Music in the Round announces today (28 October) that the London-based Marmen Quartet will be the first young string quartet to benefit from its professional development scheme, Bridge.
30 years after founding Music in the Round in Sheffield, Peter Cropper, leader of the world-famous Lindsay String Quartet until their retirement in 2005, is to mentor the quartet as part of this new scheme, designed to support the development of an emerging, UK-based string quartet over three years, from January 2015 – January 2018.
The Marmen Quartet was founded in late 2012 at the Royal College of Music. Its members are UK-born Anton Crayton (cello) and Joshua Hayward (viola), Swedish-born Johannes Marmen (lead violin) and Japanese-born Ricky Gore (violin). Between them, the players have performed at Carnegie Hall, the Royal Festival Hall and the Wigmore Hall, and have worked with members of the Navarra Quartet, the London Haydn Quartet, the Artis quartet and the Kuss Quartet as well as benefitting from regular coaching sessions with Mark Messenger and Simon Rowland-Jones.
As the first participants in the scheme, the Marmen Quartet will benefit from a £10,000 p.a. bursary, performance opportunities, a two-week residency at Aldeburgh, regular mentoring sessions and guidance from Peter Cropper and other musicians, including resident Ensemble 360. There will be an emphasis on developing additional skills such as presenting open rehearsals, pre-concert talks, and post-concert discussions with audiences, as well as marketing and PR, education and community engagement work and building networks of contacts and promoters.
Angus Smith, Artistic Director of Music in the Round, said:
“We received an extremely high level of application to the scheme from which our distinguished panel members carefully selected the shortlist. However, the panel at the final public auditions at the Crucible Studio in Sheffield were unanimously in favour of adopting the Marmen Quartet as the first participants in Bridge.
The Marmen Quartet are just progressing from study to full-time professional careers and beginning to explore how they should be taking their first steps in the music business. These excellent young players have enormous potential and our ambition, as part of our commitment to investing in the future of classical music, is to help equip them for the artistic and professional challenges that lie ahead. We hope that access to the quality of sustained artistic mentorship and guidance in professional business skills that Bridge offers will provide an excellent launch pad for them.”
Peter Cropper comments:
“Performing is all about communication. It’s telling a story and I feel the Marmen are dedicated to this ideal. They are totally committed and have the integrity to become a very fine quartet. With our resident Ensemble 360 and now the Bridge mentoring scheme, this is the path for the next 30 years for Music in the Round.”
The other finalists were Manchester-based Cassia String Quartet.
Bridge is funded by the generous support of the ‘Scilla Thornton Fund for Musicians, and a legacy payment from Miss D.R. Kurzman awarded to Music in the Round by Arts Council England