In 2015 the Castalian Quartet won 1st Prize and three special awards at the Lyon International Competition, and in 2016 won 3rd Prize at the Banff International String Quartet Competition. This season they appear in Frankfurt and Hanover and return to Aldeburgh Music.
Formed in 2011, the Castalian Quartet studied with Oliver Wille (Kuss Quartet) at the Hannover University of Music, Drama and Media, graduating with a Masters. They have also worked with Thomas Brandis, Levon Chilingirian, Simon Rowland-Jones and members of the Endellion Quartet.
The Castalian Quartet is rapidly emerging as an exciting voice on the international chamber music scene. Over the last three years they have won top prizes at major international competitions including 3rd Prize at the 2016 Banff International Quartet Competition (where they were the only European quartet to progress to the live rounds), 1st Prize and three special awards at the 2015 Lyon International Competition, and in 2013 1st Prize and the Audience Prize at the Kammermusik Hannover Next Generation Competition. In 2016 they were selected for representation by Young Classical Artists Trust (YCAT).
The Quartet has performed widely throughout Europe. Engagements this season include recitals at Wigmore Hall, the Sommerliche Musiktage Hitzacker, the Niedersächsische Sparkassenstiftung Mittagskonzerte in Hannover, Quartetaffairs in Frankfurt (broadcast by NDR), the Festival de Musique de Conques in France, Festival Autunno Musicale near Naples and Turin Chamber Music Series. In 2017 they return to Aldeburgh and will be Artist in Residence at the Festival Musique d’Été à Suzette near Avignon. They continue to give recitals throughout the UK.
Highlights over the last two years have included recitals at the Heidelberger Frühling Quartet Festival, the Ceresio Estate Festival in Lugano, the Hamburg Chamber Music Series, International Musikfest Goslar and NDR Concert Hall in Hannover. In the UK the Quartet has appeared at Jubilee Hall Aldeburgh, the Cheltenham Festival broadcast by BBC Radio 3, Lake District Summer Music, Peasmarsh Festival, Purcell Room and Kings Place. Further afield the Quartet toured China in 2013, under the auspices of the British Council. They have collaborated with Nils Mönkemeyer, Alasdair Beatson, the Chilingirian Quartet and Simon Rowland-Jones.
The Quartet has been the beneficiary of awards from the Royal Over-Seas League (2011 Elias Fawcett Trust Award), the Countess of Munster Trust, the Tunnell Trust, the Royal Philharmonic Society (2016 Albert and Eugenie Frost Chamber Music Prize), St. Peter’s Eaton Square, Kirckman Concert Society and Mozarteum de France.
“They seize motives with the core of their sound and press them into a service of thematic contiguity that is enviable, like an orator who knows how to convince with both passion and persuasion. Castalian String Quartet makes the simplest things we hear into the most important things we could ever want to hear.”
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“Their level of ensemble inter-connectedness in the Adès and at times in the subsequent movements of Brahms and Schumann was truly remarkable in evincing a physics most rare and special, overlaid with an emotional world of similarly surpassing sublimity. There were times that I simply could not believe my ears.”