Vertavo String Quartet

Introducing the performers…

Øyvor Volle (violin)
Annabelle Meare (violin)
Berit Cardas (viola)
Bjørg Lewis (cello)

The Vertavo Quartet is internationally recognised as one of the most masterful string quartets playing today. Since their formation in Norway in 1984, their dynamic and deeply thoughtful performances have captivated audiences worldwide. In June 2005, the quartet was honoured with the Grieg Prize, an award bestowed on artists of high international standing and whose former recipients include Leif Ove Andsnes, Truls Mørk and the Grieg Trio. Just ten years previously in 1995 they had won First Prize at the 2nd Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition where they were also awarded the Audience prize and the Critics’ prize.

The quartet now play at all the major concert venues in the world. They tour extensively throughout Europe and also in Japan and the US. Recent tours and concerts have taken them to Norway, Spain, Mexico, Sweden, Poland, the US and the UK. They have given concerts at Concertgebouw, Amsterdam; Barbican, London; Kings Place, London and were invited to participate in the 2013 celebration of Benjamin Britten’ s centenary at the Aldeburgh Festival 2013. Collaboration also plays an integral role in the Vertavo Quartet’s concert life; they have formed partnerships with Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Leif Ove Andsnes, Lambert Orkis, Steven Kovacevich, Håkan Hardenberger, Martin Fröst, Sabine Meyer, Isabelle van Keulen. In 2014 they will undertake a quintet tour with the renowned British pianist Paul Lewis.

The quartet’s discography is a diverse one and includes Schumann, Brahms, Grieg, Debussy, Bartok, Nielsen, Asheim, “Les Vendredis” (Russian vignettes of the turn of the 20th century) all for SIMAX Classics, as well as the Mozart clarinet quintet with Martin Fröst for BIS Records. Their Debussy and Grieg recording received the Diapason d’Or.

The Vertavo Quartet have always had a great affinity for contemporary music and have given commanding performances of works by Ligeti, Adès, Widmann, Gabriela Frank and works by contemporary Nordic composers such as Nørgård, Edlund and Asheim. In March 2013, they gave the world premiere of Poul Ruders’s 4th String Quartet at a major festival of Danish and Finnish composers at the Barbican Hall in London to great critical acclaim.

The 21 variations on the Passacaglia are punctured with cadenzas for cello, viola and violin in turn and these anguished outbursts were delivered with passionate conviction by the Vertao players. It made for a forceful climax.”

The Guardian

Played with a thrilling ironfist-in-velvet-glove touch by the Vertavo Quartet, [Poul Ruders’s 4th string quartet] was a miracle of stylistic lightfootedness.”

The Daily Telegraph

The second of Schoenberg’s four quartets was given by the Vertavo Quartet, four (female) Norwegians, whose reading combined passion and clarity, intellect and emotion, in true Schoenbergian fashion.”

The Sunday Times


“…the garlands must go to the Vertavo Quartet, an all-female ensemble from Norway. They threw themselves at the Bartók Fourth Quartet, taking its ferocious difficulties in their stride with a raw, primal force that immediately raised the hairs on the neck.”

The Independent

The audience sat gobsmacked as the dying echo of Beethoven’s Quartet in C sharp minor faded in the cavernous reaches of the Melbourne Concert Hall on Saturday night … When everyone came to, the audience reaction was over-the-top by Melbourne standards: people stood, people whistled, people shouted.”

The Sydney Morning Herald

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Performing in Adderbury…

May 14, 2017 at 19:00

  • Grieg: String Quartet no 2 in F major, EG117
  • Janáček: String Quartet no 1 (“Kreutzer Sonata”)
  • Schubert: String Quartet no 14 in D minor (“Death and the Maiden”)

Buy Tickets on the Door

Tickets can be purchased at the door on the evening of the concert. Advance tickets can be booked by telephone, in person or online from Tickets Oxford (see below).

  • £15.00 adults
  • £13.00 full-time students, senior citizens and children 10-16
  • £13.00 Friends of Music in Adderbury (adult)
  • £10.00 Friends of Music in Adderbury who are full-time students, senior citizens or children 10-16
  • Free admission for children aged of 5-10 accompanied by an adult. (Please note: we do not allow children under the age of 5.)

Click here for more information on Music in Adderbury venues and ticketing.