Presented by the National Concert Hall in association with the National String Quartet Foundation and RTE

1. Sunday September 23rd at 3pm - FICINO QUARTET

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Elaine Clark, violin     
Lynda O'Connor, violin
Nathan Sherman, violin
Ailbhe McDonagh, cello

Szymanowski: String Quartet No.1 in C major Op. 37
Janáček: String Quartet No.1 ‘Kreutzer Sonata’
Schubert: String Quartet No.14 in D minor D. 810 ‘Death and the Maiden’

Ficino Ensemble was formed by Artistic Director Nathan Sherman in 2012 as a
flexible group aiming to perform popular chamber music alongside lesser known works that deserve to be appreciated. The Quartet features four outstanding musicans who are building an impressive reputation and an exciting repertoire. Two great early twentieth century quartets by Szymanowski (1917) and Janacek (1923) are complemented in this fascinating programme by Schubert’s masterpiece ‘Death and the Maiden’

2. Sunday October 7th at 3pm - NAVARRA QUARTET


Magnus Johnston, violin
Marije Johnston, viola
Simone van der Giessen, violin
Brian O’Kane, cello

Haydn: String Quartet No. 2 in C major, Op.20
Pēteris Vasks: String Quartet No.4
Schubert: String Quartet No.15 in G major, D. 887

The Navarra Quartet enjoys an international reputation as one of today’s most dynamic and poetic string quartets. Prizewinners at competitions in Canada, Australia and Italy, their line-up includes Irish cellist Brian O’Kane. They will play one of Haydn’s charming yet sophisticated early quartets, Latvian composer Peteris Vasks’ richly atmospheric fourth quartet and Schubert’s epic, monumental G major string quartet.

3. Sunday October 14th at 3pm - CONTEMPO QUARTET (in association with RTE)


Bogdan Sofei, violin
Ingrid Nicola, violin
Andreea Banciu, viola
Adrian Mantu, cello

Haydn: String Quartet No. 1, Op.76
Jennifer Walshe: ‘Minard’ (quartet and electronics)
Brahms: String Quartet No. 1 in C minor, Op. 51

Formed in Bucharest in 1995, Galway’s Ensemble in Residence since 2003 and RTE’s Resident Quartet since 2013, the multiple award-winning ConTempo Quartet is Ireland’s longest established string quartet. They combine performance of the classical quartet repertoire with a strong commitment to Ireland’s composers, presenting works by Jennifer Walshe and Linda Buckley in this series, alongside works by Haydn and Brahms.

4. Sunday October 21st at 3pm - CARDUCCI QUARTET


Matthew Denton, violin
Michelle Fleming, violin
Eoin Schmidt-Martin, viola
Emma Denton, cello
Beethoven: String Quartet No. 4 in C minor, Op. 18
 Donnacha Dennehy:    ‘Pushpulling’
 Philip Glass: String Quartet No. 3 “Mishima”
 Mendelssohn: String Quartet No. 6 in F minor, Op. 80

 The versatile and award-winning Anglo-Irish Carducci Quartet was founded in 1997 and has won numerous international competitions, including the Concert Artists Guild Competition 2007 and Finland’s Kuhmo International Chamber Music Competition 2004. Their Naxos recordings of Philip Glass’ Quartets have had over six million plays on Spotify and they will play his popular third quartet in this programme alongside two classical masterpieces – Beethoven’s early, stormy, C minor quartet, and Mendelssohn’s late, tragic, F minor quartet. Donnacha Dennehy’s intriguing ‘Pushpulling’ from 2007 completes a compelling programme.

5. Sunday November 11th at 3pm - CONTEMPO QUARTET (in association with RTE)

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Bogdan Sofei, violin
Ingrid Nicola, violin
Andreea Banciu, viola
Adrian Mantu, cello

Haydn: String Quartet in B flat major, Op. 76 No. 4 ‘Sunrise’
Linda Buckley: 'Haza’ (quartet and electronics)
Brahms: String Quartet No. 3 in B flat major, Op. 67

 The ConTempo’s Haydn and Brahms journey continues with Haydn’s glorious, uplifting ‘Sunrise’ Quartet and Brahms’ third quartet - wonderful music which continually challenges the players to create a soundscape bigger than a string quartet but yet which ‘truly sounds like the work of a man on his summer holiday.  Especially in its outer movements there is a feeling of the countryside, of sunshine’ (Misha Amory).

6. Sunday November 18th- SHANDON QUARTET

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Siún Milne, violin
Brendan Garde, violin
David Kenny, viola
Aoife Burke

Haydn: String Quartet in C minor, Op.76 No. 3 ‘Emperor’
Raymond Deane: ‘Embers’
Schumann: String Quartet in A major, Op.41 No. 3

Four of Cork’s brightest musical stars have come together as the Shandon Quartet and bring a wealth of talent and experience to this delightful programme. Haydn’s 62nd String Quartet, ‘Emperor’, abounds with charm and vitality, incorporating folk dance rhythms and some stunning virtuosity. Raymond Deane wrote his quartet Embers in 1973 when he was only twenty years old and it remains one of his best loved works. Schumann’s third quartet is lyrical, dramatic, full of conflicting emotions and abundant in beautiful musical references to Clara, his wife. 

7. Sunday December 2nd - ESPOSITO QUARTET

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Mia Cooper, violin
Anna Cashell, violin
Joachim Roewer, viola
William Butt, cello

Boccherini: String Quartet in E flat major, Op. 26 No. 4
Shostakovich: Two Pieces For String Quartet: (Elegy & Polka)
Sebastian Adams: String Quartet No. 2
Grieg: String Quartet No.1 in G minor, Op. 27

 The Esposito Quartet comprises four of our most distinguished musicians with a combined wealth of experience as recital artists, orchestral leaders and teachers, whose common love of the quartet treasury brought them together in 2010. Their programme includes one of Boccherini’s joyous quartets, two short gems by Shostakovich including the wonderfully silly Polka, rising composer Sebastian Adams’ second quartet, and the great 1877 G minor quartet by Grieg, which, he wrote, ‘aims at breadth, to soar, and above all at a vigorous sound for the instruments for which it is written’.

8. Sunday December 9th at 3pm - LIR QUARTET

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Mairéad Hickey, violin
Siobhán Doyle, violin
Ed Creedon, viola
Christopher Ellis, cello

Debussy: String Quartet in G minor, Op. 10
Seán Doherty: String Quartet No. 3 ‘The Devil’s Dream’
Beethoven: String Quartet No. 9 in C major, Op. 59 No. 3

Founded for Barry Douglas’ 2017 Clandeboye Festival, the Lir Quartet is one of Ireland’s most exciting chamber groups. Their programme includes Debussy’s lyrical, sensuous string quartet and a stunning new work by Donegal composer Sean Doherty which weaves traditional and classical together in a captivating musical tapestry. They will finish with Beethoven’s third ‘Rasoumovsky’ Quartet, renowned for its fearsome virtuosity.