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Dates

Thu 24 Mar, 8pm

Tickets

€25/22

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ConTempo Quartet

with Christopher Marwood


Programme:
HAYDN – String Quartet in D major Op.76/5
JENNIFER WALSHE – ‘Minard’
SCHUBERT - String Quintet in C major
 
A classic programme from Ireland’s longest established quartet. Haydn’s D major quartet is full of miracles, particularly its bewitching slow movement and sparkling finale. Jennifer Walshe’s recent appointment as professor of composition at Oxford University confirms her status as one of Ireland’s most acclaimed and original composers. ‘Minard” is from 2003 and is scored for string quartet, two boomboxes, and a torch. Schubert’s monumental ‘cello quintet’ is perhaps the greatest of chamber music’s masterpieces
 
The Contempo Quartet is the resident quartet of the Galway Music Residency and was RTE’s Resident Quartet from 2014 until 2019. Praised as a “fabulous foursome” (Irish Independent) and noted for performances which are “exceptional” (The Strad) and “full of imaginative daring” (The Irish Times), RTÉ ConTempo Quartet has forged a unique place in Irish musical life.
 
Since its formation in Bucharest in 1995, the quartet has performed more than 1,800 concerts world-wide in 46 countries, including prestigious venues such as Wigmore Hall; Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris; St Martin-in-the-Fields; Berliner Philharmonie; Palazzo del Quirinale, Rome; Carnegie Hall and the Opera House Tel-Aviv. ConTempo have had the honour to meet and play in front of world personalities such as Prince Charles, Nelson Mandela, Pope John Paul II, EU Ministers, Michael D. Higgins, Hollywood stars and Nobel Prize winners. The ensemble has won a record of 14 international prizes (including Munich, Rome, Berlin, Prague and London) and worked alongside artists of the highest calibre including Emma Johnson, Yuko Inoue, Hugh Tinney, Chen Zimbalista, Jérôme Pernoo, Peter Donohue and Martin Roscoe. Collaborations with other distinguished quartets have also been a feature, such as the Amadeus, Arditti, Vanbrugh, Casals and Endellion.
 
Christopher Marwood, cello
Christopher Marwood graduated from Cambridge University in 1983 and went on to study at London’s Royal Academy of Music and Conservatorium Maastricht. His cello teachers included Florence Hooton, David Strange, Ralph Kirshbaum, William Pleeth and Radu Aldulescu. His chamber music mentor for many years was Emmanuel Hurwitz.
 
As cellist of the Vanbrugh Quartet for 32 years, Christopher Marwood enjoyed a busy career performing throughout Ireland and touring worldwide. The Quartet released over thirty CDs encompassing a wide range of repertoire and including the complete Beethoven quartets (“fine enough to bear comparison with any set” Fanfare, USA). They built up a considerable repertoire including at least sixty Irish works, many of them commissions or premieres. The Quartet’s contribution to music in Ireland was formally recognized in 2016 when they were presented with the National Concert Hall’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
 
Christopher co-founded the West Cork Chamber Music Festival in 1996 and remains director of the Festival’s masterclass programme. He is also director of the National String Quartet Foundation which curates and sponsors some fifty concerts nationwide each year, supporting Irish musicians and concert promoters. He teaches at CIT Cork School of Music and at the Royal Irish Academy of Music and continues to perform both as soloist and as chamber musician.  His recent CD of works by Boris Tchaikovsky was nominated for the 2019 International Classical Music Awards