Doric String Quartet
Concert will be starting at 8:15pm instead of 7:30pm
Wednesday, April 26, 2023 | 8:15pm
Herbst TheatreVenue Information
About This Performance
“One in a million…several million” is how The Independent (UK) describes powerfully compelling pianist Benjamin Grosvenor. The London-based Doric Quartet is one of Europe’s hottest young ensembles. “It’s hugely enjoyable to be led through these subtle, wonderful works by such enthusiastic guides” (The Strad).
BEETHOVEN: String Quartet in F Minor, Op. 95 “Serioso”
HAYDN: String Quartet in D Major, Op. 50, No. 6 “The Frog”
BRIDGE: Piano Quintet in D Minor, H. 49
British pianist Benjamin Grosvenor is internationally recognized for his electrifying performances, distinctive sound and insightful interpretations. His virtuosic command over the most arduous technical complexities underpins the remarkable depth and understanding of his music -making. Described as “one in a million...several million” by The Independent.
A pianist of widespread international acclaim, in the 2021–22 season he is Artist-in-Residence at the prestigious Wigmore Hall in London with three varying projects. The previous season he was Artist-in-Residence at both Radio France and with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. His “astounding technical gifts, the freshness of his imagination, his intense concentration, the absence of any kind of show, and the unmistakable sense of poetic immersion directed solely at the realization of music” have been lauded by Süddeutsche Zeitung.
Recent and forthcoming concerto highlights include engagements with the Chicago, Baltimore, and Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestras, Philharmonia Orchestra, Scottish Chamber, Hamburg Staatsorchester, and City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. Benjamin works with such esteemed conductors as Semyon Bychkov, Riccardo Chailly, Sir Mark Elder, Kent Nagano, Alan Gilbert, Manfred Honeck, Vladimir Jurowski, François-Xavier Roth, and Esa-Pekka Salonen.
In recital this coming season, Benjamin looks forward to returning to the Théâtre des Champs Elysées Paris, Munich’s Herkulessaal, Konzerthaus Berlin, and Palau de la Música Catalana, Barcelona. He also undertakes an extensive US recital tour including venues such as Philadelphia CMS and People’s Symphony NYC. He has also performed at the Chopin and his Europe Festival in Warsaw, Montpellier Festival, Barbican Centre, Southbank Centre, Washington’s Kennedy Center, New York’s Carnegie Hall and 92nd Street Y. A keen chamber musician, regular collaborators include Hyeyoon Park, Tabea Zimmermann, Timothy Ridout, Benedict Kloeckner, Kian Soltani and the Doric String Quartet. Benjamin is Co-Artistic Director of the Bromley and Beckenham International Music Festival, a unique and vibrant event for the local community which was born out of the desire to reconnect with the public during the Covid-19 pandemic.
In 2011 Benjamin signed to Decca Classics, becoming the youngest British musician ever—and the first British pianist in almost 60 years—to sign to the label. Released in 2020, his second concerto album featuring Chopin’s piano concertos, recorded with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra under the baton of Elim Chan, received both the Gramophone Concerto Award and a Diapason d'Or de L’Année, with Diapason's critic declaring that the recording is “a version to rank among the best, and confirmation of an extraordinary artist.” The renewal of the Decca recording partnership in early 2021 coincided with the release of Benjamin’s latest album, Liszt, centered around the composer’s Sonata in B Minor, which was recently shortlisted for a Gramophone Award.
During his sensational career to date, Benjamin has received Gramophone’s Young Artist of the Year and Instrumental Awards, a Classic Brits Critics’ Award, UK Critics’ Circle Award for Exceptional Young Talent and a Diapason d’Or Jeune Talent Award. He has been featured in two BBC television documentaries, BBC Breakfast and The Andrew Marr Show, as well as in CNN’s Human to Hero series. In 2016, he became the inaugural recipient of The Ronnie and Lawrence Ackman Classical Piano Prize with the New York Philharmonic.
Benjamin first came to prominence as the outstanding winner of the Keyboard Final of the 2004 BBC Young Musician Competition, and he was invited to perform with the BBC Symphony Orchestra at the First Night of the 2011 BBC Proms. The youngest of five brothers, Benjamin began playing the piano at the age of 6. He studied at the Royal Academy of Music with Christopher Elton and Daniel-Ben Pienaar, where he graduated in 2012 with the ‘Queen’s Commendation for Excellence’ and in 2016 was awarded a Fellowship from the institution. Benjamin is an Ambassador of Music Masters, a charity dedicated to making music education accessible to all children regardless of their background, championing diversity and inclusion.
