Astaria Quartet

Photo of Astaria Quartet

Shulah Oliver (violin)
Kelly McCusker (violin)
Kate Bickerdike (viola)
Sean Gilde (cello)

Inspirational and innovative, the Astaria String Quartet continues to explore not only less well known works for string quartet, but also aspects of audience development with their exciting new programme ‘An Evening of Requests’ and the commissioning of new music by local composers.

They were awarded an ‘Arts4All’ Grant from the National Lottery to study with the distinguished chamber musician Gábor Takács-Nagy in Geneva and were also awarded a bursary to attend the prestigious ‘International Musicians Seminar Prussia Cove’. Most recently they completed their first album, ‘Fiesta', a celebration of Spanish and Latin American music, which includes compositions by Turina, Villa-Lobos and a first recording of the ‘Tango Ballet’ by Piazzolla for string quartet.

Their busy touring schedule has seen the Astaria String Quartet performing throughout the UK, including recitals across Scotland for Enterprise Music Scotland and the ‘Argyll and Bute Concert Tours’, in Devon for Beaford Arts and in Shropshire for ‘Arts Alive’.

They were invited to present a recital at the BCU Birmingham Conservatoire as part of the ‘Salute to Midlands Composers’ Series. This included the rarely performed ‘String Quartet in A’ by Edgar Bainton, ‘On Wenlock Edge’ by Ralph Vaughan Williams with Julian Pike (Head of Vocal Studies) and Edward Elgar’s Piano Quintet, with Robert Markham.

The Astaria String Quartets commitment to education and music in the community is reflected through coaching, master-classes, workshops and performances in both primary and secondary school settings as well as hospices and Camphill Communities.

A recent exciting development has been the launch of their festival ‘Chamber Music @ Worcester’, which aims to create a vibrant, accessible and enjoyable environment, where people of all ages can interact with chamber music concerts and related events.

Astaria Quartet's website



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