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November 2019

String quartets: A, opus 18, no 5; G, opus 18, no 2; A minor, opus 132

20th November 2019 @ 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

Endellion String Quartet, Quartet in Residence at the University of Cambridge

West Road Concert Hall, 11 West Road, Cambridge CB3 9DP

Tickets: £6 – £28 from Cambridge Live Tickets, Wheeler St, Cambridge CB2 3QB.

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January 2020

String quartets: B flat, opus 18, no 6; F, opus 135; E flat, opus 74 (“Harp”)

January 29 @ 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

Endellion String Quartet, Quartet in Residence at the University of Cambridge

West Road Concert Hall, 11 West Road, Cambridge CB3 9DP

Tickets: £6 – £28 from Cambridge Live Tickets, Wheeler St, Cambridge CB2 3QB.

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February 2020

Piano trio and overture

February 4 @ 1:10 pm - 1:55 pm

Collegium Musicum. Director: Luke Fitzgerald

St John’s Old Divinity School, All Saints Passage

Free admission

Part of the CUMS Lunchtime Concert Series

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Elegiac Song opus 118; Overtures ‘Egmont’ opus 84 and ‘Coriolan’ opus 62; Haydn: Insanae et vanae curae; Reger: Variations on a theme of Beethoven opus 86

February 9 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm

King’s Voices and King’s College Symphony. Director: Ben Parry

King’s College Dining Hall, King’s Parade, CB2 1ST

Ticket information to be announced

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Masterclass: Beethoven’s chamber music, followed by recital: piano sonatas opus 109, 110 and 111

February 18 @ 4:30 pm - 7:15 pm

Note: masterclass is 4.30pm – 5.30pm; recital is 6pm – 7.15pm

Ronan O’Hara (piano). Head of Keyboard Studies and Head of Advanced Performance Studies at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London

Yusuf Hamied Theatre, Christ’s College CB2 3BU

Tickets: £5 and £8, call 01223 334 900

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Beethoven String Quartet in B flat, opus 130 (arr Azkoul), Schubert: Quartettsatz D703 (arr Azkoul)

February 20 @ 7:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Note: this programme is repeated on the same date, at 9pm

United Strings of Europe. Julian Azkoul (Director)

The Provost’s Lodge, King’s College, King’s Parade, Cambridge CB2 1ST

Tickets: £40 (to include pre-concert drink in the Provost’s Study) from http://www.kings.cam.ac.uk/concerts, or 01223 769 342

A small exhibition of Beethoven first editions will also be available for viewing in the Lodge before the concert

“An ebullient ensemble . . . led by the fine violinist Julian Azkoul, the nine young players were drawn from eight countries, and their repertoire is similarly wide-ranging.” (Richard Morrison, The Times, 3 February).

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Julian Azkoul has given us some insights into the way he approaches the transcription process:

“The power and drama of Schubert’s Quartettsatz and his String Quintet in the same key struck me in my early years as a violinist and music student. I became convinced that the inherent contrasts in the work with its almost whiplash shifts of emotion and character could be heightened to great effect by a larger ensemble and the addition of the double bass. This was the first quartet transcription I wrote for the United Stringsof Europe and it will be the opening track of our debut album Something to Tell You which we are recording next month with a release set for later this year.

I have been no less transfixed by Beethoven’s Late String Quartets, taking a course on them while an undergraduate at King’s College. The contrasting elements in the String Quartet in B flat Op 130 are arguably more extreme than those in Schubert’s Quartettsatz: contrasts of key, tempo, thematic material and texture ensure the work remains one of Beethoven’s most compelling. My approach was similar to the one employed in my transcription of Quartettsatz: emphasising textural changes in the original composition by alternating between the original quartet texture and that of the larger ensemble. Although it is perhaps more common these days to hear the quartet performed with the original Grosse fuge as an ending, the enigmatic movement can by its very nature and scale detract from what precedes it (both for the performer and the listener). As such, for the premiere of my transcription of the quartet, we have opted for Beethoven’s alternative finale. Nevertheless, do not be surprised if you see us programme the Grosse fuge as a stand-alone work sometime soon.”

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