Firmly established as one of the leading quartets of its generation, the Doric String Quartet receives enthusiastic responses from audiences and critics across the globe. With repertoire ranging from Haydn through to Bartok, Ades and Brett Dean, the Quartet’s schedule takes them to the leading concert halls around the world including Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Vienna Konzerthaus, Berlin Konzerthaus, Hamburg Elbphilharmonie, Louvre, Carnegie Hall, and Kioi Hall Tokyo, as well as regular performances at Wigmore Hall.
A recent highlight of the Quartet’s programming has been Brett Dean’s String Quartet No. 3, written specifically for the Quartet. Given its world premiere in June 2019, Hidden Agendas was co-commissioned for the Doric by the Berlin Konzerthaus, Carnegie Hall, Amsterdam String Quartet Biennale, Edinburgh International Festival, Musica Viva Australia, and the West Cork Chamber Music Festival.
Forthcoming highlights include returns to the Wigmore Hall, Festspiele Mecklenburg Vorpommern, and Esterházy Kaštiel. The Quartet returns to North America in collaboration with pianist Jonathan Biss, performing in Philadelphia, Albany, Montreal, Dallas, Athens, GA and Middlebury, VT.
With a curiosity for repertoire and setting, the Quartet was delighted to take on John Adams’ Absolute Jest for String Quartet and Orchestra. The Quartet was invited to give the Austrian premiere at the Vienna Konzerthaus with John Adams conducting, the Dutch premiere with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic at the Concertgebouw under Markus Stenz, and performed the piece with the BBC Scottish Symphony and BBC Symphony Orchestras. Their recording of the piece with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Peter Oundjian, released on Chandos in 2018, was named Recording of the Month in BBC Music Magazine and praised for the “sumptuous sweetness and laser-like clarity” of its performance.
Alongside main season concerts the Quartet has a busy festival schedule and has performed at the Schwarzenberg Schubertiade, Grafenegg, Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Schwetzingen, Edinburgh, Aldeburgh, West Cork, Cheltenham, Delft, and Risør Festivals, collaborating with artists including Ian Bostridge, Mark Padmore, Alexander Melnikov, Pieter Wispelwey, Jonathan Biss, Chen Halevi, Elizabeth Leonskaja, Benjamin Grosvenor, Alina Ibragimova, and Cédric Tiberghien.
Since 2010 the Doric Quartet has recorded exclusively for Chandos Records, with their releases covering repertoire ranging from Schumann through to Korngold and Walton as well as works with orchestra including Elgar’s Introduction and Allegro and John Adams’ Absolute Jest. 2019 saw the release of the Quartet’s benchmark recording of the complete Britten String Quartets which gathered glittering reviews across the board. Recorded at Snape Maltings Concert Hall in conjunction with a series of performances at the Britten Weekend celebrations, the disc was Album of the Week in the Sunday Times, Editor’s Choice in Gramophone, and saw the Doric praised in BBC Music Magazine for its “extraordinary affinity” with Britten’s music. The Quartet’s ongoing commitment to Haydn has so far seen them record the complete Opus 20, Opus 76 and Opus 64 Quartets with the recordings attracting acclaim including Editor’s Choice in Gramophone, Choc du Mois in Classica Magazine and a shortlisting for a Gramophone Award. The next instalment in the Quartet’s series of Haydn recordings (Opus 33) will be released in October 2020, with other future recording plans including quartets by Mozart and Mendelssohn.
Formed in 1998, the Doric String Quartet won first prize at the 2008 Osaka International Chamber Music Competition and 2nd prize at the Premio Paolo Borciani International String Quartet Competition. In 2015, the Quartet was appointed as Teaching Quartet in Association at the Royal Academy of Music in London and from 2018 the Quartet took over the Artistic Directorship of the Mendelssohn on Mull Festival, a position which sees them play a key role in implementing the Festival’s core mission of providing young chamber music professionals with a week of intensive mentoring, coaching and development.
The Quartet’s violist Hélène Clément plays a viola by Guissani from 1843, generously on loan from the Britten-Pears Arts and previously owned by Frank Bridge and Benjamin Britten.