“What is so striking about the playing of the Brodsky Quartet is their brimming love for the music.”
Representation: General Management
Photo: Duncan Matthews
Now in their 45th year, and with a vast and diverse wealth of experience behind them, the Brodsky Quartet continues to strike that perfect balance between being masters of their craft, whilst keeping things fresh with ground-breaking and innovative programmes and projects. Each season, their performances span the globe, taking them to places such New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and the Netherlands on a regular basis. Their notable discography features many of the core classics, as well as an impressive assortment of works that have been written especially for them. The jewel in their recording crown, as well as being one of their latest releases, is the complete Shostakovich cycle, recorded live in concert, from the Muziekgebouw, Amsterdam, for the Chandos label where they are exclusive artists. Education features prominently throughout the quartet’s work, with their seminal side-by-side performance projects allowing the next generation rare and richly pedagogical experiences.
Gina McCormack & Ian Belton, violin
Paul Cassidy, viola – Jacqueline Thomas, cello
Since forming in 1972, the Brodsky Quartet have performed over 3,000 concerts on the major stages of the world and have released more than 70 recordings. A natural curiosity and an insatiable desire to explore has propelled the group in a number of artistic directions and continues to ensure them not only a prominent presence on the international chamber music scene, but also a rich and varied musical existence. Their energy and craftsmanship have attracted numerous awards and accolades worldwide, while their ongoing educational work provides a vehicle to pass on experience and stay in touch with the next generation.
Throughout their career of over 45 years, the Brodsky Quartet have enjoyed a busy international performing schedule, and have extensively toured the major festivals and venues throughout Australasia, North and South America, Asia, South Africa and Europe, as well as in the UK, where the quartet is based. The quartet are also regularly recorded for television and radio with their performances broadcast worldwide.
Over the years, the Brodsky Quartet have undertaken numerous performances of the complete cycles of quartets by Schubert, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Britten, Schoenberg, Zemlinsky, Webern and Bartok. It is, however, the complete Shostakovich cycle that has now become synonymous with their name: their 2012 London performance of the cycle resulted in their taking the prestigious title ‘Artistic Associate’ at London’s Kings Place and, in October 2016, releasing their second recording of the cycle, this time live from the Muziekgebouw, Amsterdam.
The Brodsky Quartet have always had a busy recording career and currently enjoy an exclusive and fruitful relationship with Chandos Records. Releases on the label include ‘Petits Fours’, a celebratory album of ‘Encore’ pieces arranged exclusively by the quartet for their 40th anniversary; a Debussy compilation; ‘In the South’, featuring works by Verdi, Paganini, Wolf and Puccini; ‘New World Quartets’, comprising works by Dvorak, Copland, Gershwin and Brubeck; the quartets of Zemlinsky, including the world premiere recording of his unpublished early quartet; two Brahms discs, featuring the iconic Piano and Clarinet Quintets; the Shostakovich Complete Quartets and most recently a recording with Martin Roscoe of the Elgar Quintet paired with the Elgar Quartet.
As well as partnering many top classical artists for their performances and recordings, the quartet have made musical history with ground-breaking collaborations with some of the world’s leading artists across many genres and have commissioned and championed many of the world’s most respected composers.
Awards for recordings include the Diapason D’Or and the CHOC du Monde de la Musique and the Brodsky Quartet have received a Royal Philharmonic Society Award for their outstanding contribution to innovation in programming.
The quartet have taught at many international chamber music courses and have held residencies in several music institutes including, at the start of their career, the first such post at the University of Cambridge and latterly at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, where they are visiting International Fellows in Chamber Music. They were awarded Honorary Doctorates by the University of Kent and Masters of Arts by Teesside University where they were founded.
The quartet took their name from the great Russian violinist Adolf Brodsky, the dedicatee of Tchaikovsky’s violin concerto and a passionate chamber musician. Gina McCormack plays a 1749 Alessandro Gagliano violin; Ian Belton’s violin is by Giovanni Paolo Maggini, c.1615. Paul Cassidy plays on La Delfina viola, c.1720, courtesy of Sra. Delfina Entrecanales and Jacqueline Thomas’s cello is by Thomas Perry of Dublin, 1785.
“…No one inhabited the acoustics better than the Brodsky Quartet, whose American-themed programme was the musical highlight of the weekend. They evoked the wide-open landscapes of Copland’s Two Pieces and the bygone American world of Barber’s String Quartet, complete with the famous adagio in its original, searing form. The generous spirit of Dvorák’s American Quartet came bursting out in a warm-hearted performance…”