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Cavaleri Quartet
Celan Quartet
Gildas Quartet
Quatuor Hermes

Arvo Pärt Fratres
Jonathan Harvey Mortuos Plango, Vivos Voco
Sir John Tavener Towards Silence for four string quartets and large Tibetan bowl

The late Sir John Tavener composed some of the most distinctive music in our time and, to mark what would have been his 70th year, we are delighted to present Towards Silence, a work for four string quartet and large Tibetan bowl. Towards Silence explores the nature of consciousness and the sense of being at hte very edge of life itself. The music taking the listener through the four mystical Hindu states of Atma: the waking state, the dream state, the condition of deep sleep, and that which is beyond. With the four quartets placed around the gallery, this is a performance that allows you to immerse yourself in the energy and rich sonorities of the strings and the hypnotic ringing of a Tibetan temple bowl.

Two performances – Click Here for 7pm Performance
Running time 70mins each approx / no interval.


ACE Grant Award Logo (black)

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The story of Wildlife Film’s Tinseltown

Brian Leith Executive Producer Brian Leith Productions
Mike Gunton BBC Executive Producer ‘Africa’
Keith Scholey Director Disneynature African Cats and Bears
Other speakers tbc

Within just a few miles of this venue, many of the world’s top wildlife filmmakers live and work. Behind the scenes and away from the limelight they do the dangerous stuff to create movies that take our breath away.These are the guys and girls that go deep and get dirty. They walk with penguins and swim with sharks – they stalk big cats, and track bears. They are the makers of blockbuster television series like Planet Earth, Africa and Human Planet.

So magnetic is the attraction of Bristol, that in the last few years Hollywood has come seeking their talent.

Some of the most influential natural history filmmakers of our times join us for an evening of shared experience, good humour and pure passion.

Hosted by Award winning wildlife film maker Brian Leith, our speakers include Mike Gunton, Creative Director of the BBC Natural History Unit and Executive Producer of Africa, as well as the makers of Disneynature’s recent blockbusters “Bears” and “African Cats”. /


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The Grammy winning US recording artist comes to Bristol for one very special night, presented jointly by St George’s Bristol and Colston Hall.  Performing music from her recent and highly acclaimed album The River & The Thread, Rosanne Cash is joined by her regular collaborator (and husband) John Leventhal for what promises to be one of the highlights of the Bristol music calendar.

The River & The Thread is sweeping in its breadth, capturing a unique, multi-generational cast of characters – from a Civil War soldier off to fight in Virginia to a New Deal-era farmer in Arkansas to a contemporary Mobile, AL couple. While Cash and Leventhal found inspiration in the many musical styles associated with the South – swampy Delta blues, gospel, Appalachian folk, country and rock, to name a few – this is a completely contemporary collection. Cash’s crystalline voice and Leventhal’s compelling guitar work are at the heart of the album, and they bring in additional instrumentation to suit the tone of each particular song – from the delicate orchestral passages of “Night School,” (which nods to Stephen Foster, who also had a deep affection for the South) to the ghostly keyboards of album closer “Money Road.”

This show is presented in collaboration with

Colston Hall (landscape)

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Accordionist Paul Chamberlain released his debut solo album in 2011 and has been featured on BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio Scotland and California’s KDFC Classical Music Radio Station in San Francisco. This Summer Paul is releasing his latest album followed by a tour of the UK throughout July and August.

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The World Changed – at St George’s Bristol

String Quartet No 13 in B flat minor
String Quartet No 14 in F sharp
String Quartet No 15 in E flat minor

The Brodsky Quartet finds itself face to face with two of the most personal and reclusive pieces Shostakovich ever wrote: works suffused with a sense of his declining health and physical suffering. The Thirteenth Quartet is a dark sonic landscape full of tension and doubt, embracing the serene sadness of a life coming to an end, and the Fourteenth Quartet is similarly menacing and melancholy in mood.

The series ends with what will undoubtedly be a breathtaking account, performed in semi-darkness, of the Fifteenth Quartet. Written during one of Shostakovich’s increasingly frequent bouts of hospitalisation, and informed by the proximity of his own death, this intimate and stark sound world offers a meditation on life and, more particularly, its loss. The quartet consists of six adagio movements, played without break, in which a whisper grows into an exhausted cry, before finally withdrawing into a resigned acceptance of fate.


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The World Changed – at Arnos Vale Cemetery Chapel

String Quartet No 10 in A flat
String Quartet No 11 in F minor
String Quartet No 12 in D flat

The Brodskys continue their exploration of the Shostakovich Quartet Cycle with a sequence of quartets composed when the atrocities of the Stalin years were well behind Shostakovich, and he had finally been elevated to the status of one of Soviet Russia’s greatest classical composers.

