Wintertide Music Festival, Newfoundland (January 2015)
Recording Liz Johnson's Sky-Burial, with Lore Lixenberg (Nov 2014)
Penelope Thwaites' 40th Anniversary Concert
King's Place (October 2014)
Britten's Endgame: a film by John Bridcut
String Quartet no. 3 by Benjamin Britten:
'Recitative and Passacaglia.'
Film available from CRUX PRODUCTIONS.
NEW YEAR GREETINGS
Dear Fitzwilliam friends,
May I, on behalf of us all at the Fitzwilliam String Quartet, wish you a very Happy New Year – healthy, joyful, fulfilled and thoughtful.
Time is, as ever, flying by at a rate of knots and it’s good to have a bit of breathing space at this time of year to reflect and to consider what we’ve done and what’s around the corner.
It’s been an eventful year for us all, collectively and individually, and next year promises to be yet more so.
On the domestic front, Heather got married in August up in Ullapool. We were all present to celebrate the big day and the sun shone beautifully throughout – a most rare treat for that part of the world! It was a wonderful occasion, not to be forgotten in a hurry.
Lucy and Heather went on a yoga retreat in the North Italian Alps and limbered up in preparation for the Autumn season. Yoga and meditation has now become an essential part of life for the Fitz girls!
Marcus had some family time on the Isle of Skye and in a few idle moments (!!) produced some new compositions – including a couple of Fantasias based on the Purcell Fantasies numbers 7 and 11 – they are exquisite and we’ll be giving them their premières in the year ahead.
Alan continues to enjoy his bike and this year, in aid of Jessie’s Fund (www.jessiesfund.org.uk) cycled into the elements, up hill and down hill, in Northern Ireland…..a great achievement, as ever. Jessie’s Fund, for which Alan is a Trustee, celebrates its 20th Anniversary in 2015. Check it out on the website and see if there’s a concert or event you’d like to attend.
With the quartet (in brief), there was the annual visit to Bucknell University (PA, USA) for a two week residency which included the expected round of concerts plus some new experiences within the Management School. In March 2015 we’re making a return visit at the invitation of the Management School in order to develop our work in this capacity!! We are described as ‘Adjunct Professors of Management’ – all very grand!
We enjoyed teaching on our own ‘Strings in Spring’ chamber music course in St Andrews in April – glorious weather, delightful participants and we’re already fully subscribed for this coming April – 2 months ahead of the Early Bird deadline!
We also made a CD with the St Andrews Chapel choir and director Tom Wilkinson, of Purcell, Pelham Humfrey, and William Jackson of Exeter, which will be released in the coming year; and we have begun the process of recording all the chamber works of Liz Johnson.
We appeared twice at King’s Place – in January with jazz saxophonist, Uwe Steinmetz and in September with Penelope Thwaites playing Dvořák and Grainger. There have been visits to various festivals throughout the UK during the summer, including Three Choirs and Petworth, and trips up and down the country to play in assorted venues! With Richard Wigmore, we seem to have been delighting audiences with our introductions and performances of Beethoven quartets. March and May next year will see Opp 74, 127, 132, and 135 unfold…..
We have a busy year ahead, with our first concert being in Corner Brook, Newfoundland, in the second week of January. This is part of Heather’s Wintertide Music Festival. Trips to Israel and the USA follow. On the back of her recent successful solo album release (Divine Art Records), Heather has her Carnegie Hall debut in March with pianist Patil Harboyan performing in a celebration of Armenian music.
In April we are hosting our first FSQ Festival weekend in Hay on Wye with such distinguished guests as Moray Welsh and Anna Tilbrook joining us for the Schubert and the Shostakovich quintets.
In May, Lucy’s recording with John Butt for Linn records of Bach’s Obbligato Violin and Harpsichord sonatas will be released, and the quartet’s recording of Bruckner’s Quartet and Quintet (on heavy gut) sometime during the summer.
We will be recording more Liz Johnson and will also be making a CD in memory of our late dear friend and supporter, Bastien Gomperts – on our gut set-ups. We’ll be recording Mozart K421, Haydn Op77/2 and Beethoven Op95. All very exciting for us!
And so it goes on….There is much to be looking forward to and we hope that we’ll get to see some of you at our concerts. You can always check what we’re up to via our website (www.fitzwilliamquartet.org) If you come to a concert, please come and say ‘hello’ – we love having people we know in the audience!
Warmest wishes to you from us all,
Lucy, Marcus, Alan and Heather (plus Eddie, the dog!)