A rare and exhilarating opportunity to hear all of Shostakovich’s incredible string quartets in one weekend. Or pace yourself and pick one or two that take your fancy. Tickets are available per concert, per day or for the weekend.
In August 1965, Shostakovich’s health was deteriorating rapidly, but somehow he found the strength to compose his Eleventh Quartet (1966), to the memory of his old friend Vasily Shirinsky. The music is incredibly direct, the textures extremely sparse, and there is an overwhelming feeling of isolation and loss, yet Shostakovich still manages to portray the quirky, humorous character of his musician friend in a most intimate and respectful manner.
Shostakovich – like Bartók – had a love of numbers; no coincidence then that he chose his Twelfth Quartet (1968) to explore twelve-tone music. The quartet is dedicated to the first violinist of the Beethoven String Quartet, Dmitri Tsiganov. It is extremely touching that the work opens with a string trio, the second violin not entering until bar thirty-four: the Quartet had been together for thirty-four years when Vasily Shirinsky died.
The Brodsky Quartet
Now in their sixth decade as an ensemble, the Brodsky Quartet are among the most beloved interpreters of Shostakovich, a creative relationship that goes back to 1972, the year they formed.
They invite you to join them in celebrating the most magical and intimate journey in all music. Come and revel in the personal diaries of one of the world’s greatest ever musicians. Initially inspired by life – the birth of his son – and finishing with our collective demise, these masterpieces address family, friends, enemies and lovers; with every conceivable emotion explored. We promise you a rollercoaster. Take the ride!
The Complete String QuartetsView all
Under 30s membership
Are you 16-29 years old or a full-time student? Get discounted tickets to brilliant shows at the Howard Assembly Room.