FREE Lunchtime Concert: Solem String Quartet and Maksim Štšura (piano)
Mendelssohn – String Quartet No 6 in F minor Op 80
Frank Bridge – Piano Quintet in D minor
Winners of the 2014 Royal Overseas League Ensemble Competition, the Solem Quartet were brought together in 2011 by their studies at the University of Manchester, where they take their name from the University motto “arduus ad solem”, meaning “striving towards the sun”.
The quartet enjoy a busy concert schedule at venues across the UK including Wigmore Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Bridgewater Hall and Holywell Music Room, as well as performing internationally in several European countries. As an acknowledgement to their name, the Solem Quartet began by learning Haydn’s op 20 “Sun” Quartets. Now their repertoire expands widely from early Haydn to living composers such as Emily Howard, whose quartet ‘Afference’ they recently performed in a BBC Proms Extra broadcast live on BBC Radio 3. They have recorded two CDs of 20th Century British music for Divine Arts record company. They have recently been announced as 2016/17 Park Lane Group Artists and will give recitals at Kings Place, St John’s, Smith Square and St Martin-in-the-fields in the coming year as part of the PLG recital series.
The quartet are currently Junior Fellows in Chamber Music at the RNCM (2015-17), giving regular coaching to chamber ensembles as well as a series of concerts throughout the year. As part of their work with Live Music Now, they also give concerts and workshops in a number of special needs schools around Manchester.
From September 2016 they will take up the position of Quartet in Residence at the University of Liverpool. They were also recently appointed Ensemble in Residence at Aberystwyth MusicFest. They have been privately commissioned to undertake a complete Beethoven cycle, to take place over five years starting in 2017, in London and Aberystwyth.
The Solem Quartet have benefited from inspirational teaching from a number of the world’s greatest chamber musicians including Gábor Takács-Nagy, Miguel da Silva, Peter Cropper, Thomas Riebl and Hatto Beyerle. They have attended the European Chamber Music Academy and the National Youth String Quartet Academy as well as courses with the Chilingirian, Dante and Maggini Quartets, and in January 2015 they undertook a two-week chamber music residency with Simon Rowland-Jones in Aldeburgh. The quartet were delighted to have been selected for the prestigious ChamberStudio Mentorship 2014/2015, which allowed them to study intensively with the internationally renowned cellist Christoph Richter at Kings Place.
Maksim Štšura is an Estonian pianist, composer and music scholar based in London. He performs extensively as soloist and chamber musician in the prestigious concert halls across the United Kingdom, including St Martin-in-the-Fields, Purcell Room and the Wigmore Hall.
He received his Master of Music degree from the Royal College of Music in 2013, studying under Gordon Fergus-Thompson and has also completed the prestigious Artist Diploma course with him in 2014. He previously graduated from the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre where he studied with Ivari Ilja. In 2008-09, he participated in an Erasmus exchange at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hamburg, where he worked with Volker Banfield. His Masters studies were generously supported by a Somers-Mountfort scholarship, the AHRC Study Award, the Estonian Capital of Culture Study Award and the Kristjan Jaak Scholarship. Maksim was a Mills Williams Junior Fellow for 2013-14. In 2014 Maksim has started his Doctoral course at the RCM, supported by a Leverhulme Postgraduate Studentship, Estonian Capital of Culture and Mr Nigel Woolner MBE. His research is focused on the piano transcriptions of the contemporary orchestral scores.
Maksim has performed in masterclasses with musicians including Dmitry Bashkirov, Stephen Hough, John Lill, Barry Douglas, Nina Seryogina, Veera Gornostayeva, Daniel Pollack, Tamas Ungar and Eliso Virsaladze.
He has won prizes in several international competitions, including First Prizes at the 7th Estonian Piano Competition (2008), the Steinway-Klavierspiel-Wettbewerb in Germany (2004), the International Frederic Chopin Piano Competition in Estonia (2000) and other awards including Third Prize at the International ‘Young Musician’ Competition in Estonia (2002) and the Laureate Prize at the International Jevgeny Mravinski Competition in Russia (2001). Additionally, Maksim was awarded both a Yamaha (2008) and a Helmi Valtman (2010) scholarship. In 2013 Maksim the First Prize at the Intercollegiate Beethoven Piano Competition.