Tuesday 3 August 2021

As it approaches its 20th anniversary, the Navarra String Quartet welcomes two new members

Navarra Quartet (Photo Matthew Johnson)
Navarra Quartet (Photo Matthew Johnson)

It is all change at the Navarra String Quartet as the quartet welcomes two new members.  Benjamin Marquise Gilmore and Laia Valentin Braun are the new first and second violinists (replacing Magnus Johnson and Marje Johnson) alongside viola Sascha Bota and cello Brian O'Kane. The quartet celebrates its 20th anniversary next year when plans include new commissions and a recording of Mozart's quartets dedicated to Haydn.

We caught the quartet earlier this year performing Pavel Haas with tenor Nicky Spence for a Holocaust Memorial Date programme from Opera Holland Park [see my article], and the quartet has been a regular visitor to the Hatfield House Chamber Music Festival over the years [see my review from 2019]. There is a chance to hear the quartet in its new formation at at the North Norfolk Chamber Music and the Lammermuir Festivals over the Summer, followed by a tour to Ireland and their own festival at Weesp in Hollan.

British-Dutch violinist Benjamin Marquise Gilmore is currently joint concert master of the Philharmonia Orchestra, and has appeared as soloist and director with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and the Camerata Salzburg. Swiss-born and UK-based violinist Laia Valentin Braun has appeared as a soloist at Wigmore Hall, with Camerata Zurich and Kammerorchester Basel, and with his own chamber music collective Ensemble Vindeleia.

Full details at the quartet's website.

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