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“The Elias is the best young quartet I’ve come across in years.” Paul Driver, Sunday Times, Nov. 2009
The Quartet was formed in 1998 at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, working regularly with the late Dr. Christopher Rowland, and subsequently studying at the Hochschule in Cologne with the Alban Berg quartet.
The Quartet received second prize and the Sidney Griller prize at the 9th London International String Quartet Competition in 2003 and were finalists in the Paolo Borciani Competition in 2005.
The Elias String Quartet have performed extensively in the UK, at the Wigmore Hall, Purcell Room, Snape Maltings, Kettle’s Yard, Bridgewater Hall, Turner Sims and Fairfield Halls. They have also toured widely, playing at the Stockholm Concert Hall, the Auditorium du Louvre, Paris, and Jordan Hall, Boston, as well as in Germany, Austria, Italy, Australia and the USA. The Quartet have broadcast live on national radio in the UK, France, Australia and Sweden.
From 2005-9 the Elias were String Quartet in Residence at Sheffield’s Music in the Round as part of the Ensemble 360, taking over from the Lindsay Quartet.
The Elias Quartet were recently selected to join BBC Radio 3’s New Generation Artists scheme.
Future engagements include concerts at the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam and Carnegie Hall, New York.
28th March 2010
“Almost nothing in Britten's output compares with the visionary, shadowy yet gleaming fifth movement of Quartet No 3 (1975), written when he was dying...These players do it magnificent justice, playing with virtuosity and intensity.”
“These newcomers...have plenty to offer. I particularly like the variety of colour and meaning they bring to the transformations of the Second Quartet's opening motif...there's plenty of passion and a strong feeling for shape.”
“These are highly sensitive, touching performances...there is a wonderful pensiveness here and a real appreciation of the beauty of sound and colour, aided by a fine recording...these lyrical Elias performances remind us [Britten] was primarily a composer of vocal music...Nobody who buys this new disc is likely to regret it.”
2nd May 2010
“Having revealed themselves as superb exponents of Mendelssohn’s music, the Elias players now seem natural Brittenists, but the styles are not without their common features: clarity, economy, lyrical decisiveness, faultless technique.”
The Independent on Sunday
6th June 2010
“The Elias String Quartet highlight the germs of greatness in this apparently decorative music – the eerie harmonics and brute malice...Sophisticated phrasing, subtle colouring and impeccable tuning .”
7th June 2010
“The Elias Quartet catches the powerful emotional undercurrents superbly. The colours, the subtlety of the sounds and the sensitivity of the playing are telling, and in Britten’s Second Quartet...they show that they’re not afraid to explore the violence of the central Vivace, making it snap and bristle with positively Bartok-ian physicality.”
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