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Ruisi Quartet, String Quartet

Biography

Winners of the Royal Philharmonic Society award for Young British String Players, the Ruisi Quartet has established a reputation as a charismatic and expressive ensemble, delivering performances that are “strikingly immediate, committed and direct” (Chichester Observer). Founded in 2012 by half-Sicilian brothers Alessandro and Max, the quartet perform regularly throughout the UK and Europe and have been selected as Kirckman Concert Society Artists for 2018/19.

Based in London, the group have given concerts at many leading venues, including the Wigmore Hall, Kings Place, Brighton Dome and Conway Hall, plus appearances in Scotland, Spain, Germany and Austria. Dedicated to continually exploring and developing, the group have studied with a wide-range of leading musicians. In 2018, they have been selected for an Aldeburgh Chamber Music Residency (working with cellist/conductor David Watkin), and for the IMS Prussia Cove masterclasses with Thomas Adés. 

In 2016 the group were Quartet in Residence at the Wye Valley Chamber Music Festival, and in the same year were selected as Tunnell Trust Award winners. They also attended the 2015 IMS Prussia Cove Masterclasses, where they worked with Ferenc Rados and Rita Wagner. For the 2013/14 season the group were selected for the ‘ChamberStudio’ Mentorship programme at Kings Place, London. This allowed the quartet to work closely with mentor Simon Rowland-Jones, whilst also receiving masterclasses from some of the world’s most eminent chamber musicians. They have also been lucky enough to work with Gábor Takács, Anthony Marwood, Levon Chilingirian, Pavel Fischer, Krysia Osostowicz and Peter Cropper. 

Recent highlights have included a tour of Scotland in 2017, live performances on BBC Radio 3 and the use of the Vuillaume 'Evangelist' instruments that were on short-term loan to the quartet. The quartet are grateful for the long-term loan of a specially made set of matching instruments by Harris & Sheldon of London.

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Ruisi Quartet play Bartók and Haydn

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Programmes

Britten’s Three Divertimenti open this concert, a charming set of three dances that explore some of the inventive sonorities that can be produced by a string quartet. Moving to a choice of two lesser-known works by Haydn, the Ruisi Quartet highlight the composer's constant search for innovation and evolution when writing string quartets. Mendelssohn’s lush and passionate Quartet Op. 13 completes the programme, a work written by a teenager, and inspired by the late string quartets of Beethoven.

​Britten – Three Divertimenti

Haydn – String Quartet in B minor, Op. 64 No. 2  or  Haydn – String Quartet in E flat major, Op. 71 No. 3 

Mendelssohn – String Quartet in A minor, Op. 13

Folk dances weave in and out of this programme: they build up in Stravinsky's Three Pieces to land in Bartók’s heavily folk-influenced Second String Quartet. Folk elements come back in the third movement of Beethoven’s second ‘Razumovsky’ quartet, but are combined with loftier styles: the slow movement is a hymn said to have been written as Beethoven looked up at the stars, and contemplated the music of the spheres.

​Stravinsky – Three Pieces for String Quartet

Bartók – String Quartet No. 2 Sz. 67

Beethoven – String Quartet in E minor, Op. 59 No. 2

Mozart’s re-working of a selection of fugues from Bach’s Well Tempered Clavier opens a programme exploring connections through music and time. As Mozart did with Bach’s fugues, in Purcell’s Fantasias the quartet translate the archaic sound world of viols into a modern string experience.

Mozart’s celebrated Prussian quartets were dedicated to the King (himself a virtuosic cellist), influencing Mozart to write a quartet with an unusual degree of prominence for the cello. The programme closes with Bartók; a composer that managed to transcend the established tradition of string quartet writing whilst referencing the simple folk music of his native Hungary.

Bach – Five Fugues arr. W.A. Mozart

Mozart – String Quartet in D major, K. 575

Purcell – Three Fantasias

Bartók – String Quartet No. 2 Sz. 67

Reviews

This performance was a revelation. Joy and anguish, tenderness and high spirits, they were all there in this understated, refined, masterly performance.

stringsattachedmusic.org.uk

Strikingly immediate, committed and direct

Chichester Observer, 2014

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