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 give debut concerts in the USA, Canada, China and Colombia.
The Castalian Quartet is rapidly emerging as an exciting voice on the international chamber music scene. In 2016 they were the only European quartet to progress to the live rounds of the Banff International String Quartet Competition where they won 3rd Prize. Previous awards include 1st Prize at the 2015 Lyon International Competition and the 2013 Kammermusik Hannover Next Generation Competition.
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. They were selected by Young Classical Artists Trust (YCAT) 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 make their debut in Tel Aviv at the Museum of Art, return to the Heidelberger Frũhling Quartet Festival, and take part in the Zwischentöne Festival in Engelberg, Neuchatel Chamber Music in Switzerland and the 3 Palaces Festival in Malta. Further afield they give debut concerts in the USA, Canada, China and Colombia. They continue to give recitals across the UK and undertake residences at Saffron Hall, Stoller Hall (Manchester), Birmingham Conservatoire and Menuhin School.
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, the Sparkassenforum Mittagskonzerte in Hannover, Quartetaffairs in Frankfurt (broadcast by NDR), the Festival Queille and Musique de Conques in France, Peasmarsh Festival and Turin Chamber Music Series.
In 2017 they returned to Wigmore Hall and gave recitals at the Aldeburgh, East Neuk (broadcast by Radio 3) and Winchester Festivals. They were resident at the Esbjerg international Chamber Music Festival in Denmark, Festival Musique d’Été à Suzette near Avignon and Snape Maltings Aldeburgh.
The Quartet has worked and collaborated with Simon Rowland-Jones, David Waterman (Endellion), Levon Chilingirian, Isabel Charisius, Nils Mönkemeyer, Alasdair Beatson 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.”