Photo: Eric Richmond
Photo: Eric Richmond

Shostakovich’s string quartets are seen by many as being autobiographical. They were written spanning 3 and a half decades from 1938 to 1974 from his early thirties to the year before he died. The Brodsky Quartet can perform all 15 quartets in 5 concerts over 3 days or spread over a season. They can be grouped in a number of different ways, either in chronological order or linked by themes. Successful performances have been given recently in Sydney and Melbourne, Australia; Kings Place in London and Bristol.  This is also a great project to join with a university or conservatoire. The quartets can be shared between student quartets who have been coached, students who are joined by one member of the Brodsky quartet, just the Brodsky Quartet and often String Quartet No.8 is performed as a chamber orchestra with all participating students involved.

‘…the opportunity to experience the complete quartets in live performance is a rare privilege… Presented across five sessions, the cycle was delivered non-sequentially. This dramatically highlighted the diversity in structure and scale employed by Shostakovich across a 36-year period of composition. At the same time, it revealed the constancy of motivic devices (including his four-note signature), jagged chromaticisms, attenuated sequences and dance forms the composer employed in his most autobiographic body of work…’
Eammon Kelly, The Australian

“The highlight of 2013 is its [ANAM’s] collaboration with the Brodsky Quartet, playing all 15 of Shostakovich’s string quartets … The quartet decided to revisit Shostakovich’s extraordinary quartet legacy, which is well and truly in their musical souls. The students of ANAM are the fortunate beneficiaries. Not only were they able to hear the quartets as a whole, with several being played by international musicians at the top of their game in terms of technique and artistry, but they were able to play with these artists, thus gaining insights that would be impossible to achieve with master classes alone”
Heather Levitson, Arts Hub Australia