wigmore Hall, Konzerthaus Berlin, Teatro Teresa Carreño (Caracas), Katara Opera House and the National Concert Hall of Taiwan; recorded at major studios including Abbey Road Studios, Konk Studios, Air Edel and Paul Epworth’s studio; been mentored by internationally renowned artists such as the Chilingirian Quartet, Heime Müller, Ivry Gitlis, the Coull Quartet and Alina Ibragimova. After a sell-out début concert with Steve Reich’s Different Trains at the acclaimed series From The Soundhouse, they returned to the concert platform to give one of the first performances of Jonathan Harvey’s String Quartet No. 4, with electronics maestro Michael Oliva. 2014 proved fruitful with studio recordings of Beethoven, Shostakovich, Milhaud and Dvořák, a mini-tour of Switzerland and Germany funded by supporters of the group, a return to the From The Soundhouse series with Saariaho’s Nymphea, and a residency at Norwich Chamber Music Festival. Recently, the quartet was invited to collaborate with dancers Verena Schneider and Gordon Raeburn on a new and immersive project called Spun Through Shadows. Conceptualized and created by composer Cameron Michael Graham, choreographer Thea Stanton and sound/lighting designer Oliver Doyle, performances took place from December to March culminating in a double-bill at The Royal Academy of Arts. This summer, The Guastalla Quartet has started a collaboration with The Kate Williams Trio, called 'Four Plus Three'. ‘This is a new collaboration between acclaimed jazz pianist/composer Kate Williams and The Guastalla Quartet. Kate first met violinists John Garner and Marie Schreer whilst working on ‘Bill Evans And The Impressionists’ at the 2014 Guildhall Jazz Festival. The programme featured works by piano legend Bill Evans which Williams arranged for her jazz trio and full orchestra. The repertoire for this new project includes material by Bill Evans, originals by Williams, as well as some jazz standards. The style of writing and arranging exploits the varied sound pallet of both string quartet and jazz trio, creating contrasts between the improvised and the notated, and between sustained textures and strong grooves. As with her previous arranging ventures, Kate is seeking a fully integrated approach (this is definitely not a jazz trio with string accompaniment!), as this line-up provides a wealth of interesting instrumental sonorities.‘ The Guastalla Quartet is also available for weddings and functions. To see their available repertoire please click on 'Repertoire' in the menu.
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