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Castalian String Quartet

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PRESS ACCLAIM

"Outstanding….. a series of intricately connected works, each performed with rare beauty and originality by a quartet working at the height of its powers."

-BBC Magazine

"The Castalian Quartet makes the simplest things we hear into the most important things we could ever want to hear.... There were times that I simply could not believe my ears."

-Calgary Herald

"The Clarinet Quintet, a desert island choice for many of us, given a desert island-worthy performance here, ended the concert. To hear this music, so full of poetry, joy and sorrow, realised to such perfection, felt like a miracle.”

-The Guardian (UK)

This is indeed a special release from Delphian and the Castalian Quartet which deserves the very highest praise."

-BBC Music Magazine

“Deep contemplation and vivid spontaneity…The quartet’s [playing] is nothing short of a revelation in its lucidity of line and sheer beauty of sound.”

-BBC Music Magazine

“Their unique style – a powerful individuality of sound matched by an instinctive singularity of musical intention – lit up every single moment... A terrific programme; amazing players.”

-The Scotsman

REPERTOIRE

2025 - 2026 PROGRAMS

October 26 - November 9, 2025 &

February 15 - March 1, 2026

Master List of offered repertory:

Beethoven:  Quartet in C#-minor, Op. 131
Brahms:  Quartet in A-minor, Op. 52, No 2

Dvorak:  a selection from “Cypresses” (10 minutes)
Haydn:  Quartet in F-Major, Op. 77, No. 2

Janacek:  String Quartet No 2 (“Intimate Letters”)
György Kurtag:  “Aus der Ferne III” (3 minutes)
Mendelssohn:  Quartet in Eb-Major, Op. 44, No. 3

Schumann:  “Der Dichter Spricht” (2 min – arranged for quartet)

Specific suggested programs

Program 1:  Haydn 77/2; Mendelssohn 44/3 // Beethoven 131

Program 2 (“Love Letters”):  Schumann “Dichter”; Kurtag “Ferne”; Dvorak “Cypresses”; Janacek “Intimate Letters” // Brahms Op 51/2
 

Program 3:  Haydn 77/2; Janacek 2 // Brahms 51/2  OR (presenter choice) Beethoven 131

Other combinations from the above are possible.  Please let us know your preference and we will consult the quartet.

Please indicate your selection and return a copy of this form to our office.

March 2024

BIOGRAPHY

Sini Simonen, violin

Daniel Roberts, violin

Natalie Loughran, viola

Steffan Morris, cello

“A powerful individuality of sound matched by an instinctive singularity of musical intention”  – The Scotsman

Since its formation in 2011, the London-based Castalian Quartet has distinguished itself as one of the most dynamic, sophisticated young string quartets performing today.  They are an Artist in Residence at the Wigmore Hall in London and are the inaugural Hans Keller String Quartet in Residence at the Oxford University Faculty of Music. They are also the recipient of the Royal Philharmonic Society’s 2019 Young Artists Award.

 

The Castalian Quartet will tour North America in the 2023-24 season with performances in Dallas, San Francisco, Louisville, Chicago, Houston, and many other cities. Another highlight will be their collaboration with pianist Stephen Hough, who will join them for concerts in Costa Mesa, Carmel and Napa, CA; New York, NY; Rockport, MA; and Washington, D.C.

 

The Quartet works with many living composers, including recent premieres of works by Mark-Anthony Turnage, Charlotte Bray, and Edmund Finnis. They have also established a strong presence abroad, with performances of the complete Haydn Op.76 Quartets at Wigmore Hall; at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Berlin Philharmonic, Hamburg Elbphilharmonie, Paris Philharmonie, Vienna Konzerthaus, Montreal’s Salle Bourgie, Carnegie Hall, the Spoleto USA Festival, and the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. They have played at the Heidelberger Frühling, East Neuk, Kuhmo, Edinburgh, Lockenhaus, and Banff International Festivals. Further afield, they undertook tours of China and Colombia.

 

In spring 2022, the Castalian Quartet released its first recording, Between Two Worlds (Delphian), featuring works by Thomas Adès, Beethoven, and first violinist Sini Simonen’s own arrangements of early works by Orlando de Lassus and John Dowland.

 

The Castalian Quartet studied with Oliver Wille (Kuss Quartet) at the Hannover University of Music, Drama and Media, graduating with a Master’s degree.  In addition to the above, awards include Third Prize at the 2016 Banff Quartet Competition and First Prize at the 2015 Lyon Chamber Music Competition. The Quartet was selected by Young Classical Artists Trust (YCAT) in 2016.  They have received coaching from Simon Rowland-Jones, David Waterman and Isabel Charisius.

 

Their name is derived from the Castalian Spring in the ancient city of Delphi. According to Greek mythology, the nymph Castalia transformed herself into a fountain to evade Apollo’s pursuit, thus creating a source of poetic inspiration for all who drink from her waters.

2024-25 season

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