Formed in 1988, the Maggini Quartet is established as one of the finest British string quartets, both in performance and through its international award winning recordings.
The Quartet is renowned for championing British repertoire, with worldwide sales of recordings for Naxos’s Gramophone Award winning British Music series exceeding 100,000 discs. The ensemble's CD of Vaughan Williams won the Gramophone Chamber Music Award of the Year 2001, and was nominated for the Classical Brit Awards Ensemble/Orchestral Album 2002 . Recordings of Ireland, Bridge, Bliss, Bax, Walton, Britten and E J Moeran have all been Editor’s Choices in Gramophone and the CD of Bridge Quartets 2 & 4 and Phantasy Piano Quartet with Martin Roscoe was a Gramophone CD of the Month (May 2005). The recording of Elgar with Peter Donohoe won a Diapason d’Or of the Year in France and was also a CHOC award winner for “Le Monde de la Musique”, and Bax Quartets 1 & 2 won a 2002 Cannes Classical Award. The Quartet was also a Grammy Award nominee in 2004 and 2005.
The Quartet’s recordings also include Haydn Op.33 Quartets (Simax), awarded a maximum ten star-rating in France’s Repertoire des Disques Compacts, Szymanowski/Bacewicz quartets (ASV), Schubert’s ‘Death and the Maiden’ (ASV) and Haydn Op.77 Quartets (Claudio). The Magginis will commence their new collaboration with Meridian Records by recording the complete Mendelssohn quartets. The first CD, to be recorded in January 2012, will include Op.44 No.2 and Op.80.
The Maggini Quartet’s commitment to new music has led to important commissions including James MacMillan’s Second Quartet, Robert Simpson’s Cello Quintet (his last work) and works by Eleanor Alberga and Roxanna Panufnik. The Quartet's recent collaboration with Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, performing and recording his ten ‘Naxos Quartets’ over a five-year period, was a hugely exciting and unique project. Premieres included the Wigmore Hall, Cheltenham Festival, Oslo Chamber Music Festival and the Purcell Room and all were received with outstanding acclaim by audiences and critics. The five CDs of the repertoire have also generated tremendous enthusiasm, with The Times hailing the cycle as “a 21st century landmark”. This repertoire featured as part of the Maggini’s long-standing residency at Canterbury Christ Church University, and Sir Andrew Motion has written a set of sonnets linked the Seventh quartet.
The Maggini Quartet appears frequently in prestigious concert series at home and abroad and makes regular media broadcasts. Recent European activities have included performances in the Netherlands, Norway, Denmark and Spain, with forthcoming plans including several European visits and a tour in China. The Glory of the English String Quartet continues to be an important ongoing initiative, drawing upon the wonderfully varied and distinctive repertoire which the Quartet is committed to bringing to a worldwide audience through concert performances and recordings.
The Maggini Quartet will launch its own chamber music festival on 25-27 May 2012, based in and around Swaffham in Norfolk. Plans include a concert featuring the Maggini Quartet and internationally renowned clarinettist Michael Collins, with a variety of other activities and educational workshops. This exciting new venture aims to bring musicians of the highest calibre to the community and concerts will reflect the full range of the Maggini's eclectic repertoire.
In addition to their concert activity, the members of the Quartet have an international reputation as chamber music coaches. They hold several UK residencies, have worked at the UK’s senior music institutions, and their educational activities abroad have included coaching at Yale and Oberlin in the United States and an annual coaching engagement for the Norwegian Chamber Music Society.
The Quartet’s name derives from the famous 16th century Brescian violin maker Giovanni Paulo Maggini, an example of whose work is played by David Angel.
what the critics said
"This is surely music that will grow in stature, especially thorough these committed performances"
"the Magginis clearly love this music, playing it with the understanding and finesse it deserves"
"a superbly integrated reading of the absorbing (Rubbra) Second Quartet"
"a gripping final instalment in Max's Naxos odyssey"
"the Naxos cycle is a 21st century landmark"
"the Maggini perform with the no-holds-barred commitment and technical acumen we have come to expect from them throughout this massive project. Spendidly rich sound and a most truthful balance, too"
"the Maggini's performance is full of conviction and the recording balances clarity and atmosphere to something like perfection"
"the Magginis play with inspired insight"
"the Maggini Quartet make it wonderfully plausible and leave no doubt about the creative fire behind it"
"these performances are simply magnificent"
"go and hear these players"
"such nerve-shredding intensity that one dare hardly breath"
"theirs is music-making of entrancing skill, cogent drive and tangible dedication"
"a wonderful blend of radiance
"delivered with the Maggini Quartet's typical thrust and passion"
"technically precise and fabulously idiomatic"
"immaculate control of the dramatically fluctuating dynamics"