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University of Cambridge
Andrew Watkinson & Ralph de Souza Violins
Garfield Jackson Viola • David Waterman Cello
at West Road Concert Hall, 11 West Road, Cambridge CB3 9DP

The ENDELLION STRING QUARTET, ‘Resident Quartet’ at the University of Cambridge, will be giving four concerts between February and May 2017 West Road Concert Hall, 11 West Road, Cambridge CB3 9DP.


Concert details as follow:


HAYDN String Quartet Op.64 No.4 in G

MENDELSSOHN String Quartet Op.44 No.2 in E minor

SIBELIUS String Quartet Op.56 in D minor (‘Voces Intimae’)

Another brilliant Haydn from a less well known set. (What an incredible abundance of riches Haydn’s sets of six quartets contain!) Mendelssohn’s Op.44 No.2 is a more melodic and soulful work than the other two in the set but still contains a typically brilliant Mendelssohnian scherzo. And we are playing the Sibelius ‘Voces Intimae’ for the second time in three seasons by popular demand!


HAYDN String Quartet Op.54 No.3 in E

MENDELSSOHN String Quartet Op.80 in F minor

BRAHMS String Quartet No.2 in A minor

Mendelssohn’s stormy, tragic Op.80 (written soon after the death of his beloved sister Fanny) is sandwiched between the bright tunefulness of Haydn’s only mature quartet in E major and the intense lyricism of the Brahms A minor.


BEETHOVEN String Quartet Op.18 No.4 in C minor

JANACEK String Quartet No.2 (‘Intimate Letters’)

ARENSKY String Quartet No.2 for Violin, Viola and Two Cellos in A minor Op.35

Laura van der Heijden (2012 Winner of the ‘BBC Young Musician of the Year’ Competition)   Guest Cellist

Unusually, in the fourth of Beethoven’s Op.18 quartets the slow movement (or perhaps less fast one in this case!) is the least dramatic and intense. But there are those qualities aplenty in the rest of the piece! And Janáček’s second quartet ‘Intimate Letters’ could hardly be more of a frenzied outpouring!  We are delighted that Laura van der Heijden can join us for Arensky’s moving tribute to Tchaikovsky.


HAYDN String Quartet Op.54 No.2 in C

MOZART String Quartet K.575 in D

SCHUBERT String Quintet in C (D.956, Op. posth. 163) (‘Cello Quintet’)

Guy Johnston   Guest Cellist

The last concert of the series starts with Haydn’s extraordinary Op.54 No.2, with its amazing written out improvisation in the Adagio, the agonising cries of anguish in the Trio and the slow (mostly!) finale. We follow that with Mozart’s radiantly tender late D major quartet and finish the season on a high note with the miraculous Schubert quintet for two cellos, in which we shall be joined by our dear friend Guy Johnston.

All concerts begin at 7.30 p.m. and end at approximately 9.30 p.m.

The Endellion String Quartet is most grateful to Lark Insurance

for their sponsorship of these concerts.

Attached is an A5 colour sheet with full information about all the remaining concerts in the Series.

‘Sets the audience ablaze’ – Daily Telegraph

‘Captivates concertgoers with a remarkable rapport, playing to each other with a sense almost of discovery, communicating to the audience on a level of unusual intimacy’ – Guardian

‘There’s always a feeling when listening to the Endellion Quartet that you’re listening to the Urtext method of quartet playing. Maybe 35 years of playing together has brought a uniformity of thought and instinct to them as a group that allows them to play as a single entity’ – Gramophone Magazine

‘A beautifully wrought set of Britten’s quartets … The Endellion is a seasoned ensemble with a clear, holistic vision … dazzling performance of the Divertimenti … compelling tension, depth and quietude … boyish wit … thrillingly virtuosic … intensely sweet tone … fantastically resonant … penetrating vigour … enormously moving’ – ‘Music Chamber Choice’, BBC Music Magazine

‘Almost 30 years after their landmark recordings for EMI, the Endellions revisit the three [Britten] quartets bringing greater depth, vigour and freshness. The youthful bite of the first, the operatic anguish and Purcellian warmth of the second, the other-worldly gravity of the third;  all captured with the tangible focus and technical command that comes with life-long championship of these works.  Beautiful recorded sound.’ – ‘Editor’s Choice’, Classical Music Magazine

‘The group’s contact with Britten’s idiom is unassailable … blended tone of the playing, a fondness for darker colourings and a responsiveness to a wide range of inventive and rapidly varying textures … the players’ agility and extroversion … the Andante calmo of No.1 is one of the most affecting one can expect to hear, with a real sense of communal breathing that allows a natural bloom and an expressive voice that lies halfway between desolation and consolation’ – The Strad


Tickets: £27, £25 (OAP), £13 (Registered Disabled). £6 (Students, Under 16s)

[HALF PRICE tickets (standard or OAP) for restricted view seats.]

