Benyounes String Quartet

Zara Benyounes – Violin

Emily Holland – Violin

Sara Roberts – Viola

Kim Vaughan – Cello

Saturday 16th March 2019 at 7.30pm

Haydn: String Quartet Opus 76 No.1 in G
ebussy: String Quartet Opus 10 in G minor
Beethoven: String Quartet Opus 18 No.6 in B flat

Currently celebrating its 10th anniversary, the Benyounes Quartet has forged a reputation for fresh, vivid performances and interpretations of refinement and integrity. Recipients of the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Julius Isserlis Scholarship, the quartet’s international accolades include 2nd prize at both the 2014 Orlando International String Quartet Competition and the International Sandor Vegh String Quartet Competition in Budapest.

The Benyounes Quartet has established a presence at major venues including Vienna Konzerthaus, Wigmore Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room and Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall and at festivals such as Budapest Spring, Quatuors a Bordeaux, Verbier, Aix-en-Provence, Aldeburgh and West Cork Chamber Music. The quartet has had the pleasure to play chamber music with internationally renowned artists including Julian Bliss, Philip Higham, Jeremy Young, Navarra quartet, Gareth Hulse, Ben Johnson and Philippe Bernold. Since 2015 the Benyounes have taken over the Artistic Directorship of Alfriston Summer Music, a highly successful festival that is in its 13th year, set in the heart of the South Downs.

Outreach and education work have always been important to the quartet and they have become known for their unique workshops and communication skills with young people. The quartet is regularly engaged in various cross-art projects, most notably with Shobana Jeyasingh Dance and with the award winning jazz group ‘Empirical’, with whom they collaborated in the London Jazz Festival and on the group’s 2013 album, ‘Tabula Rasa’. In 2012 the quartet founded Quercus Ensemble, a mixed chamber ensemble based in Northern Ireland. They are currently involved in the ground-breaking Inclusive Creativity project supported by the Gulbenkian and PRS Foundation which has resulted in a tour of a new work for string quartet and Acoustronic, a group of young disabled musicians using new music technology.

The quartet has an ongoing commitment to new music and to works by neglected women composers of the past.

Throughout their career they have championed contemporary works by both established and emerging composers and, in recent years, have premiered new works by Philip Cashian, Simon Bainbridge and Poul Ruders. In the 2018/19 season they are thrilled to be working closely with esteemed British composer John Woolrich on a new project ‘Four to One’.

Formed at the Royal Northern College of Music, the Benyounes Quartet subsequently studied with Professor Gabor Takacs–Nagy at the Haute École de Musique in Geneva. They have also worked closely with Peter Cropper, Quatuor Ebène, Eberhard Feltz, Andràs Keller and David Waterman, at centres such as Pro Quartet, Aldeburgh and IMS Prussia Cove. The quartet held the Richard Carne Junior Fellowship at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance (2011-13) and is currently resident at Bangor University.

Their debut recording of Mozart Piano Concertos with pianist Jeremy Young was released on Meridian Records to critical acclaim. They featured on Champs Hill Records complete works for string quartet by Mendelssohn (BBC Magazine’s critics choice 2014) and their forthcoming disc for Champs Hill will be released Summer 2018.