Artists · Ensembles · Doric String Quartet
"Subtle yet responsive readings of Haydn, Bartók and Schubert show why this ensemble has been so durable…this performance summed up the Doric String Quartet’s style of subtle lyricism and perfectly matching colour and phrasing…high-quality quartet playing."
Financial Times - Wigmore Hall, 1st January 2013
The Doric String Quartet has firmly established itself as the leading British string quartet of its generation, receiving enthusiastic responses from audiences and critics across the globe. Selected for representation by YCAT in 2006, the Quartet went on to win several prizes including 1st prize at the 2008 Osaka International Chamber Music Competition in Japan, 2nd prize at the Premio Paolo Borciani International String Quartet Competition in Italy and the Ensemble Prize at the Festspiele Mecklenburg- Vorpommern in Germany.
The Quartet performs in leading concert halls throughout Europe including Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Vienna Konzerthaus, Berlin Konzerthaus, Frankfurt Alte Oper, Hamburg Laeiszhalle and De Singel, and is a regular visitor to the Wigmore Hall. In 2010 the Quartet made its highly acclaimed American debut with recitals at the Frick Museum in New York and Library of Congress in Washington, and now returns for annual tours to North America. Alongside main season concerts the Quartet has a busy festival schedule and has performed at the Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, West Cork, Cheltenham, Delft, Grafenegg, Carinthischer Sommer, Incontri inTerra di Siena, Risor and Schwetzinger Festivals, collaborating with artists including Ian Bostridge, Philip Langridge, Mark Padmore, Alexander Melnikov, Daniel Müller-Schott, Andreas Haefliger, Chen Halevi, Elizabeth Leonskaja, Alina Ibragimova and Cédric Tiberghien. Another recent highlight has seen the Quartet take on John Adams’ Absolute Jest for String Quartet and Orchestra. The Doric have now performed the piece with the Vienna Symphony at the Vienna Konzerthaus with John Adams conducting, with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic at the Concertgebouw and with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra conducted by Markus Stenz.
Highlights of the 2016-17 season include the Quartet’s debut appearance at Carnegie Hall, where they will give the US premiere of Donnacha Dennehey’s piece The Weather of it, which was co-commissioned for the Doric by Carnegie Hall and Wigmore Hall. In Europe, the Quartet continues to raise its profile in Germany with performances at the Heidelberg String Quartet Festival, Mecklenburg Vorpommen Festival and the Berlin Konzerthaus as well as recitals in Polling, Ravensburg and Otterndorf. Other European engagements include appearances in Reeuwijk, Dordrect, Arnhem and at the Théâtre de Sens, whilst elsewhere they also return to Israel for concerts in Jerusalem, Haifa and Tel Aviv. UK highlights include four appearances at the Wigmore Hall, as well as a weekend of concerts at the Perth Concert Hall and recitals in Edinburgh, Oxford and Brighton. They also continue their long-standing relationship with the Wiltshire Music Centre, as well as returning to the Jersey Arts Centre and the West Cork Chamber Music Festival.
In 2009 the Doric String Quartet’s first CD was released to critical acclaim on the Wigmore Live label and was chosen as Editor’s Choice in Gramophone. Since 2010 the Quartet has recorded exclusively for Chandos Records. The first CD, the complete Korngold String Quartets, was featured as one of the 2010 Critic’s Choice discs in Gramophone and was followed by a CD of the Walton String Quartets which was nominated for a 2011 Gramophone Award. The Quartet’s release of the Schumann String Quartets was named CD of the Month in both Gramophone and BBC Music Magazine and was shortlisted for a 2012 Gramophone Award. Their recording of Haydn’s Op 20 was named Editor’s Choice by Gramophone and shortlisted for a 2015 Gramophone Award and their most recent release of Haydn Op 76 Quartets was praised for its “sense of clarity and precision” by The Sunday Times.
Formed in 1998 at Pro Corda, The National School for Young Chamber Music Players, the Doric String Quartet studied on the Paris-based ProQuartet Professional Training Program and later at the Music Academy in Basel. In 2015 the Quartet was appointed as Teaching Quartet in Association at the Royal Academy of Music in London.
