Tamsin Waley-Cohen and Emma Parker, violin
Ann Beilby, viola
Nathaniel Boyd, ‘cello
Formed in 2016, the Albion Quartet unites four outstanding young string players, brought together by a shared belief in the visceral power of the string quartet. The upcoming season sees the quartet returning to the Wigmore Hall and Aldeburgh Festival, as well as continuing residencies at Sainte-Mere Festival in France and RWCMD in Cardiff. They will be making a number of broadcasts for BBC Radio 3, whilst continuing their recording projects for Signum Records, for whom they are exclusive artists. Their debut recording and first in a cycle of Dvořák quartets was released in May 2019.
Having previously made their debuts at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam as well as the Auditorium du Louvre in Paris, the 2018/19 season saw the Albion Quartet’s debuts at the Wigmore Hall and at Town Hall/Symphony Hall Birmingham.
The ensemble is committed to exploring new repertoire and has premiered a new work for soprano and string quartet by Kate Whitley at THSH Birmingham and performed a new full-length quartet by Freya Waley-Cohen at the Wigmore Hall in October 2019.
Passionate about musical education, the quartet holds a residency at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama, where they regularly give masterclasses and performances in the Dora Stoutzker Hall. As a Cavatina Chamber Music Trust ensemble, they also give frequent workshops at primary school level where they are thrilled to share the magic of chamber music with children from diverse backgrounds. In 2020, they will be extending their educational work even further by launching ‘Friends of the Albion Quartet’, aimed at developing mini-residencies with schools in the state sector and in the special needs category.
… anyone who thinks that the new generation of super-quartets are merely about virtuoso brilliance should hear the myriad shades of russet and gold that the Albion Quartet find in these two enchanting works. This, surely, is how Dvořák’s chamber music is supposed to sound: luminous, playful (there’s a real kick to his dotted dance-rhythms), and simultaneously generous and touchingly intimate…I know it’s early, but I can already see this being my pick of the year.
Gramophone Magazine (Richard Bratby), March 2020
“And the playing, by the excellent Albion, is masterly in its vividness, freedom and sensitivity.”
The Times (David Cairn) February 2020
They bring a molten intensity to its opening movement, luminous transparency to the Fugue, and they invest the chromatically-sliding leitmotif of the Intermezzo with a haunting ominousness.”
The Independent (Michael Church), September 2019
”Colours and textures [in Walton’s Quartet in A minor] were beautifully judged, from febrile to mercurial and finally spiky.”
The Guardian (Ryan Evans), 2019