Saturday 21 April 2018
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.
A passionate advocate for the bassoon, Amy Harman is much sought after as a soloist, chamber musician, teacher and communicator, regularly featuring on BBC Radio 3.
As a soloist highlights have included appearing with Birmingham Opera in Stockhausen’s Mittwoch aus Licht and performing Strauss’s Concertino with the English Chamber Orchestra. She regularly takes part in festivals across Europe, including the Pärnu, Tbilisi, West Cork, Ryedale, Bath, Galway and Mizmorim Festivals. In 2017 she returned to Wigmore Hall and was featured artist at Southwell Music Festival.
Engagements this season include a performance of Mozart’s Concerto at the Festival Suoni dal Golfo in Lerici, Italy with Orchestra Excellence, and recitals throughout the UK including Saffron Hall, Brighton Dome, and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.
In 2011 Amy was appointed principal of the Philharmonia Orchestra at the age of 23. In demand as guest principal with leading orchestras in Europe including the Mahler Chamber, London Symphony and BBC Symphony orchestras, she is currently principal of Aurora Orchestra and ENO.
As a chamber musician Amy has collaborated with Aleksander Madzar, Nicholas Daniel, Radovan Vlatkovic, Natalia Gutman, Chen Halevi, Guy Johnston, the Castalian and Chilingirian Quartets, among many others. She has attended Open Chamber Music at IMS Prussia Cove with Elisabeth Leonskaja, and in 2016 toured California with Camerata Pacifica. Since 2010 she has been a member of Ensemble 360.
Born in London, Amy Harman studied at the Royal College of Music with Andrea de Flammineis, Julie Price and Martin Gatt, and with František Herman at the Hudební Fakulta Akademie Múzických Umění in Prague. Between 2010-2011 she was Principal Bassoon of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales.
Amy is a Professor at the Royal Academy of Music.
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