In 2018 the Castalian Quartet received the prestigious inaugural Merito String Quartet Award & Valentin Erben Prize and won a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship Award. This season the Quartet give debut concerts in North America (Phillips Collection Washington D.C. and Lincoln Center New York), the Salle Bourgie in Montréal, Vancouver Recital Society, Konzerthaus Vienna, Théȃatre d’Orléons and Louvre in Paris, Flagey in Brussels and Lucerne.
In 2018 the Castalian Quartet received the prestigious inaugural Merito String Quartet Award & Valentin Erben Prize and won a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship Award.
This season the Quartet give debut concerts in North America (Phillips Collection Washington D.C. and Lincoln Center New York), the Salle Bourgie in Montreal, Vancouver Recital Society, Konzerthaus Vienna, Theatre d’Orleons, Louvre in Paris, Flagey in Brussels and Lucerne. They appear regularly at Wigmore Hall in the main series and return to Snape Maltings and Saffron Hall.
Highlights over the last year have included performances of the complete Haydn Op.76 Quartets at Wigmore Hall, concerts in the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Heidelberger Frühling, East Neuk, Zwischentöne Festival in Engelberg, Neuchatel Chamber Music in Switzerland and Banff International Festivals. Further afield they undertook tours of China and Colombia.
The Quartet has performed widely throughout Europe as part of 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. They have collaborated with Nils Mönkemeyer, Alasdair Beatson, Simon Rowland-Jones, Daniel Lebhardt and Olivier Stankiewicz, among many others.
Formed in 2011, the Castalian Quartet studied with Oliver Wille (Kuss Quartet) at the Hannover University of Music, Drama and Media, graduating with a Master’s degree. Awards include 3rd Prize at the 2016 Banff Quartet Competition and 1st Prize at the 2015 Lyon Chamber Music Competition. The Quartet was selected by Young Classical Artists Trust (YCAT) in 2016. They have received coaching from Simon Rowland-Jones, David Waterman and Isabel Charisius.
“The real treat of the day came in a brilliant evening recital in Kilrenny Church by the excellent Castalian Quartet (*****). Playing quartets by Haydn, Caroline Shaw and Schumann, their unique style – a powerful individuality of sound matched by an instinctive singularity of musical intention – lit up every single moment... A terrific programme; amazing players. ”
“….the Castalians, led by the seraphic Sini Simonen who seems to pull her inspiration straight down from the skies, lived every moment. Depth came in the moving introduction of Schumann’s First, A minor Quartet and more surprises in his slow movement, even if the final impression is one of manic exuberance.”
“Schumann’s Op 41 No 1 quartet was nothing short of sensational, and in performance the Castalian proved why they are in such demand, not just at the East Neuk Festival, but world-wide….an absolutely mesmerising evening of chamber music.”
“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.”