December 2, 2018 at 11:15
Carducci Quartet and Julian Bliss perform:
- Brahms: Clarinet Quintet in B minor, op 115
- Jenkins: Barrelhouse for String Quartet (2018)
- Glass: String Quartet no 2
Book Tickets by Telephone
- Adults – £12.00
- Children 11-17 – £6.00
- Children 5-10 – Free (Please note: we do not admit children under five years old)
Call +44 7518 479062 to reserve tickets in advance
(Please note: Tickets reserved by telephone will be held at the door on the day until 11:00 only.)
More Venue & Ticketing Information
Click here for information on the Holywell Music Room, purchasing tickets from resellers and where to get your complimentary cup of coffee.
Introducing the performers…
Julian Bliss is one of the world’s finest clarinettists, excelling as a concerto soloist, chamber musician, jazz artist, masterclass leader and tireless musical explorer. He has inspired a generation of young players as guest lecturer and creator of his Conn-Selmer range of affordable clarinets, and introduced a substantial new audience to his instrument.
Born in the UK, Julian started playing the clarinet aged four, going on to study in the United States at the University of Indiana and in Germany under Sabine Meyer. The breadth and depth of his artistry are reflected in the diversity and distinction of his work.
In recital and chamber music, Julian has played at most of the world’s leading festivals and venues, including Gstaad, Mecklenburg Vorpommern, Verbier, London’s Wigmore Hall and the Lincoln Center in New York. As soloist, he has appeared with a wide range of international orchestras from the Sao Paolo Symphony, Chamber Orchestra of Paris, and Auckland Philharmonia, to the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, London Philharmonic and Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
In 2012 he established the Julian Bliss Septet, creating programmes inspired by King of Swing, Benny Goodman, and Latin music from Brazil and Cuba that have gone on to be performed to packed houses in festivals, Ronnie Scott’s in London, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and across the United States.
Julian’s album releases receiving rave reviews from critics, album of the week spots and media attention include his recording of Mozart and Nielsen concertos with the Royal Northern Sinfonia. His latest chamber discs include a new piece for clarinet and string quartet by David Bruce – Gumboots (inspired by the gumboot dancing of miners in South Africa) – and a recital album of Russian and French composers with American pianist Bradley Moore.
Recent highlights include an exciting new concerto by Wayne Shorter, with the Argovia Philharmonic, an extensive tour of the USA with his septet, and chamber concerts with the Carducci Quartet.
“It isn’t just his technique, though that is astonishing enough. It’s the wit, poise and vivacity in his playing. In short, it is the pure intuition leading him straight to the heart of what he plays…”
“Bliss must no longer be regarded merely as a great talent, but rather as a consummate master of his instrument.”
“Bliss does the works proud…”
“Poise, agility and alertness permeate these winning, infectious performances.”
BBC Music Magazine (Four Star Review)
“All the works collected here showcase the attractive qualities of Bliss’s playing, rich and fruity in the showier passages, effortless in the demanding runs made by Nielsen in particular and, at the sublime moments, appropriately mellifluous and sonorous.”
“But the Queen did hear one top-class performance: Mozart’s clarinet concerto, played on the authentic basset clarinet (with its vital extra bass notes) by the 17-year-old Julian Bliss. Sinuous, immaculate and unfussy, he reserved his subtlest powers for the end of the sublime adagio, delivered so quietly that 6,000 people held their breath.”
Click here for more information
Matthew Denton (violin)
Michelle Fleming (violin)
Eoin Schmidt-Martin (viola)
Emma Denton (cello)
Described by The Strad as presenting “a masterclass in unanimity of musical purpose, in which severity could melt seamlessly into charm, and drama into geniality”, the Carducci Quartet is recognised as one of today’s most successful ensembles. Performing over 90 concerts worldwide each year, the quartet also run their own recording label, Carducci Classics; an annual festival in Highnam, Gloucester; and have curated their own Carducci Festival in Castagneto-Carducci, the town from which they took their name.
Winners of international competitions, including the Concert Artists Guild International Competition 2007 and Finland’s Kuhmo International Chamber Music Competition, the Anglo-Irish quartet has appeared at prestigious venues across the globe including the Wigmore Hall, London; National Concert Hall, Dublin; Tivoli Concert Hall, Copenhagen; Carnegie Hall, New York and Library of Congress and John F Kennedy Center, Washington DC. Festival appearances include the Cheltenham Music Festival; Festival Messiaen au pays Meije; West Cork Chamber Music Festival; Kuhmo Festival; and the Wratislavia Cantans Festival in Poland.
2015 saw the quartet present the complete catalogue of Shostakovich’s String Quartets across a number of international cycles to commemorate 40 years since the composer’s death. The project was accompanied by a recording of quartet’s number 4, 8 and 11, their second disc for Signum Classics. Further to this, the quartet toured Germany, Holland and Colombia and collaborated with guitarist Craig Ogden, clarinettist Emma Johnson, cellists Guy Johnston and Christian-Pierre La Marca.
Highly celebrated for their interpretation of contemporary repertoire, the Carducci Quartet is regularly invited to perform new works. They presented the world premiere of Anthony Gilbert’s cello quintet, Haven of Mysteries with Guy Johnston, and curated two projects at Kings Place, London around Steve Reich and Philip Glass.
2013 saw the release of two recordings: Into the Ravine with Nicholas Daniel, their debut release for Signum Classics, featuring British works composed for the ensemble, and Alexander Raskatov’s Monks Music, listed as one of the top 5 classical recordings of 2013 by the Irish Times. The quartet has also received wide critical acclaim for recordings on their own record label, and their catalogue features two world premiere recordings: works by G Whettam (“recording of the month”, MusicWeb International) and J Horovitz (“beautifully crafted works…excellent performances”, BBC Music Magazine). They have also recorded Vivaldi and Piazzolla with the Katona Twins Guitar Duo for Channel Classics, as well as Philip Glass for Naxos.
“…a performance of supreme clarity, focus and precision.”
“…playing of constant variety, a masterclass in unanimity of musical purpose.”
“…the Carducci players displayed a deep and almost familial sense of unity in everything they played… full of life and vitality… extravagantly beautiful…”
The Washington Post
“…technical rigour, penetrative musical insight and lively yet unified individualism… winning in every sense of the word…”
The Irish Times
“…high-octane playing balanced control with devil-may-care spontaneity…”
“…the Carducci String Quartet were stunning… they are clearly musicians of high intelligence…”
“The Carducci Quartet played a blinder at the Wigmore Hall… playing of vivacity and constant rhythmic subtlety…”
“…their ascent into the league of the world’s major quartets has been phenomenal…”
The Yorkshire Post
Click here for more information