Navarra String Quartet

Introducing the performers…

Magnus Johnston
Simone van der Giessen
Marije Johnston
Brian O’Kane

Since its formation in 2002, the Navarra Quartet has built an international reputation as one of the most dynamic and poetic string quartets of today. Selected for representation by the Young Classical Artists Trust (YCAT) from 2006 to 2010, they have been awarded the MIDEM Classique Young Artist Award, a Borletti- Buitoni Trust Fellowship, a Musica Viva tour and prizes at the Banff, Melbourne and Florence International String Quartet Competitions.

The Navarra Quartet has appeared at major venues throughout the world including the Wigmore Hall, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Luxembourg Philharmonie, Berlin Konzerthaus, and international festivals such as Bath, Grachten, Sandviken, Schwetzinger, Rheingau, Mecklenburg- Vorpommern, Huntingdon (Australia), Aix- en-Provence, Bellerive and the BBC Proms. Further afield they have given concerts in Russia, the USA, China, Korea and the Middle East and have been broadcast on BBC Radio 3, RAI 3 (Italy), Radio 4 (Holland), SWR (Germany), Radio Luxembourg and ABC Classic FM (Australia). The Quartet has collaborated with artists such as Li-Wei, Guy Johnston, Mark Padmore, Allan Clayton, Francesco Piemontesi, John O’Conor, Jack Liebeck, Simone Young and the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain.

Highly-acclaimed recordings include Haydn’s The Seven Last Words for Altara Records and a disc of Peteris Vasks’ first three String Quartets for Challenge Records, which the Navarra Quartet recorded whilst working closely with the composer himself. The recording was described by critics as “stunning”, “sensational” and “compelling”, and was nominated for the prestigious German Schallplattenkritik Award. Earlier in 2013, the quartet recorded a disc for NMC Records featuring the music of Joseph Phibbs.

Formed at the Royal Northern College of Music, the quartet’s members commenced their studies under the guidance of the late Dr. Christopher Rowland. Their development continued with studies in Cologne with the Alban Berg Quartet, Pro- Quartet in Paris, the International Musicians Seminar at Prussia Cove and from residencies at the Britten-Pears School in Aldeburgh and at the Verbier Festival in Switzerland.

The Navarra Quartet is the Associated Ensemble in Residence at the Birmingham Conservatoire and was the recipient of the ChamberStudio Mentorship 2013, generously supported by the Musicians Benevolent Fund. Combined with the quartet’s constant desire for evolution, the mentorship has allowed its members to continue working with renowned musicians such as Eberhard Feltz, David Waterman and Ferenc Rados. The Navarra Quartet are excited to hold the inaugural Weesp Chamber Music Festival at the beautifully renovated Van Houten Church, in the picturesque town of Weesp, close to Amsterdam.

“…the players realize the music’s essential intensity…with their vivid sense of dramatic expression in an intensely detailed performance.”

BBC Music Magazine

A rarity, on the other hand, was a performance in the basilica by the Navarra Quartet of Haydn’s string quartet in G op.33 No. 5 and Mozart’s noticeable reference (to it – Haydn’s piece), the quartet No.15 in d KV 421; performed impulsively and dynamically, but also with admirable filigree by the musicians…. the Navarra quartet unfolds the adorable setting in Haydns largo or Mozart’s andante with breathtaking tension into full bloom.”

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

“…the admirable Navarra String Quartet who realised the innovatively atmospheric quality of the string writing to perfection. They were equally accomplished in Ravel’s String Quartet, achieving a buoyancy and translucence that often evade higher profile ensembles.”

Evening Standard

Ravel’s sole String Quartet received a remarkably focused performance from the young Navarra players, the sort of playing that really drew you into the music, with wonderfully open, guitar-like pizzicatos in the scherzo and all the elusive transparency of French light and shade you could ask for in the slow movement.

Peter Reed,

Ravel’s Quartet in F was given a buzzingly alive performance by the Navarra String Quartet, precisely tuned, with melodies emerging and receding into the diaphanous textures as if by sleight of hand.

The Guardian

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Performing in Adderbury…

April 23, 2017 at 19:00

  • Haydn: String Quartet in C major, op 20 no 2
  • Beethoven: String Quartet no 1 in F major, op 18 no 1
  • Shostakovich: String Quartet no 5 in B flat major, op 92

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.