Prizewinners of the International Anton Rubinstein Chamber Music Competition (2018) and Finalists in the Royal Overseas-League Music Competition (2019), the Echéa Quartet was formed in 2017 at the Royal Academy of Music, London. They have recently been awarded the role as Fellowship String Quartet at the Royal Academy of Music for 2019/20. The quartet are Concordia Foundation Artists 2018/19, and City Music Foundation Artists 2019/20. The quartet will continue their work with John Myerscough at the Academy, and Simon Rowland-Jones (ChamberStudio).
In 2018, the Echéa Quartet were the string-quartet-in-residence at Ferrandou Musique, Dordogne, where they collaborated with the British baritone, David Wilson-Johnson. They were also awarded the role of Fellowship Quartet at Wintergreen Performing Arts, where they toured across Virginia, and worked and performed with violinist Rachel Barton Pine. In 2019, they performed Mendelssohn’s Octet in collaboration with the Selini Quartet at the Musikverein (Vienna), collaborated with Marin Alsop at the World Economic Forum (Switzerland). The quartet were featured on BBC Radio 3’s ‘In Tune’, and more recently on CBC National Radio (Canada), as part of their six-week tour of the west coast of North America.
The Echéa Quartet’s continued dedication to new music is increasingly central to their work. They have collaborated with composer Andrew Norman and workshopped and premiered new string quartets at a Composer’s String Quartet Platform at Academy. In April 2019, they performed in the inaugural year of the Krama Contemporary Music Festival in Athens, Greece and premiered Robert Laidlow’s Piano Quintet at Emmanuel College Cambridge as part of the Burnaby Recital Series. They have worked closely with Harrison Birtwistle at the Academy, and recently performed a concert of Birtwistle compositions alongside new compositions by Louise Drewett and Freya Waley-Cohen. The quartet workshopped violinist/composer Henning Kraggerud’s Preghiera at the West Cork Chamber Music Festival, where they also premiered a quartet by James May, winner of the West Cork Composition Competition.
The quartet attended the Banff Centre for the Arts ‘Evolution of the String Quartet’ course where they worked closely with the JACK, Eybler and Parker Quartets. Highlights of next season include recitals at St Martins-in-the-Fields and St James’ Picadilly, and performing in concerts as part of the Festival de los Siete Lagos in Patagonia, Argentina (January 2020). Three of the members perform on instruments on loan from the Royal Academy of Music. Aliayta plays on a J. F. Pressenda from 1847; Emily on a Spirito Sorsana from 1731, and Clara on a Jean Baptiste Salomon from 1745.