Fitzwilliam String Quartet - February concert

Clare Hall is delighted to present what promises to be a spell-binding concert by our Quartet-in-Residence, the Fitzwilliam String Quartet, accompanied by our Musician-in-Residence, Patrick Hemmerlé, on piano.

Saturday 5 February 2022 from 7.30pm
Clare Hall Dining Room

Tickets: £15 General Admission, £10 Clare Hall members, £5 students and children - available soon via Eventbrite. There may be some tickets available on the door, but this is not guaranteed. Please book to avoid disappointment. 

If this concert cannot take place in-person due to Covid-19 we will let our audience know in good time, and refund all tickets.


Peter McCarthy - Berry Hill (2020)                

Rebecca Clarke - Poem (1926)

Ralph Vaughan Williams - Quartet No.2 (1943)                           

Johannes Brahms - Piano Quintet in F minor, Op.34 (1862)

Alan George, a founding member of the Quartet, comments:
The first half of our second concert is all-English: not an area we had been particularly known for until 2008, when we found ourselves caught up in the Vaughan Williams 50th anniversary, then Delius in 2012 and Britten the following year. Both the first two composers here have been highly active string players – Rebecca Clarke as one of the finest viola players of her generation, and Peter McCarthy still among the leading double bass and viol players of the Early Music movement. We have teamed up with a large array of distinguished pianists over the years - from Ogdon, Ashkenazy, Schiller in the 1970s/80s to Anna Tilbrook, Simon Callaghan, and Yoko Misumi more recently - so it will be a particular pleasure to begin a new association here with Patrick Hemmerlé."

About Fitzwilliam String Quartet

International recognition came early for the FSQ as the first group to record and perform all fifteen Shostakovich string quartets, drawing on the players' personal connection with the composer. Shostakovich travelled to York to hear FSQ’s performance of his thirteenth quartet, and this musical friendship (the composer’s own word) prospered from then on.

The FSQ has appeared regularly across the world, while making several award-winning recordings for Decca, Linn, and Divine Art. A long-term ambition to record Beethoven and Schubert on gut strings – following the success of previous discs on historical instruments – was finally initiated during their fiftieth anniversary season, with recordings of Schubert’s last four quartets (the C minor and G major are now available). The FSQ remains one of the few prominent quartets to play on older set-ups, yet simultaneously bringing about the addition of over 60 new works to the repertoire.

Having been Quartet-in-Residence at York for twelve years, at Warwick for three, and at Bucknell, Pennsylvania, USA from 1978, their university work continues at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge; at St Andrews; and now at Clare Hall. They have also been granted their own annual chamber music festival at Hay-on-Wye. The quartet’s anniversary season itself included a concert back in Cambridge in March 2019, 50 years to the day after that debut performance.

About Patrick Hemmerlé

Acclaimed for the originality of his programmes and the depth of his interpretations, Hemmerlé is a French pianist living in Cambridge. He can often be heard performing such works as the 24 Chopin Etudes, the 48 Bach Preludes and Fugues, or lesser-known composers such as Jean Roger-Ducasse and Maurice Emanuel, whose public reputation has yet to rise to their worth. Recent pre-pandemic engagements have taken him to New York, Los Angeles, Berlin, Paris, Vienna, and Prague, as well as many festivals and music societies in England. He has published 3 CDs, which have been well received by the international press. His vast musicological knowledge, and his capacity to clarify complex musical concepts means that he is in demand as a lecturer.

Hemmerlé is laureate of the international competitions of Valencia, Toledo, Epinal, Grossetto, and more recently the CFRPM, in Paris, where his interpretation of Villa-Lobos’s Rudepoema, raised a great deal of interest. Patrick was trained in Paris at the Conservatoire (CNR), under the tuition of Billy Eidi. He has also had lessons with Ventsislav Yankoff, Eric Heidsieck and Joaquin Soriano. 

Useful information for attendees

  • Accessibility details: full step-free access, accessible toilet, lift.
  • Find directions on how to get to Clare Hall and contact details here.
  • Read up-to-date information relating to Covid-19 and visiting Clare Hall on this page.

Photo: Glen T Photography