Hampshire Now - your County Council magazine

National award for Hampshire's 'outstanding' String Quartet

Thursday, 18 July 2013

A youth string quartet, formed and guided by Hampshire County Council's Music Service has gained national recognition after being presented with the Performance Practice Award for 'outstanding achievement', at the National Festival of Music for Youth, held at the Symphony Hall in Birmingham.

The Hampshire String Quartet was selected to participate in the Festival from thousands of groups of young musicians competing in regional heats up and down the country. The quartet comprises Matthew Crisp from Dibden Purlieu, age 16 (violin), Eleanor Shute from Chandler's Ford, age 18 (violin), Rachel Maxey from Romsey, age 18 (viola) and Charlotte Mitchell from Compton (near Winchester), age 17 (cello). The Performance Practice Award rewards special achievement in the quality of musicianship, or an aspect of performance presentation that deserves particular acknowledgement.

Their performance of 'La Oracion del Torero' (The Bullfighters' Prayer) by Joaquin Turina, impressed Festival adjudicators, who commented that the quartet "captured the essence of this piece immediately, with a beautiful ethereal muted tone. The rapid and abrupt changes in musical line were confidently approached and there was a lovely blend in your sound, presenting those difficult and awkward close harmonies convincingly." They also commented that the musicians' bow control was "excellent" and overall their performance was "absolutely magical."

Hampshire County Council's Executive Member for Education, Councillor Peter Edgar, said: "What a triumph for these young musicians who I know are incredibly committed and work very hard - a very well deserved award. Congratulations should also go to our Music Service for all it does to develop young people as musicians and open up opportunities for them to perform, in this case at national level. This is a fantastic achievement and the Music Service and members of the Hampshire String Quartet should be very proud of their achievement."

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