Endellion String Quartet

Endellion String Quartet

  • The Endellion String Quartet

2-4-1 tickets for Endellion String Quartet Concerts in Cambridge


After playing together for over forty years the Quartet has decided to hang up their quartet bows at the end of the 2019-20 season. 2019-2020 will be their last year as “Resident Quartet” of the University of Cambridge and the Series will be their twenty-eighth and final one. West Road has been as much of a home to them as an itinerant quartet may possess and the friendship and support of their audience there has played an invaluable part in their musical development.

The Quartet’s final season will be a celebration of Beethoven’s magnificent quartets: 


To experience all of Beethoven’s sixteen quartets — collectively, surely, one of the peaks of human endeavour — is to take a wonderful opportunity both to enter into each of these extraordinarily individual universes, and also to hear them in the context of one another. This enables us to appreciate the family resemblances between them, which make them all unmistakably ‘Beethoven’ — reflecting his profound humanity, integrity, moral seriousness, humour, light-heartedness, love, forcefulness, energy and self-belief. It also highlights the myriad differences of character, mood, style and sound-world which make one marvel at the sheer range, fertility and freshness of Beethoven’s imagination.

In arranging the programmes, the Quartet’s aim is to give each concert as much variety and balance as possible by choosing pieces of contrasting character, and from different periods.

The six Op.18 quartets are extraordinary masterpieces and not just preludes to what was to follow. Writing them between the ages of 28 and 30, Beethoven had studied and absorbed the language and style of the great quartets of Haydn and Mozart, but the Op.18s are saturated with Beethoven’s own personality. At this time he was working and performing with colossal energy, was constantly in and out of love, and already sure of his own powers and their true value.

The ‘Razumovsky’ quartets and Opp.74 and 95, written between the ages of 35 and 40 broke boundaries in scale and profundity, and in their demands on players and listeners alike. Opp.74 and 95 grope towards yet further innovations. In this period, Beethoven was struggling to come to terms with his growing deafness and the social isolation it was imposing on this wonderfully warm and gregarious man. His cry of pain in the ‘Heiligenstadt’ testament is heart-rending, yet no note of self-pity enters his music.

Beethoven confided his most intimate thoughts to his ‘late’ quartets, written between the ages of 52 and 57 (the age at which he died). His imaginative powers — free of all conventions, practical restraints and compromises — seemed to deepen as his circumstances deteriorated. Ill health, loneliness, financial worries, the increasing rarity of performances of his works especially in a Vienna besotted with Rossini, the attempted suicide of his beloved nephew and ward, Karl — all these were the background to these late works of genius which so baffled Beethoven’s contemporaries, and about which he calmly explained they ‘were written for a later age.

The season’s concerts are as follows:

Wednesday 29 January 2020

String Quartet in B flat Op.18 No.6
String Quartet in F Op.135
String Quartet in E flat Op.74 (‘Harp’)

Wednesday 26 February 2020

String Quartet in F minor Op.95 (‘Serioso’)
String Quartet in C minor Op.18 No.4
String Quartet in F Op.59 No.1 (‘Razumovsky’)

Wednesday, 22 April 2020

String Quartet in F Op.18 No.1
String Quartet in C Op.59 No.3 (‘Razumovsky’)
String Quartet in C sharp minor Op.131

Wednesday 20 May 2020

String Quartet in D Op.18 No.3
Sonata for Piano in E major Op.14 No.1, arr. Beethoven as String Quartet in F major
String Quartet Alternative Finale Op.130
String Quartet in E flat Op.127

All concerts will begin at 7.30 p.m. and end at approximately 9.30 p.m.

TICKETS: £28, £26 (65+), £14 (Registered Disabled),
HALF PRICE (standard or 65+ tickets only) available for restricted view seats.


Discount code: ESQCA18

Please quote the discount code either by booking over the phone or use online.

Box Office Tel: 01223 357851

Further information

020 8348 5727