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Britten Weekend: The String Quartets

Friday 19 – Sunday 21 October See All Events

with the Doric Quartet and Friends

For a composer whose mature career was dominated by opera and vocal writing, Britten’s four string quartets written over nearly four decades are fascinating, pivotal moments. Spanning a period from the 1930s to the very end of his life, they provide intriguing snapshots of a career, of influences both musical and biographical. They are extrovert works, distinguished by the composer’s trademark rigour and ingenuity but also by a vitality and an engaging emotional directness.From the elegant pastiche of the Divertimenti and the expansive openhearted First Quartet to the gentle ebb and ambiguity that concludes the Third these are heart on sleeve works.

The outstanding Doric Quartet prefaces a hotly anticipated new recording of the complete quartets with a weekend exploring their background and influences. Added to the mix are three guest artists and emerging chamber music ensembles from the USA and Europe in the Britten–Pears Young Artist Programme’s ‘Transatlantic Encounters’ masterclass course.