In 2018 the Castalian Quartet received the prestigious inaugural Merito String Quartet Award & Valentin Erben Prize and won a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship Award.
The Castalian String Quartet is rapidly emerging as an exciting voice on the international chamber music scene.
In 2018 they received the prestigious inaugural Merito String Quartet Award & Valentin Erben Prize and won a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship Award. Previous awards include 3rd Prize at the 2016 Banff International String Quartet Competition and 1st Prize at the 2015 Lyon International Chamber Music Competition. The Quartet was selected by Young Classical Artists Trust in 2016.
Engagements this season include return visits to the Wigmore Hall, where they open the Coffee Concert series and perform the complete set of Haydn’s Op.76 quartets. They give rectials in Tel Aviv in the Museum of Art, Heidelberger Frũhling Quartet Festival, Zwischentöne Festival in Engelberg, Neuchatel Chamber Music in Switzerland, East Neuk Festival and 3 Palaces Festival in Malta. Further afield they take part in the Banff Festival and tour China and Colombia.
The Quartet continues to give recitals across the UK and undertake residencies at Saffron Hall, Stoller Hall (Manchester), Birmingham Conservatoire and Menuhin School. Future plans include debut concerts in North America (Phillips Collection Washington D.C. and Lincoln Center New York) and at the Konzerthaus in Vienna.
Over the last two years the Quartet has performed widely throughout Europe, highlights including recitals in the Hamburg Chamber Music Series, International Musikfest Goslar, Sommerliche Musiktage Hitzacker, Quartet affairs in Frankfurt (broadcast by NDR), French festivals in Queille and Conques, the Aldeburgh, East Neuk, North Norfolk and Peasmarsh Festivals. In 2017 they were resident at the Esbjerg international Chamber Music Festival in Denmark, Festival Musique d’Été à Suzette near Avignon and Snape Maltings.
Formed in 2011, the Castalian String Quartet studied with Oliver Wille (Kuss Quartet) at the Hannover University of Music, Drama and Media, graduating with a Master’s degree, and has also received coaching from Simon Rowland-Jones, David Waterman and Isabel Charisius. The Quartet has collaborated with Nils Mönkemeyer, Alasdair Beatson, Simon Rowland-Jones and Olivier Stankiewicz.
“The revelation, though, was the silvery playing of the Castalians in a relatively early Quartet (D353) by the 19-year-old Schubert, in which first violinist Sini Simonen's intonation-perfect spirit highlighted her role within the ensemble.”
“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.”