Sean ShibeGuitar
Van Kuijk Quartet

Sean Shibe and Van Kuijk Quartet

Presented in association with OMNI Foundation for the Performing Arts

Nicolas Van Kuijk, violin Sylvain Favre-Bulle, violin Emmanuel François, viola Anthony Kondo, cello

Friday, February 10, 2023 |  7:30pm

Herbst TheatreVenue Information


About This Performance

Shining at the top of a new wave of guitarists, Sean Shibe creates imaginative programs aglow with innovation, new music, and passionate insights into classics. The Guardian enthused, “What’s really striking is the way in which Shibe sustains a world of intensity and introspection through playing that buzzes with vitality.” Named BBC New Generation Artists, the Van Kuijk Quartet’s “unanimity, tonal blend and intonation are close to flawless” (Gramophone).


MENDELSSOHN: String Quartet in F Minor, Op. 80
BOCCHERINI: Guitar Quintet No.4 “Fandango"
ADÈS: Habanera
DE FALLA: Homenaje: Le Tombeau de Claude Debussy for Guitar
POULENC: Sarabande
CASTELNUOVO-TEDESCO: Guitar Quintet Op. 143

Artist Information

Performer Biographies

One of the most versatile guitarists performing today, Sean Shibe’s innovative approach to his instrument has enhanced his reputation for having “one of the most discriminating ears in the business” (Gramophone). He was the first guitarist ever to be selected for BBC Radio 3’s New Generation Artists scheme, to be awarded a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship and, in 2018, to receive the Royal Philharmonic Society Award for Young Artists. Accolades for his recordings include two Gramophone Awards and an Opus Klassik. He is also the 2022 recipient of the Leonard Bernstein Award.

Following very successful performances at various summer festivals, this season Shibe gives his New York City solo recital debut at the 92NY which is followed by a tour in the US with Quatuor Van Kuijk. He performs at Wigmore Hall four times and in solo recitals in Germany at the Konzerthaus Dortmund, Mozartfest Wurzburg, and returns to the Schleswig-Holstein Music festival sharing the stage with tenor Karim Sulayman.

A great admirer of the masterful composers of the past, Shibe is equally committed to new music. Alongside his own transcriptions of Bach’s lute suites and seventeenth century Scottish lute manuscripts, he continues to explore, experiment, and expand the repertoire for his instrument with recent works by Daniel Kidane, David Fennessy, Shiva Feshareki, David Lang, Julia Wolfe, and Freya Waley-Cohen. New commissions include works by Thomas Adès, Helen Grime, and a new collaboration with Cassandra Miller and Dunedin Consort.

His most recent release is a second album for Pentatone titled Lost & Found, recorded on electric guitar and featuring repertoire by Hildegard von Bingen, Olivier Messiaen, Moondog, Julius Eastman, Bill Evans, Chick Corea, Meredith Monk, Shiva Feshareki, Oliver Leith, and Daniel Kidane. His Pentatone debut album Camino (2021) featured an introspective program of French and Iberian music. The album was named Recording of the Month by BBC Music Magazine as well the Recording of the Week by The Guardian and Presto Classical.

Born in Edinburgh in 1992 of English and Japanese heritage, Shibe studied under Allan Neave at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, and Paolo Pegoraro in Italy.

Quatuor Van Kuijk’s international accolades boast First, Best Beethoven, and Best Haydn Prizes at the 2015 Wigmore Hall International String Quartet competition; First Prize, and an Audience Award at the Trondheim International Chamber Music Competition; as well as becoming laureates of the Aix-en-Provence Festival Academy. They were BBC New Generation Artists from 2015–17, as well as ECHO Rising Stars for the 2017–18 season.

Following such high success early in their career, the ensemble is an established international presence and has been invited to perform at the Wigmore Hall, London; Philharmonie de Paris, Auditorium du Louvre, Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, and Salle Gaveau, Paris; Tonhalle, Zurich; Wiener Konzerthaus and Musikverein, Vienna; Het Concertgebouw, Amsterdam; Berliner Philharmonie; Kölner Philharmonie; Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg; Gulbenkian, Lisbon; Tivoli Concert Series, Denmark; Konserthuset Stockholm; and at festivals including the BBC Proms, Edinburgh International, Cheltenham, Heidelberg, Lockenhaus, Davos, Verbier, Aix-en-Provence, Montpellier/Radio France, Evian, Auvers-sur-Oise, Stavanger and Trondheim (Norway), Concentus Moraviae (Czech Republic), Haydn/Esterházy (Hungary), and Eilat (Israel).

2022 marked Quatuor Van Kuijk’s 10-year anniversary, with several special projects centring around Mendelssohn’s string quartet cycle—which they will release for Alpha Classics across the current season. Further highlights of the current season include a number of international tours hosting debuts at venues including the Library of Congress, DC; Sydney Opera House; Melbourne Recital Centre; and UKARIA, Adelaide. They will also make their debut visit to Colombia and return to several prestigious European halls including London’s Wigmore Hall, Berlin Konzerthaus, and Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ.

Recording exclusively for Alpha Classics, the ensemble’s debut recording, Mozart, was released to outstanding critical acclaim—Choc de Classica, Diapason D’or Decouverte. Following celebrated discs of Debussy and Ravel, and Schubert, they continued their ongoing exploration of Mozart with two further releases across 2020.

Quatuor Van Kuijk was resident at ProQuartet, Paris, where they studied with members of the Alban Berg, Artemis, and Hagen quartets. Originally students of the Ysaÿe Quartet, they went on to work with Günter Pichler at the Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofia in Madrid, supported generously by the International Institute of Chamber Music, Madrid. The Quartet is supported by Pirastro and SPEDIDAM and is grateful to Mécénat Musical Société Générale for their sponsorship.

Artist Videos

Sean Shibe plays Bach’s Suite in E Minor BWV 996 (Sarabande)

Van Kuijk Quartet perform Schubert’s String Quartet in E-Flat Major No. 10 and String Quartet No. 14 in D Minor, "Death and the Maiden"