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Chilingirian Quartet,
string quartet


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

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.

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/ 500 words

Not to be altered or shortened without permission of Intermusica. Please destroy all previous biographical material.