Quartet Awarded Prestigious ChamberStudio Mentorship

The Navarra String Quartet has been awarded the prestigious ChamberStudio Mentorship 2013. ChamberStudio is based at Kings Place, London, and this newly launched mentorship programme is generously supported by the Musicians Benevolent Fund.

The ChamberStudio Mentorship provides the opportunity for one outstanding group to study in-depth for a year with their chosen mentor(s). The programme is heavily subsidised, tailor-made to each recipient, and allows the highest level of study. Other benefits include concert opportunities, a professional recording and business advice specific to running a chamber ensemble. The Navarra String Quartet – violinists Magnus Johnston and Marije Ploemacher, violist Simone van der Giessen and cellist Brian O’Kane – will be mentored by violinist Eberhard Feltz and ‘cellist David Waterman.

On awarding the ChamberStudio Mentorship to the Navarra Quartet, Richard Ireland said: ‘I first heard Magnus Johnston leading a quartet when he was a student at the RNCM. Magnus has always been a deeply insightful and expressive player and he joins forces with three other outstanding musician colleagues in the Navarra Quartet. The four players together perform with rare sensitivity and emotional strength.’

Cellist Brian O’Kane, speaking on the Quartet’s behalf, acknowledged: ‘The Navarra Quartet is extremely proud and honoured to be the inaugural quartet selected for the ChamberStudio Mentorship programme. ChamberStudio will effectively facilitate the Quartet's continued development by enabling us to study with the most distinguished musicians of today. We are thoroughly looking forward to continuing our relationship with Eberhard Feltz and David Waterman through this new scheme. A string quartet, by definition, is a constantly evolving group, and to have such mentors guiding us on our musical journey is an essential and wonderful thing.’

The Navarra String Quartet was formed in 2002 at the RNCM under the guidance of the late Dr Christopher Rowland and Alasdair Tait before going on to postgraduate study with the Alban Berg Quartet in Cologne. They are now Quartet in Association at the RNCM. The 2008 winners of the Outstanding Young Artist Award at the MIDEM Classique Awards in Cannes, they were selected for representation by Young Concert Artists Trust 2006-2011 and in 2007 received a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship culminating in a highly acclaimed disc of Haydn’s Seven Last Words. They are regular guests at international chamber music festivals and venues including Wigmore Hall, Verbier Festival, Aldeburgh, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Cadogan Hall as part of the BBC Proms Chamber music series, Aix-en-Provence Festival and Konzerthaus Berlin. As part of the Chamber Classics Unwrapped 2014 series at Kings Place, the Navarra Quartet will perform on 20 February 2014, presenting a programme of works by Mozart, Beethoven and Borodin.

15 February 2013