Winners of the 2014 Royal Overseas League Ensemble Competition, the Solem String Quartet were brought together in 2011 by their studies at the University of Manchester, where they take their name from the University motto “arduus ad solem” meaning “striving towards the sun”.
Having moved on to study at the Royal Northern College of Music, the quartet enjoyed success in numerous competitions including the RNCM Nossek Prize, the RNCM Barbirolli Prize for String Quartets and the Britten Centenary Intercollegiate String Quartet Competition. Continuing their relationship with the RNCM, the quartet are Junior Fellows in Chamber Music for the 2015/16 year. As part of the Fellowship they each give regular chamber coaching to undergraduate and postgraduate chamber ensembles as well as playing in a series of high profile concerts in the college throughout the year.
The Solem Quartet enjoy a busy concert schedule performing at venues across the UK including Wigmore Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Holywell Music Room and the Edinburgh Festival as well as performing internationally in several European countries. They have also made an appearance on BBC Radio 3’s programme ‘In Tune’ in September 2014. In 2015 they were on the concert platform over 40 times. As an acknowledgement to their name, the quartet initially started learning the Haydn Op. 20 ‘Sun’ Quartets. Now their repertoire expands widely from early Haydn through to living composers such as James Macmillan and Georg Friedrich Haas. They are exponents of New Music, involving themselves in collaborative projects with professional and student composers. As well as performing, the quartet offers coaching to young string quartets at the annual Aberystwyth MusicFest and has led specialist chamber music workshops in North Wales and Gloucestershire. They have also recently been selected for the well known outreach initiative Live Music Now.
The Solem Quartet have benefited from inspirational teaching from a number of the world’s greatest chamber musicians including Gábor Takács-Nagy, Miguel da Silva, Peter Cropper, Thomas Riebl and Hatto Beyerle. They have attended the European Chamber Music Academy and the National Youth String Quartet Academy as well as courses with the Chilingirian, Dante and Maggini Quartets, and in January 2015 they undertook a two-week chamber music residency with Simon Rowland-Jones in Aldeburgh. The quartet were delighted to have been selected for the prestigious ChamberStudio Mentorship 2014/2015, which allowed them to study intensively with the internationally renowned cellist Christoph Richter at Kings Place.