2019-20 Selected Artists | Making Music UK by Bloomsbury Quartet

As of May 2019, we are officially in the 2019-20 Selected Artists Guide published by Making Music UK!

Here is a little more information about what this all means:

What is Making Music and what do we do?

Since 1935, Making Music has supported and championed leisure-time music groups across the UK with practical services, artistic development opportunities and by providing a collective voice for its members.

Representing over 3,500 groups of around 190,000 musicians of all types, genres and abilities, Making Music helps them with the practicalities of running their group so they can get on with making music.

What is the Selected Artists Guide and who are the Selected Artists?

Every year, Making Music’s Selected Artists Panel of expert promoters handpicks a number of established professional musicians and ensembles to be included in the Selected Artists Guide. Promoters and performing groups alike who are looking for soloists or groups can discover excellent, affordable artists in the guide. Making Music members can book the listed artists at a subsidised fee, providing exposure and bookings to professional artists at affordable rates for leisure-time music groups.

The Selected Artists are professionals chosen by Making Music’s panel for their ability to provide the best concert experience with jazz, folk artists, and organists selected by the National Youth Jazz Orchestra, English Folk Dance and Song Society and Royal College of Organists respectively. The guide also includes winners of Making Music’s Philip & Dorothy Green Young Artists Award, St Martin-in-the-fields Chamber Music Competition winners, NYCGB Fellows selected from the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain programme and Adopt a Composer project composers. Visit www.makingmusic.org.uk/saguide to find out more.

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Newsflash: We're in the Semifinals! by Felicity Smith

Published to Newsletter Subscribers on Monday 4 March 2019

Hello there!

We wanted to share the happy news that after a blind audition, we've been chosen as 1 of only 6 semifinalists for this year's prestigious St Martin-in-the-fields Chamber Music Competition!

This means that we will be giving a FREE performance in St Martin's church!
If you are available, we would love to see you in the audience and have your support!

Here are all the details:                      

  • St Martin-in-the-fields, Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 4JJ

  • Tuesday 5th March 2019, 1pm - 2pm (we're playing until 1:30)

  • Our programme: 
    Beethoven– String Quartet No 11 in F minor ‘Serioso’, movement I
    Stravinsky– Three Pieces for String Quartet, mvmts I & II
    Schulhoff– Five Pieces for String Quartet

Visit the St Martin-in-the-fields website for more details

We hope to see you there - WISH US LUCK!

Bloomsbury Quartet

Winter 2019 Newsletter by Felicity Smith

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Published 29/01/2019

Welcome to our second newsletter - we hope you all had a wonderful Christmas & New Year!
2019 has kicked off with a bang - on 7 January, we were invited to share our experiences as a freshly-graduated ensemble for the benefit of postgraduate students in the Royal Academy of Music's Professional Development Day. Keep scrolling down to see what else we've been up to and what's coming up!

Upcoming Performances

Lunchtime Recital: St Botolph-without-Aldgate

Wednesday, January 30, 2019
1:05 PM - 1:30 PM
Church of St Botolph-without-Aldgate, Aldgate High Street, London, EC3N 1AB

We played our first concert as a quartet at St Botolph's Church a year ago, and are very excited to be back! Join us again to celebrate this milestone with a short but adventurous musical lunch break!

On our musical menu:

J. Haydn - Quartet in C Major, Op.20 No.2
- Moderato
- Capriccio. Adagio - Cantabile
- Minuet. Allegretto - Trio
- Fuga a 4 soggetti. Allegro

E. Schulhoff - 5 pieces for String Quartet (selected movements)

FREE ENTRY Retiring collection upon exit , proceeds split between St Botolph’s and Bloomsbury Quartet

Afternoon Matinee Recital: Lake District Summer Music

Thursday, January 31, 2019
2:30PM - 4:00PM
Ambleside Parish Centre, Vicarage Rd, Ambleside LA22 9DH

We are very excited about this concert in the village of Ambleside, situated in the beautiful Lake District. We will be playing a diverse and exciting programme, jumping from Haydn to Vaughan Williams, dancing from Schulhoff to Beethoven.

J. Haydn- String Quartet op. 20 no. 2 in C Major
R. Vaughan Williams - String Quartet no. 2 in A minor ‘For Jean on her Birthday’

~ Interval ~

E. Schulhoff - 5 pieces for String Quartet
L. v Beethoven - String Quartet Op. 95 in F minor ‘Serioso’

Tickets: £12 (£5 for 18 and under) Buy on the door, or to reserve please telephone 01524 736159 or email: patronsldsm@gmail.com

Friday, February 01 2019 Morning
Kendal Kirkbie School

A partnership was forged with Cumbria Music Hub several years ago in order to take live music into local schools (performance and workshop participation). It has been much welcomed by schools and 'FridayLive' offers an extra dimension of career experience to young performers following their formal concert for the Patrons of Lake District Summer Music. We are delighted to undertake a 'FridayLive' programme for Kendal schools during our visit to Cumbria, conducting 2 workshops and a Q&A session.