Shostakovich’s Tenth Quartet is dedicated to Mieczyslaw Vainberg, a prolific yet still relatively-unknown composer, who in turn dedicated his Twelfth Symphony to Shostakovich. The Eleventh Quartet was composed in memory of his dear friend Vasily Shirinsky, who had been a member of the Beethoven Quartet, the group that had given the premiere performances of 13 of his quartets. Its palpable mood of ‘grief at irreparable loss’ bleeds into the opening of the Twelfth Quartet: a long passage for three players that symbolises, in the most dramatic way, the departure of Shirinsky.

Please note this concert takes place at Arnos Vale Cemetery Chapel, Bath Road.



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The World Changed – at St George’s Bristol

String Quartet No 6 in G
String Quartet No 8 in C minor
String Quartet No 7 in F sharp minor
String Quartet No 9 in E flat

The Brodskys return with four more from their Shostakovich Quartet Cycle, with the first of his post-Stalinist quartets, the Sixth. Destined for performance at a commemorative concert for his fiftieth birthday, it appears brighter in spirit than its predecessors, but this feeling soon recedes with the emotional shift that darkens the last movement.

The Eighth is the best known and most autobiographical of the quartets and is dedicated to ‘the memory of the victims of fascism and war’. Shostakovich composed it in the space of just three days in 1960, following his visit to Dresden. The city still lay in ruins following the bombing raids of 1945 and the sight of such devastation, coupled with a harrowing visit to the death camps, had a profound effect on Shostakovich.

Shostakovich’s Seventh and Ninth are known to be very personal to him as well, the Seventh having been dedicated to his first wife, Nina, and the Ninth, his third wife. Nina’s sudden death in 1954 affected Shostakovich deeply, the unsettled and tortured nature intense throughout the quartet.


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The World Changed – at The Lord Mayor’s Chapel

String Quartet No 4 in D
String Quartet No 5 in B flat

Shostakovich’s Fourth Quartet abounds with the intonations of Jewish folk music. The quartet was composed at the time of Shostakovich’s second denunciation on the charge of ‘formalism’ so he was desperate to find favour with the authorities once more. He identified strongly with the injustice and persecution suffered by the Jews and spoke of their ability to ‘build a jolly melody on sad intonations. Why does a man strike up a jolly song? Because he feels sad at heart.’ By using Jewish musical idioms in his compositions, Shostakovich had found a subtle way to retain his artistic integrity whilst demonstrating his loyalty to Socialist Realism.

The Brodskys also play the Fifth, a quartet that quotes directly from the Tenth Symphony and is widely considered to be one of his finest. Shostakovich’s Fifth Quartet was first performed in 1953 following Stalin’s death, with a noticeably more introvert tone, linking on to his most private quartets.

Please note this concert takes place at The Lord Mayor’s Chapel, College Green.


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The World Changed – at the RWA

String Quartet No 1 in C
String Quartet No 2 in A
String Quartet No 3 in F

The cycle opens with a work utterly deserving of the title ‘masterpiece’. A seemingly simple work, it was composed against the backdrop of the birth of his son and the triumphant premiere of his Fifth Symphony. Its untroubled nature continues through the Quartet No 2 and the first movement of the Quartet No 3.

In the later movements of the Quartet No 3, we encounter the first ‘rumblings of unrest and anticipation’ and ‘the forces of war unleashed’. The final movement ‘The eternal question – Why? And for what?’ is a passionate set of variations reflecting on the destruction of Leningrad during World War II.

Please note this concert takes place at the Royal West of England Academy, Queens Road


This concert coincides with Back from the Front – Art, Memory and the Aftermath of War, a programme of exhibitions and events at the RWA commemorating the start of The Great War, and 75th anniversary of the start of the Second World War. It explores the theme of conflict and memory across a series of interrelated exhibitions including Brothers in Art: John and Paul Nash; Shock and Awe, and The Death of Nature. The exhibition and programme is supported by Arts Council England, the Bristol Cultural Development Partnership and the University of the West of England, Bristol.


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We asked the lovely Lesley Garrett about her up coming concert….

”Singing with the EUCO is an absolute joy. Making chamber music is a very special experience and I feel humbled and honoured to be performing with such extraordinary musicians. The quality of their playing is like no other I have ever heard. They listen to each other so acutely. I love standing among the players and feeling as if I am an instrument myself. I don’t really feel like a soloist, I feel as if the music we are making is much greater than the sum of its parts, and I am just one of those parts. It’s wonderful!

My program is very varied and demanding. There are some virtuoso arias which are very joyous and florid, like the Bach Alleluia, and then others which require great drama with intense legato, for instance Handel’s Lascia Ch’io Pianga. I think pacing the evening will be tough, as will matching the impossibly high performance standard of the orchestra! But then I love a challenge!”