Hannah Dawson violin,
Robin Ashwell viola,
Cara Berridge cello,
Ben Hancox violin,
The award-winning Sacconi Quartet is recognised for its unanimous and compelling ensemble, consistently communicating with a fresh and imaginative approach. Formed in 2001, its four founder members continue to demonstrate a shared passion for string quartet repertoire, infectiously reaching out to audiences with their energy and enthusiasm. The Sacconi is Quartet in Association at the Royal College of Music and Associate Artist at the Bristol Old Vic.
2017 saw the release of three new CDs by the Sacconi Quartet. In Damascus, their CD of music by Jonathan Dove including In Damascus, commissioned by the quartet, and featuring Mark Padmore and Charles Owen, hit the Classical Top Ten, and was chosen as one of Gramophone Magazine’s Recordings of the Year: “This important release cannot be recommended too highly”. Their complete recording of Graham Fitkin’s string quartets was given rave reviews on Radio 3’s Record Review, in Gramophone Magazine and in The Strad. Their CD of three quintets by John McCabe featured the composer on piano in The Woman by the Sea, horn player David Pyatt in the Horn Quintet written for Pyatt and the Sacconis, and Roderick Williams in Silver Nocturnes.
In Summer 2015 the quartet launched HEARTFELT, their most innovative project to date. A radical re-interpretation of Beethoven’s iconic String Quartet in A minor opus 132, HEARTFELT pushed the boundaries of chamber music through combining sound, light and touch, for a truly unique performance in which audience members connected with each performer’s heartbeat through holding robotic ‘hearts’. www.heartfelt.org.uk
2018 saw the eleventh year of the Sacconi Chamber Music Festival in Folkestone, with Graham Fitkin as composer in residence and collaborations with the London Bridge Trio, Moray Welsh and African trio Chesaba. The Sacconi Festival is now firmly established among the UK’s major chamber music festivals and attracts audiences from far and near for its vibrant atmosphere and dynamic programming.
The name Sacconi Quartet comes from the outstanding twentieth-century Italian luthier and restorer Simone Sacconi, whose book The Secrets of Stradivari is considered an indispensable reference for violin makers. Robin is indebted to Ellen Solomon for the use of his viola. Ben, Hannah & Cara have all been generously loaned their instruments by the Royal Society of Musicians, a charity which helps musicians in need, for which they are extremely grateful.