Chamber Tots: Rivers & Jungles
Friday, March 01 2019
12:30PM and 2:00PM
Wigmore Hall, 36 Wigmore Street, London W1U 2BP

Music-making workshops for children aged 1-2 / 3-5 and their parents/carers.

Chamber Tots: In The Garden
Wednesday, April 17 2019
10:15AM and 11:45AM
Wigmore Hall, 36 Wigmore Street, London W1U 2BP

Music-making workshops for children aged 1-2 / 3-5 and their parents/carers.
General Booking opens on 5 February

Lunchtime Recital: Romsey Chamber Music Festival

Friday 26th April 2019, 1pm - 2pm
United Reformed Church Romsey

Guest ensemble the Bloomsbury Quartet present a lunchtime concert of romantic works for string quartet.

Schubert Quartettsatz
Schulhoff 5 Pieces for String Quartet
Smetana String Quartet No. 1 in E minor “From My Life”

Tickets £10 Full price/ £5 U18s and full time students - BOOK HERE

Family Concert: Romsey Chamber Music Festival

Saturday 27th April 2019, 11AM - 12PM
United Reformed Church Romsey

The Bloomsbury Quartet are currently Wigmore Hall/Open Academy’s Fellowship Ensemble and in their second concert at RCMF, the Quartet present a wide variety of music for the whole family. Children are warmly encouraged to attend this concert and their will be an opportunity to meet the musicians at the end of the concert.

Tickets £10 Full Price, Children Free - BOOK HERE

For more details of our events and to book tickets, visit the Events page of our website!

Wigmore/Open Academy Fellowship

We're overjoyed to be the Wigmore Hall/Open Academy Fellowship Ensemble of 2018-19 - celebrating the partnership between the Wigmore Hall Learning programme and Open Academy. 

In Autumn 2018, we supported Wigmore Hall's Open House Day, performed onstage for babies in For Crying Out Loud!, did Chamber Tots workshops with VERY cute babies and toddlers, and joined in with the Singing With Friends dementia choir for some rehearsals and a joyous Christmas Sharing Concert!

We then kicked off 2019 with a Family Day "Chamber Challenge" workshop, where families learned about what it means to be in a chamber group, bonded through musical activities, wrote 2 brand-new songs and performed on the Wigmore stage.

Being Wigmore's Fellowship Ensemble has enabled us to work with their 3 Partner Schools - Weald Rise Primary (Harrow), Chestnuts Primary (Haringey) and St Mary's Catholic Primary (Hornchurch), as well as collaborate with this year's Wigmore/RPS Apprentice Composer Daniel Fardon and Trainee Music Leader Luke Newby. Occasionally, all these forces collide - in February we are working with music technologist Gawain Hewitt and Luke to create music with Chestnuts Primary students, which we will record alongside music by Daniel, all put together for Wigmore Learning's sound art installation (18 Feb) as part of its Sense of Home Festival.

Apart from the Festival, we are also joining in a Music for Thought project, Come and Create club (youths with Autism Spectrum Conditions), the aforementioned Chamber Tots workshops, a Relaxed Concert, premiering a brand-new piece written specially for us by Daniel, etc. ...the list goes on! There will be many more exciting events coming, so watch this space!

Thanks again for reading, we'd love to hear from you via email or social media, and if there's anyone who you think would like to receive this newsletter, send them our way!

Until next time!

Love from the Bloomsbury Quartet

Autumn 2018 Newsletter by Felicity Smith

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Hello and welcome to our very first newsletter!

First of all, we want to say a big thank you for all your support throughout Summer 2018 around London and the South-East. It was wonderful playing for and meeting all of you!

Now that we've fully entered into Autumn, with all the leaves falling and the wind picking up, we've got some news that we want to share with you!

So, without further ado...

Upcoming Events

MusicFor: An Autumn Evening

Thursday, October 11, 2018
8:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Holy Trinity Church, Stroud Green

We’re delighted to be returning to Stroud Green, playing our summer 2018 staples Beethoven "Serioso" No.11 Op.95 and Britten No.2, as well as our newfound gem Schubert Quartettsatz D.703. Seats can be reserved on the "pay-what-you-want" scheme and there'll even be a refreshments bar - what a steal! Click HERE to reserve your seat.

Evening Soiree- Dumbleton Hall Hotel

Tuesday, November 27th, 2018
7.00pm arrival
7.30pm recital

In November we’re heading off to the beautiful Cotswolds with a programme of Britten and Schubert, now paired with the incredible with Smetana Quartet No.1  "From My Life". It's looking to be a wonderful evening of music and gastronomy - you could even spend the night in the stunning 19th Century stone manor house! A luxurious mid-week treat - to join us, email the hotel at conferenceadmin@pofr.co.uk

There will be more Bloomsbury Quartet action to come in the New Year, and we're buzzing with all our performance project ideas for 2019, which we're developing with our mentor Clare Norburn, director of Stroud Green Festival. All will be revealed in due course so WATCH THIS SPACE!