The Doric String Quartet appears by arrangement with Sulivan Sweetland Artist Management and is represented in France by Satirino.
For more information please visit www.doricstringquartet.com
Photo George Garnier
WALTON String Quartets (Chandos) CHAN10661
'…blazingly committed and triumphantly assured rendering by the Doric Quartet…Their account of the mature A minor Quartet (1944‑47) is more impressive still, displaying an exquisite blend, rhythmic acuity and razor-sharp precision'.
Gramophone May 2011
'The Doric gives outstanding, virtuoso performances of William Walton’s two string quartets'.
The Telegraph (5stars) 25 February 2011
Washington, Library of Congress: String Quartets by HAYDN, KORNGOLD, WEBERN, SCHUMANN
'The group projects a sweet, finely blended tone, faultlessly deployed in Haydn's slow movement, where first violinist Alex Redington found subtle colors to embellish a wistful little melody differently each time it returned.'
Washington Post 22 November 2010
KORNGOLD Complete String Quartets (Chandos) CHAN10611
'This is a disc that is inspirational in every way; the music, the superb young quartet and the high quality of the recording.'
Ensemble Magazine February 2011
'The Doric String Quartet seem to have a highly detailed approach, which is also applied in the fast movements: the waltz in the second quartet has an elegant swing, whilst the virtuosic finale of the last quartet has even more lively spirit…It is wonderful to have such a bench mark recording, which puts Korngold’s much neglected work into a new and deserving light.'
Fonoforum magazine February 2011
'The Doric Quartet manages to combine the necessary linear and rhythmic precision needed to do full justice to Korngold's sophisticated scoring with a warmth of tone and intensity of expression that makes the players highly persuasive advocates… A valuable addition to the Korngold discography.'
Classic FM Magazine (5 Stars) December 2010
'From the off, the Dorics stamp their own emphatic claim to ownership with a bold incisive feel for the swirling stylistic and emotional undercurrents in Korngold’s characteristically rhythmically alert, sumptuously lyrical and exquisitely crafted music.. These are benchmark performances by a Doric String Quartet clearly on the cusp of great things.'
BBC Review 30 November 2010
'This the quartet's first release for Chandos and it couldn't be more auspicious. Their playing is alive to every nuance and turn of phrase in these endearing valentines to the city of the composer's birth. This is a most desirable issue of music with which the Doric foursome are totally at ease.'
Gramophone Editor’s Choice November 2010
'Four guys in suits; they could be bankers. But bankers don't play music with the passion and finesse of this young British group. They're playing the three string quartets of Erich Wolfgang Korngold, the Austrian wunderkind who remained wonderful even when writing film scores for Errol Flynn. Each quartet, from different decades, twists the kaleidoscope a different way. No 1 is knottily chromatic; the second salutes old Vienna; while the third and best looks back on life with melancholy, regret and laughter.'
The Times (4 Stars) 4 September 2010
Perth Concert Hall: SCHUBERT String Trio & Rosamunde
'… and here was a performance of quite exceptional finesse, so soft-grained in its opening notes that you had to tune your ears to the theme that would later inspire the opening of Verdi’s Requiem, but invariably responsive to those sudden explosions of temper that became a feature of so many of Schubert’s masterpieces.'
The Herald 12 October 2010
Wigmore Hall: KORNGOLD String Quartet No 1, MAXWELL DAVIES' Blake Dreaming' for string quartet and baritone (world premiere), BRITTEN String Quartet No 2
'This recital showed just why the Doric Quartet has recently been attracting so much praise. From the technical standpoint the players are superb, but, beyond that, they blend together as though of one mind – the touchstone of any such group.'
Classical Source 30 April 2010
HAYDN Op 9/4, Op 50/2, Op 76/1 (Wigmore Live) WHLive0032
'With their trademark wonderful timing, here comes a disc from the Dorics to remind us why they have been mentioned in this issue’s cover story as one of the finest young string quartets. There is, properly, a seriousness to their Haydn here as well as a polish that marks them out as musicians with fascinating things to say… The Doric’s Haydn sparkles with wit on their impressive first recording… their very auspicious recording debut.'
