A Boy Was Born Festival - Ensemble 360 play Quartet No 1

A Boy Was Born Festival - Ensemble 360 play Quartet No 1

Tuesday, November 19, 2013 - 19:30

Despite gaining the official title String Quartet No 1, the work is not actually Britten’s first composition for the genre. Britten was incredibly sensitive to criticism, and had a tendency to abandon compositions that were not warmly received. Such is the case as Britten’s first work for String quartet (also in D major) composed whilst the composer was studying at the Royal College of Music. The official String Quartet No 1 dates from 1941 when the composer was in America. Commissioned by an important American music patron, Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge, Britten completed the scores in the space of just two months. The quartet is the most classical of three, and contrasts vigorous, spikey, dance like rhythms with fresh lyrical moments of calm and serenity.

Ensemble 360 has gained an enviable reputation across the UK not only for the quality and integrity of the members’ playing, but also for their ability to communicate the music to a range of different audiences. Formed in 2005, eleven musicians of international standing came together to take up residency in Sheffield with Music in the Round, establishing a versatile group comprising five string players, five wind players and a pianist.

‘A Boy Was Born’ is a festival of music organised by the University of Sheffield celebrating 100 years of the composer Benjamin Britten. For more information please visit the A Boy Was Born website.

String Quartet No 1 in D
Benjamin Britten (1913-1976)
Fantasy String Quartet
Herbert Howells (1892-1983)
3 Divertimenti for String Quartet
Benjamin Britten (1913-1976)
String Quartet in G minor
Claude Debussy (1862-1918)


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