For more details of our Autumn 2018 events and to book tickets, visit the Events page of our website.

We are Fellows!

We're overjoyed to be the Wigmore Hall/Open Academy Fellowship Ensemble of 2018-19 - celebrating the partnership between the Wigmore Hall Learning programme, and Open Academy.

Since our fellowship commenced in September 2018, we've helped people discover the aesthetics and acoustics of Wigmore Hall on its Open House Day (22 Sep), and performed in two For Crying Out Loud! concerts (28 Sep) specially designed for babies and their parents/carers.

Our next fellowship project is the sold-out Chamber Tots workshops on Sat 17 November - these enable music-making for children aged 1 to 5 with their parents/carers. We will be delivering more Chamber Tots workshops in 2019, under various themes, but we're kicking off with a bang as our theme this time is "Into Space" - which promises to be very thrilling indeed!

Finally, we have Twitter and Instagram at long last!
Now we can overshare our thoughts and have our candid moments (of which there are many!) caught on camera.
Click the black circular icons at the top-right of this page to explore our social media accounts for events, photos, videos and more!

Now, back to preparing for our concert on Thursday...

Thanks for reading, we'd love to hear from you via email or social media, and if there's anyone who you think would like to receive this newsletter, send them our way!

Until next time!

Love from the Bloomsbury Quartet x

Chichester Observer article by Felicity Smith

Published in the Chichester Observer and other local associated papers on 11 July 2018
Article by Phil Hewitt

The Bloomsbury Quartet offer a programme entitled “Wartime: Before, During and After” for the Royal Academy of Music lunchtime series at this year’s Petworth Festival (Friday, July 20, 12 midday, Leconfield Hall, Petworth).

Eva de Vries, Janell Yeo (violins), Rachel Maxey (viola) and Felicity Smith (cello) will highlight music inextricably linked with times of war.

Just before the outbreak of The Great War, Stravinsky wrote Three Pieces for String Quartet. A century earlier Beethoven was living in Vienna when the city was invaded by Napoleon and responded in music. In 1945, Benjamin Britten and Yehudi Menuhin went to Germany to perform to concentration camp survivors. On their return Britten composed his String Quartet No 2.

“Obviously for the concert we were very influenced by the centenary of the end of the First World War,” says Felicity. “We are looking at pieces written around the time of war. Especially the last two wars had such an enormous impact on all art and a devastating effect on the way that we all look at society. It is difficult for us to imagine what it must have been like when Napoleon was trying to invade Europe, but it is quite easy to imagine the profound impact that the last two wars had. As well as innovation and change, I think the wars made us all address our roots and almost want to go back to a simple life.”

The Bloomsbury Quartet are postgraduate students at the Royal Academy of Music in Marylebone. As Eva says: “We have been together since October/September. It is quite recently. There was a speed-dating session at the Academy so that you get to play in groups. You have to sight-read for a few minutes and then go to another room where you sight-read with other people. I was playing with Felicity and I felt that she was such a sensitive player. I thought she must be playing with lots of other people. I sent her a message afterwards saying ‘I would love to play with you, but you must be very busy.’ She said she wasn’t playing with anyone. She knew Janell and Rachel and we first got together in late October. “It was instant. I just felt that everyone in the group has the same ability to listen to each other and the same feelings about the music and the same mutual respect, that someone would suggest something and the others would follow… or would challenge it positively.

“And also the girls are so funny! They make me laugh! And I think it is the most positive experience I have ever had of rehearsing, not just someone saying ‘Oh, that’s really bad!’ or ‘I don’t really like that!’ It is much more ‘Have you thought of doing this or this?’ It is all very positive and open. Everybody is trying to improve, and that is very rare. It is important to be open.””

Quick-Fire Questions for Stroud Green! by Felicity Smith


We wanted to create a place where you can get to know us better, so here it is!

To kick things off, here are some quick-fire questions we answered for Stroud Green Festival, leading up to our performance on 7 June:

1) How did you meet?
"Eva & Felicity met at the Royal Academy of Music's chamber music speed dating session. They brought us all together and the rest is history!"

2) Tell us one quirky or unusual thing about your group:
"Our guilty pleasure & inspiration is Beyonce & Destiny's Child - most rehearsals include at least a line of a song, e.g. whenever anyone has a "Question?" (From the song "Independent Women" which is an inspirational feminist anthem for us!)"

3) What is your dream concert? 
"To travel around the world and see where the music takes us - from beaches to bandstands!"

Let us know what you'd like to read about in future posts!

Until next time,

Bloomsbury Quartet x