Chilingirian Quartet

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Levon Chilingirian - violin
Charles Sewart - violin
Susie Mészáros - viola
Philip De Groote - violoncello

Susie McLeod Manager

Jenny Ball

The Chilingirian Quartet was established in 1971 and still retains two of its founder-members, Levon Chilingirian and Philip De Groote. Charles Sewart joined as 2nd violin in 1992, and this season the Quartet were delighted to welcome the distinguished chamber-musician Susie Mészáros to the Quartet as their viola. With tours to nearly fifty countries on six continents, performing in major concert halls throughout the world, and with recordings for EMI, RCA/BMG, CRD, Nimbus, Hyperion, Chandos, Conifer and Virgin Records, the Chilingirian Quartet is established as one of the world's most celebrated and widely travelled ensembles. The Chilingirian is Quartet-in-Residence at the Royal College of Music, London, gives concerts every season at the Queen Elizabeth and Wigmore Halls, and has received the Royal Philharmonic Society’s coveted Chamber Ensemble Award.

Newsletter/Autumn 2000:
Tavener premiere for Chilingirian Quartet with Anonymous 4

Newsletter/Autumn 2000:
Intermational chamber music season at the Queen Elizabeth Hall

Newsletter/Spring 2000:
Levon Chilingirian was honored in the Queen's New Year's Honours List

Newsletter/Spring 1999:
Chilies at the cutting edge

Newsletter/Spring 1999:
Intermational chamber music season at the Queen Elizabeth Hall

Newsletter/Autumn 1998
Record Shelf

Newsletter/Spring 1998
Record Shelf

The Chilingirian has appeared many times at major festivals and halls throughout Europe, including the Edinburgh and Aldeburgh festivals, South Bank Centre, Barbican and Wigmore Hall; the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Munich Herkulessaal, Zurich Tonhalle, Vienna Konzerthaus, Stockholm Konserthuset and Tivoli Festival in Copenhagen. The Quartet tours North America every season, and has performed extensively in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, the Far East, Africa and South America. Their annual chamber music course at West Dean in England is eagerly attended by aspiring young professional groups as well as amateur ensembles.

In recent months the Quartet’s European engagements have included concerts at the Bonn Beethoven Festival, Berlin Konzerthaus, Leipzig Gewandhaus, and across Europe and Scandinavia, as well as a concert series at the Wigmore Hall London to celebrate their anniversary season. They have repeated their highly successful collaboration with the vocal group Anonymous 4 with tours of the USA, a recording, and European appearances at the Bremen Musikfest, in Stockholm Konserthuset and throughout Sweden, in a programme which included an octet specially written for them by John Tavener. In June 2002 they toured Hong Kong and Japan, including Casals Hall (televised by NHK). UK highlights in 2002/3 include a complete Beethoven cycle in the restored Old Market in Hove and the world premiere in London of " Abstract Mirrors", a new cello quintet written for them by Michael Berkeley, with cellist Steven Orton. Foreign engagements this season includes concerts in France, Spain, Italy, Finland, Switzerland, and Canada (Toronto & Montreal).

The Chilingirian Quartet has given many world premieres and has a particularly strong association not only with John Tavener and Michael Berkeley but also with Robert Saxton who wrote a work for their 25th anniversary (commissioned by the Barbican), and with Hugh Wood, whose complete string quartets they have recorded, and for whom they premiered a work for string orchestra and string quartet, Serenade and Elegy, at the Cheltenham Festival in 1999 with the London Mozart Players and Matthias Bamert.

TV and radio throughout Europe, National Public Radio in the USA and many other leading broadcasting organisations complement the Quartet's work for the BBC. Their extensive discography includes the Tippett Triple Concerto with the Bournemouth Symphony and Hickox, and Bartok and Dvorak cycles for Chandos; John Tavener on Virgin; and Levon Chilingirian’s own edition of the incomplete Quartet in F minor by Grieg and an ongoing series of d’Indy and Chausson with Hyperion. Most recently Chandos have released the first in a series of discs by the Scottish composer Sir John Blackwood McEwen.

The Chilingirian Quartet appears by arrangement with Intermusica Artists’ Management Ltd.

January 2003

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programmes 2001/02
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one of the opus 71 quartets
Three Pieces


new commission


op.18 no.3
no.7, 13 or 15

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view full discography here (Microsoft Word)

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The inevitable stars were the Chilingirian Quartet…they remain giants in their field.
The Independent

Really impressive; poised and with fine tone and passionate delivery.
Chausson/d’Indy (Gramophone)

The Chilingirian Quartet’s accurate and rounded account reveals the glories of this work…the Chilingirian have given us one of their finest recordings, effortlessly mastering the technical demands of this superb and unjustly neglected music.

In the hands of the Chilingirian Quartet these works received the best possible advocacy. The dark orchestral richness of much of the scoring is given full rein, as is the twinkling cheerfulness which is the countervailling force.
Grieg/Hyperion (Classic CD)

Tangibly the product of live performances, these accounts traverse the gamut of emotions, bristling with energy, lyricism and conviction, and ensuring that this disc will never gather much dust.
Chaussson/Hyperion (BBC Music Magazine)

In this game of harmony and dissonance, the quartet’s technical and expressive abilities really served to highlight their interpretation, seeing into (Bartok’s) soul…Particularly impressive were the cellist Philip De Groote’s clear, penetrating tone and the 1st violinist Levon Chilingirian’s crystal-clear phrasing (Mozart)…Affectionate and spacious (Dvorak).
Rome & Bologna, Bartok, Mozart & Dvorak (Il Tempo)

Extraordinarily fine levels of performance…Unanimity of thought and action in even the most subtle nuances of tempo in the andante made for gratifying listening; it was as if the players were drawing on a shared musical consciousness.
Perth Festival (Australia), Tavener & Mozart

The quartet has been successful in its performance of the classics as in its advocacy of music of our own time, and this concert was no exception. From the first phrase of Mozart K589 suavity and refinement were in evidence… The players produced a beautifully balanced ensemble throughout… The Chilingirian responded to (Britten’s) frailer sound world with skill, capturing both the cold and the troubled urgency…Schubert’s C major Quintet emerged with all its emotional fluctuations intact. Ensemble was again richly textured and expertly balanced: the rapt slow movement came across with a marvellous sense of stillness and sense of direction.
Wigmore Hall, Mozart, Britten, Schubert. (Daily Telegraph).

A stunning programme that will be remembered as one of the high points of Cincinatti’s classical season…One of those rare ensembles that displays complete and total communication and amazing homogeneity.
Cincinatti Enquirer, Tavener, Brahms & Haydn

Those indispensable pillars of British musical life, the Chilingirian Quartet.
The Times.

The Chilingirian Quartet made such an impression with their interplay, that the work (Shostakovich 15) was met with astonishment and deep reflection…Breathtaking chamber music given a thrilling interpretation…
Darmstadt, Grieg, Shostakovich & Smetana, (Frankfurter Rundschau)

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