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Tippett Quartet

With a fairly even balance of mainstream and contemporary repertory, the Tippett Quartet managed to forge a reputation as one of the finest string quartets from the U.K. That said, its recorded output has decidedly favored British contemporary music, particularly the works of Stephen Dodgson, Cecilia McDowall, and namesake Michael Tippett. Both critics and audiences have responded enthusiastically to the Tippett Quartet's recordings and live performances. It has also been active in educational projects for young musicians, hosting workshops and master classes in compositions for string quartet and various other musical subjects. In 2021, the quartet issued a recording of Penderecki's complete music for string quartet and his string trio. The Tippett Quartet was formed in 1998, taking its name the same week as the composer Michael Tippett died. The quartet's original members were Jeremy Isaac and John Mills (violins), Maxine Moore (viola), and Bozidar Vukotic (cello). In 2009, Julia O'Riordan, who had often played with the Tippett Quartet in expanded chamber works during previous years, replaced Moore. O'Riodan was replaced in 2012 by Lydia Lowndes-Northcott. The Tippett Quartet gave its Wigmore Hall debut in 1998 and, from then on, steadily drew positive notice. The group has performed widely throughout the U.K., appearing at the Royal Opera House, Purcell Room, and Royal Albert Hall and festivals such as the Three Choirs, Cheltenham, and Lincoln International. The group regularly appears on BBC Radio 3, has performed at the BBC Proms, and has toured Europe and North America. In 2007, the Tippett Quartet gave the U.K. premiere of John Adams' work Fellow Traveler at London's Kings Place. The quartet rediscovered, and with the help of musicologist Roderick Swanston, premiered Gustav Holst's Fantasy on British Folk Songs in 2013. The Tippett Quartet commissioned Alissa Firsova in 2016 to write her Tennyson Fantasy, which was premiered that year with actor Finbar Lynch reciting the poetry. The Tippett Quartet has recorded for Naxos, EMI Classics, Decca, and many more labels. Its first recording appeared on EMI Classics in 2006, Howard Goodall's soundtrack The Seasons. In 2008, it launched its inaugural recording project for the Naxos label, an undertaking that would cover the complete string quartets of Michael Tippett. The first volume contained the First, Second, and Fourth quartets, while the second and final installment, issued in 2009, housed the Third and Fifth: both volumes drew broad critical acclaim. Among the quartet's more popular recordings is the 2011 Signum recording of Bernard Herrmann's Psycho: Suite for String Quartet and other Herrmann works, with clarinetist Julian Bliss. In 2018, the Tippett Quartet was heard on an album of works by Firsova, performing the composer's Tennyson Fantasy. The quartet issued a Naxos recording of Penderecki's complete string quartet music and string trio in 2021. Since 2015, the Tippett Quartet has been the ensemble in residence at Royal Holloway University, London, and St. Edmund's School, Canterbury.
© Robert Cummings & Keith Finke /TiVo
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