Gramophone Magazine February 2010 - EDITOR’S CHOICE featuring music by five of the leading young string quartets of today
Edinburgh, Queen’s Hall: HAYDN Op 50/2 , KORNGOLD Quartet No 3, BEETHOVEN Op 74
'At a time when new string quartets are two a penny, the Doric Quartet has cleared its first hurdles with impressive ease… Haydn served this week as launching-pad for its New Town Concert in Edinburgh… The finesse of the performance, in which nothing was overemphasised, spoke for itself. The soft-grained detail of the first movement showed immediately why these players are going places.'
The Herald 4 March 2009
Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall: HAYDN Op 20/1, JANACEK String Quartet No 2, BEETHOVEN Op 59/1 ‘
'Making their York debut, last year’s winners of the Japan Osaka Competition, the Doric’s showed that they are today’s finest UK Quartet at a time when we are inundated with brilliant young ensembles…Technically they are superb, their account of Janacék’s highly charged, passionate and deeply emotional Intimate Letters capturing to perfection the enormous mood swings and massive dynamic range. They have the ability to play modern works with such deep understanding, yet can perform Haydn with a period awareness that is becoming all too rare. It is a wonderfully balanced ensemble with an uncommonly fine cello in John Myerscough, and a leader, Alex Redington, whose intonation is spotlessly clean. You only had to listen to their extraordinarily quiet ending to the slow movement in Beethoven’s Harp Quartet to know they are not afraid of taking risks.'
Yorkshire Post February 2009
Wigmore Hall HAYDN Op 9/4, Op 50, Op 76/1, Op 50/1
'Haydn and the Doric are a perfect match. This is an ensemble, young but mature of insight, that plays Haydn’s music with spirit, illuminating its blend of wit and sophistication, grace and vivacity, cunning and seemingly effortless spontaneity… The Doric’s performances, without exaggeration but with just the right degree of elucidation, revealed the music’s extraordinary originality and the way that Haydn can explore the potential of his thematic material so thoroughly yet so artlessly… Unequivocally, these were performances of terrific panache and perception, seeming to get right under the skin of Haydn’s creative genius.'
The Sunday Telegraph (5 Stars) 18 January 2009
'Powerful, passionate and precise…The Doric String Quartet triumphed in their German debut'
Nordkurier July 2008
'Seldom has Beethoven’s Opus 18 no. 1 quartet been performed with such thrilling intensity and uncompromised clarity. This was Beethoven full of new insights.'
Ostsee Zeitung July 2008
BRITTEN String Quartets
HAYDN String Quartets Op 33
BRAHMS String Quartet Op 67
BEETHOVEN String Quartet Op 130
BARTOK String Quartet No 5
MOZART String Quartet K575 OR HAYDN String Quartet Op 33 No 1
BEETHOVEN String Quartet Op 131
HAYDN String Quartet Op 33 No 1 OR MOZART String Quartet K575
MOZART String Quartet K575 OR DENNEHEY ‘The Weather of It’
BEETHOVEN String Quartet Op 131
BRITTEN String Quartet No 3
HAYDN String Quartet Op 33 No 1
BEETHOVEN String Quartet Op 131
BARTOK String Quartet No 5
HAYDN String Quartet Op 33 No 4
MENDELSSOHN String Quartet Op 44 No 2
alternative second half work for both the above programmes:
SCHUBERT String Quartet in G
HAYDN String Quartet Op 33 No 2
BERG Lyric Suite
WEBERN 5 Movements
BEETHOVEN String Quartet Op 18 No 6
HAYDN String Quartet Op 33 No 2 OR BEETHOVEN String Quartet Op 18 No 6
BRITTEN String Quartet No 3 OR BERG Lyric Suite
MENDELSSOHN String Quartet Op 44 No 2
The Doric String Quartet is always happy to revive their repertoire with the harpist Agnès Clément :
André Caplet - “Conte Fantastique - Le masque de la mort rouge”, d'après Poe pour harpe à pédales et quatuor à cordes, (édité 1924)
Florent Schmitt - Andante et scherzo pour harpe et quatuor à cordes, op 35 (1906)
Claude Debussy - Danse sacrée et Danse profane (1904)