Group discount: 20% off for groups of 10+ (plus free programmes for each group member)

Box Office tel: 01223 357851

Book online:


Andrew Watkinson & Ralph de Souza Violin   Garfield Jackson Viola   David Waterman Cello

‘Quartet in Residence’, University of Cambridge

The Endellion String Quartet is renowned as one of the finest quartets in the world. Three of its original founding members continue to play in the quartet, now in its 38th season. Ralph de Souza joined them thirty years ago. In 2013, Gramophone stated ‘There’s always a feeling when listening to the Endellion Quartet that you’re listening to the Urtext method of quartet playing. Maybe 35 years of playing together has brought to them as a group a uniformity of thought and instinct that allows them to play as a single entity.’

In Britain, the Endellion has appeared at nearly all of the major series and festivals and has broadcast many times on BBC radio and television. It has appeared at the Proms and been featured in the week-long programmes ‘Artist of the Week’ and ‘Artists in Focus’. Its presence in London has been marked for many years by an annual series at Wigmore Hall and also by appearances at the Queen Elizabeth Hall where the quartet members were Artistic Directors of several ‘Quartet Plus’ series. The Endellion also continues its prestigious Residency at Cambridge University which began in 1991, gives a regular Spring series at The Venue, Leeds and in 2016, began a new series at Balliol College, Oxford. It has worked with guest artists including members of the former Amadeus Quartet, Sir Thomas Allen, Joshua Bell, Michael Collins, Benjamin Grosvenor, Marc-André Hamelin, Stephen Hough, Steven Isserlis, Mitsuko Uchida and Tabea Zimmermann.

The quartet’s international schedule includes regular tours of North and South America and concerts in Australasia, the Far East, Middle East, South Africa and Western Europe. Everywhere, the Endellion String Quartet ‘sets the audience ablaze’ (Daily Telegraph) and ‘captivates concertgoers with a remarkable rapport, playing to each other with a sense almost of discovery, communicating to the audience on a level of unusual intimacy’. (Guardian)

After the Endellion performed a Beethoven Cycle at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, Strad Magazine marvelled over ‘the trust and risk-taking that comes from years of playing together — [it] was a true delight’. Other recent and future highlights include appearances at Carnegie Hall in New York, Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, Zentrum Paul Klee in Bern, International Festival of Music in Tarragona, Montreal’s Pollack Hall, a tour of Mexico including a performance at the Festival Internacional Cervantino, a fortnight of concerts and teaching in China and Taiwan, and the Endellion’s débuts in Singapore and in Tchaikovsky Hall, Moscow.

The quartet has also undertaken three short-term residencies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the USA and coached for MISQA in Montreal. From 2001 to 2010 it was Associate Quartet of the RNCM; and 2011 saw the start of its continuing position as Visiting Quartet in Association with the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

Released by Warner Classics in its 30th year, the Endellion’s recordings of the complete Beethoven quartets and viola quintets (supported by The Stradivari Trust) included rarely heard works, movements, studies, and fragments for quartet and quintet, as well as Beethoven’s complete early version of Op.18 No.1 and his remarkable quartet arrangement of his Piano Sonata Op.14 No.1. The texts used in these recordings were prepared by the notable Beethoven scholar and editor, Jonathan Del Mar, in collaboration with the quartet. The Observer commented ‘ … these superb musicians respond to the dark undertow so characteristic of Beethoven’s quartets as much as the gentle lyricism which invariably breaks through.’ The Endellion has also recorded works by Haydn, Mozart, Schubert, Dvořák, Smetana, Tchaikovsky, Bartók, Walton, Amy Beach, Barber, Foulds, Martinů, Bridge, Britten and Adès. The quartet’s Haydn recording for Warner Classics was called ‘extraordinary’ by International Record Review and its Britten disc was described as ‘enormously moving’ (BBC Music Magazine, 2014) and ‘quartet playing at the top level’ (Luister).

The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians concludes that ‘The Endellion is arguably the finest quartet in Britain, playing with poise, true intonation, excellent balance and a beautiful tone.’

The quartet won the Royal Philharmonic Society Award for Best Chamber Ensemble in 1996.

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