Dunster Festival is delighted to present the world-renowned and award winning Sacconi quartet in concert to close our inaugural festival, performing three of the quartet repertoire’s most stunning works:
Haydn String Quartet Opus 55 No. 2
Shostakovich String Quartet No. 8
Dvorak String Quartet Opus 106
The Sacconi quartet … bring something fresh and distinctive. (The Times)
The festival sensation, the young Sacconi Quartet completely bowled over a packed audience. The chemistry between these four young players is tangible and magical. (The Scotsman)
A quartet of genuine substance (The Daily Telegraph)
Time & Date:
7pm, Sunday 27 May 2018
Priory Church St. George, Church Street, Dunster, TA24 6SH
Sacconi Quartet (Ben Hancox, Hannah Dawson, Robin Ashwell and Cara Berridge)
£20 / £15 / £10
Two hours with interval
The award-winning Sacconi Quartet is recognised for its unanimous and compelling ensemble, consistently communicating with a fresh and imaginative approach. Performing with style and commitment, the Quartet is known throughout the world for its creativity and integrity of interpretation. Formed in 2001, its four founder members continue to demonstrate a shared passion for string quartet repertoire, infectiously reaching out to audiences with their energy and enthusiasm. The Quartet have enjoyed a highly successful international career, performing regularly throughout Europe, at London’s major venues, in recordings and on radio broadcasts. The Sacconi is Quartet in Association at the Royal College of Music.
The 2016/17 season saw a major collaboration with the Wihan Quartet, performing Enescu’s Octet alongside those by Shostakovich and Mendelssohn, and culminating in their debut at the Prague Spring Festival. They also completed a major UK tour with clarinettist Robert Plane, and performed throughout Radio 3’s Big Chamber Weekend in Hull alongside James Gilchrist, Anna Tilbrook, Andrew Berridge and Graham Mitchell. The Quartet continued its recording project of music by John McCabe, this time collaborating with Roderick Williams in Silver Nocturnes, and they also performed with Matthew Hunt, Simon Rowland-Jones, Jon Boden and many others.
2017 will see the release of three new CDs by the Sacconi Quartet. In Damascus, their CD of music by Jonathan Dove including In Damascus, commissioned by the Quartet, and featuring Mark Padmore and Charles Owen, has already hit the Classical Top Ten, and was chosen as Gramophone Magazine’s Recording of the Month: “This important release cannot be recommended too highly.” Later in 2017 will see the release of their complete recording of Graham Fitkin’s string quartets on Signum, and their CD of three of John McCabe’s quintets on NMC, featuring the composer on piano in The Woman by the Sea, horn player David Pyatt in the Horn Quintet written for him and the Sacconis, and Roderick Williams in Silver Nocturnes.
In 2017 the Sacconi Chamber Music Festival in Folkestone celebrated its tenth year with sell-out concerts and collaborations with Alasdair Beatson, Leon Bosch and Lavinia Meijer. It is now firmly established among the UK’s major chamber music festivals, and attracts audiences from far and near for its vibrant atmosphere and dynamic programming. 2018’s festival will see Graham Fitkin as composer in residence, and collaborations with the London Bridge Trio and others.
In Summer 2015 the quartet launched HEARTFELT, their most innovative project to date. A radical re-interpretation of Beethoven’s iconic String Quartet in A minor opus 132, HEARTFELT pushed the boundaries of chamber music through combining sound, light and touch, for a truly unique performance in which audience members connected with each performer’s heartbeat through holding robotic ‘hearts’. Developed in a unique collaboration with robotics designers Rusty Squid and lighting designer Ziggy Jacobs-Wyburn, and funded by Arts Council England, HEARTFELT received 4-star reviews from The Guardian and The Independent, and was described by the latter as “a powerful way to experience the visceral physicality of Beethoven’s profound thanksgiving”. www.heartfelt.org.uk
The name Sacconi Quartet comes from the outstanding twentieth-century Italian luthier and restorer Simone Sacconi, whose book The Secrets of Stradivari is considered an indispensable reference for violin makers. Ben Hancox plays a 1932 Sacconi violin and Robin Ashwell a 1934 Sacconi viola, both made in New York. Hannah Dawson plays a 1927 Sacconi violin made in Rome, and Cara Berridge plays a Nicolaus Gagliano cello from 1781. Ben, Hannah & Cara have all been generously loaned these instruments by the Royal Society of Musicians, a charity which helps musicians in need, for which they are extremely grateful. Robin is indebted to Ellen Solomon for the use of his viola.
View the Sacconi Quartet’s website here.