Happy New Year!

It was a great way to end 2013, and an even better way to start 2014, working with other chamber musicians brought together by the Maiastra project.  Maiastra was started by Aidan Woodcock in 2006, and consists of short and long courses in which to study and play the core chamber music repertoire.  The brilliant thing about the courses is that they’re specifically aimed to help young musicians at the start of their careers. In December, I returned to Maiastra for a 10 day string quartet project, led by Arisa Fujita, and joined by Henry Tong, Louisa Tatlow.

As Benjamin Britten’s 100th birthday had been in November, we started the program with a Suite for string quartet which the composer wrote when he was a teenager.   This was followed by Beethoven Op. 18 No. 4, Philip Glass Quartet No. 2 “Company”, and Dvorak Op. 96, ‘American’.

It was particularly enjoyable to learn the American quartet for the first time, partially because it gave me a good excuse to listen incessantly to the Bohemian Quartet’s 1928 recording of the piece.  If you haven’t already heard it (or even if you have), I recommend it!

After several days rehearsing in Surrey, we performed in Twickenham, Somerset and Leatherhead. (The views in Ilminster and the church in Twickenham were especially picturesque!)

In a few days time, I’m joining a different formation of Maiastra players: Akiko Ono, Henry Tong, Tetsuumi Nagata and Elaine Ruby to play Purcell Chacony, Brahms Clarinet Quintet and Mendelssohn String Quartet, Op. 44 no. 2.  Details for these concerts in Claygate and Stoke D’Abernon can be found here.  I hope you can join us!


You can now follow Maiastra on Twitter @MaiastraMusic and Facebook!


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