The Carducci String Quartet is one of the world’s most accomplished string quartets. Since forming in 1997, the Anglo-Irish ensemble has won countless awards performing an astonishing diverse repertoire, from Haydn to leading contemporary composers including Karl Jenkins and Jonny Greenwood, and we’re delighted to welcome them to Kilkenny for this mouthwatering series of six concerts presenting the complete cycle of Shostakovich string quartets.
Lunchtime Series I
Buy a ticket for any four of the Lunchtime Series for €65. Save up to €15
Lunchtime Series II
Buy a ticket for any six of the Lunchtime Series for €95. Save up to €25
Lunchtime Series III
Buy a ticket for any eight of the Lunchtime Series for €125. Save up to €35
In order to avail of any of the bundles, just add the desired tickets to your basket and the discount will automatically apply.
Composed between 1938 and 1974, Shostakovich’s 15 string quartets constitute one of the great cycles in the medium. Obliged for much of his career to celebrate the glories of the Soviet Union, Shostakovich relished the form of the string quartet which enabled him to explore his most intimate ideas.
From Quartet No. 4 – a tribute to the Jewish people harshly treated (like the composer himself) by the Soviet regime – to Quartet No. 9 – an exuberant expression of love for his new wife Irina, Shostakovich’s quartets overflow with melody, passion and boundless creativity. In 2016 the Carducci Quartet won a Royal Philharmonic Society Award for their performances of the cycle, and we’re thrilled to welcome them to the Festival to perform these great works in full.
'As a quartet, we have always felt a great connection to the Shostakovich Quartets and were delighted to receive, in 2016, a Royal Philharmonic Award for our project - Shostakovich15 - which saw us mark the 40th anniversary of the composer’s death one year earlier. The project included various complete cycles of the 15 String Quartets and featured a marathon of them across one day at Shakespeare’s Globe. We will soon release our third Shostakovich CD for Signum Records and have more cycles of his String Quartets planned across this year.' - Carducci String Quartet
Lunchtime Music Series Ticket Bundles:
CONCERT 1 - Saturday 6th August, 1pm
Shostakovich no.1 26’
Shostakovich no.2 33’
CONCERT 2 - Sunday 7th August, 1pm
Shostakovich no.3 32’
Shostakovich no.4 25’
CONCERT 3 – Monday 8th August, 1pm
Shostakovich no.5 30’
Shostakovich no.6 24’
CONCERT 4 – Tuesday 9th August, 1pm
Shostakovich no.7 21’
Shostakovich no.8 22’
Shostakovich no.9 26’
CONCERT 5 – Wednesday 10th August, 1pm
Shostakovich no.10 23’
Shostakovich no.11 17’
Shostakovich no.12 27’
CONCERT 6 – Thursday 11th August, 1pm
Shostakovich no.13 20’
Shostakovich no.14 30’
Shostakovich no.15 35’
Described by The Strad as presenting “a masterclass in unanimity of musical purpose, in which severity could melt seamlessly into charm, and drama into geniality”, the award-winning Carducci Quartet is internationally acclaimed as one of the most accomplished and versatile ensembles of today. Not only mastering the core repertoire, the quartet presents a selection of new works each season and diversifies further with programmes of film music, pop and rock. Founded in 1997, the ensemble has won numerous international competitions, including the Concert Artists Guild International Competition, and First Prize at Finland’s Kuhmo International Chamber Music Competition.
The Carducci Quartet performs at prestigious venues across the globe including the Barbican, Cadogan Hall and Wigmore Hall, London; National Concert Hall, Dublin; Tivoli Concert Hall, Copenhagen; The Frick Collection and Carnegie Hall, New York; Library of Congress and John. F Kennedy Center, Washington D.C.; St Lawrence Center for the Arts, Toronto; and Concertgebouw, Amsterdam. Festival residencies include Cheltenham, Ryedale, Lichfield, Presteigne, Kilkenny, Snape Proms, and West Cork.
In 2016, they took home a Royal Philharmonic Society Award for their project, Shostakovich15, an immense cycle of Shostakovich’s Quartets performed across the UK, North, and South America with a marathon one-day cycle hosted by Shakespeare’s Globe, London. The project was accompanied by a recording of the 4th, 8th, and 11th Quartets to which they added a further volume in Spring 2019 of the 1st, 2nd, and 7th Quartets, acclaimed by Gramophone Magazine for its “…athletic, upfront performances, clear in texture, forthright in tone and bold in articulation". The Carduccis will return to the composer this season, including performances at the Barbican and Wigmore Hall in London, a residency at Kilkenny Festival, and a third recording presenting the 9th and 15th Quartets.
Highly celebrated for their diverse approach to repertoire, the Carducci Quartet has devised numerous projects and is regularly invited to perform new works. Their catalogue of programmes presenting music and spoken word includes focuses on Beethoven, Shostakovich, and on the relationship between Felix and Fanny Mendelssohn. This season they will also focus on female composers, performing works by Caroline Shaw, Errollyn Wallen, Rebecca Clarke, Fanny Mendelssohn and Amy Beach.
In 2015 they curated projects around Philip Glass and Steve Reich as part of the Royal Philharmonic Society Award winning ‘Minimalism Unwrapped’ at Kings Place in London. Their recording of the Philip Glass Quartets, for Naxos, has reached over 6 million plays on Spotify.
Education work is an important element of the Carducci Quartet’s work, earning them a place on the Royal Philharmonic Society Award shortlist for their family concert ‘Getting the Quartet Bug!’. The Carducci Music Trust was set up to support their work in schools and with young musicians. They also perform a number of school concerts each year supported by the CAVATINA Chamber Music Trust.