Fresh, melodious and delightful – it is easy to see why in his lifetime Beethoven’s Septet was probably his most successful piece. You might imagine that having such a huge bestseller on his hands would bring a smile to his famously frowny face. Not so: it irked him that for decades, people who didn’t like his latest music would refer longingly back to it. No matter! It makes wonderful music for a leisurely Sunday afternoon, especially when paired with Mozart’s first string quintet. For a 17-year old to have created something as sublime as its slow movement is simply awe-inspiring.
Benjamin Marquise Gilmore grew up in England and studied with Natalia Boyarskaya at the Yehudi Menuhin School and Pavel Vernikov at the Vienna Conservatory, as well as with Julian Rachlin, Miriam Fried, and members of the Artis quartet and the Altenberg trio.
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Marcus is a member of the Fitzwilliam String Quartet, and has been co-leader of the Britten Sinfonia since 2013. He has guest led the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Aurora Orchestra and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, and played as Principal 2nd violin for Sir John Eliot Gardiner's Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique.
Jane Atkins is one of Britain’s most diverse violists with performances encompassing multiple genres including Baroque to Contemporary music, Dance and Jazz. At the age of six Jane was awarded a scholarship to the Yehudi Menuhin School. She completed her studies with David Takeno at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama where she won the LPO/ Pioneer Young Soloist of the Year and gained second prize in the Lionel Tertis competition.
Felix is originally from Helensburgh and his earliest musical experience was playing the violin with local fiddle bands. He went on to attend the RSAMD Junior School and St. Mary’s Music School in Edinburgh, studying the viola with James Durrant. He continued his studies at the Royal Academy of Music in London with John White, Martin Outram and Katherine McGillivray. While at the Royal Academy he was awarded the Theodore Holland Viola Prize and the John Ireland, Vivian Dunn and Herbert Craxton Prizes for Chamber Music.
Born in Edinburgh, Philip studied with Ruth Beauchamp at St Mary's Music School and subsequently at the RNCM with Emma Ferrand and Ralph Kirshbaum. He also enjoyed mentoring from Steven Isserlis. In 2008 he became the first UK cellist to win 1st Prize in the Bach Leipzig competition, and followed it with major prizes in 2009 Lutoslawski Competitions, and the 2010 Grand Prix Emmanuel Feuermann in Berlin. He was selected for representation by Young Classical Artist Trust, between 2009 and 2014.
Born in Novosibirsk, Russia, Nikita attended the Karaganda Special Music School in Kazakhstan at the age of 7 where he studied double bass with Pavel Bobrovskiy. He then studied at the Rimskiy-Korsakov Conservatoire in St Petersburg under the teaching of Alexandr Shilo.
William Stafford began his musical studies at Manchester University and the Royal Northern College of Music. After receiving the RNCM’s Gold Medal in 2008, the college’s highest and most prestigious award for performance, he went on to study at the Royal College of Music, London, where he graduated with distinction. Stafford has appeared as Guest Principal Clarinet with the London Symphony Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, English National Opera, BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Northern Sinfonia and Ulster Orchestra.