E x t e n d e d B i o
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.
Now celebrating their 50th anniversary, 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. 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 – a residency which lasted ten years – and, in October 2016, they released 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 – the complete quartets of Shostakovich recorded live, the Elgar String Quartet and Piano Quintet with Martin Roscoe, and ‘Rocking Horse Road’ which is a celebration of their long-standing collaboration with Jacqui Dankworth. Their album of the Late String Quartets of Beethoven was released to coincide with their performance of the repertoire at Kings Place and one of their most recent releases, Homage to Bach, comprises the phenomenal premiere recordings of Bach’s three Solo Violin Sonatas arranged by Paul Cassidy. Their latest release is the Schubert Quintet, with the young cellist Laura van der Heijden, with whom they have been collaborating for some years and, in March 2023, Chandos will release ‘Golden Oldies’, a further compendium of encores, arranged by the Quartet in celebration of their 50th anniversary. The Quartet are also regularly recorded for television and radio with their performances broadcast worldwide and have been the recipients of several awards for recordings, including the Diapason D’Or and the CHOC du Monde de la Musique, as well as receiving a Royal Philharmonic Society Award for their outstanding contribution to innovation in programming.
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.
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 an Honorary Fellowship at the University of Teesside, 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. Krysia Osostowicz plays a violin made by Francesco Gofriller, 1720; 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.