RTE Vanbrugh Quartet

RTÉ Vanbrugh Quartet

Lecturers in Chamber Music

Vanburgh Quartet colour photograph by KEITH SAUNDERS The RTÉ Vanbrugh Quartet is established as one of Europe's most successful string quartets, widely recognized for its beauty of sound, clarity of texture and integrity of interpretation.

Appointed Resident Quartet to RTÉ in 1986, the group went on to win the London International String Quartet Competition in 1988, and has since built up a thriving international career. The Quartet's current overseas season includes visits to the UK, the USA, China, Estonia and Italy.

The Quartet has given close to seven hundred recitals throughout the length and breadth of Ireland both in regular concert series and for many communities which have never hosted a string quartet before. They are Artists in Residence to University College, Cork and in recognition of their services to music in Ireland were presented with the 1995 National Entertainment Award for classical music. In 1996, the Quartet launched the Vanbrugh Quartet Scholarship Fund, a charitable fund dedicated to encouraging the art of chamber music amongst Ireland's talented young musicians; in the same year the Quartet founded the West Cork Chamber Music Festival and has since overseen its emergence as one of Europe's most vibrant music festivals. In April 2005 the Quartet hosted European Quartet Week as part of Cork’s tenure as European Capital of Culture.

The Quartet has consistently championed the work of Irish composers in concerts and broadcasts in Ireland and abroad, and has premiered new works by John Kinsella, Jane O'Leary, Ian Wilson, Raymond Deane, Donnacha Dennehy, Eric Sweeney, Rachel Holstead, Deirdre Gribbin, David Cox and Stephen Gardner.

The RTÉ Vanbrugh Quartet are recipients of an Arts Council bursary 2006-2008, an award designed to enable the group to explore new areas of repertoire.

In 2005, Hyperion, in association with RTÉ, released the second of two Vanbrugh Quartet CDs of chamber music by Dublin born Charles Villiers Stanford (“alive with melodic invention and supremely crafted … consistently stylish playing” Classic FM magazine). The Quartet’s recent recording of three of Boccherini’s cello quintets, on Hyperion, was featured as Editor’s Choice in Gramophone magazine (“delectable, sophisticated, nostalgic”); other recent CDs include Metronome’s second CD devoted to the music of Piers Hellawell, a Black Box release of Ian Wilson's three quartets and a recording for Hyperion of works for quartet and soprano by John Tavener. They join a discography of twenty-five releases which includes the complete Beethoven Quartets (“mighty impressive throughout” BBC Music Magazine) and works by Haydn, Schubert, Dvorak, Janacek, Dohnanyi, E.J. Moeran, Robert Simpson, John Tavener, John McCabe, John Kinsella, Raymond Deane, Brian Boydell and Walter Beckett.

“this committed ensemble feels more galvanized and exciting than ever” The Strad July 2005