Edward McGuire – A New Viola Quintet

Performers: The Edinburgh Quartet with Jessica Beeston, Viola

Premiere performances:

  • 11 June 2009: Isle of Arran Music Society, Brodick
  • 12 June 2009: Westfest, Glasserton, near Newton Stewart
  • 13 June 2009: West End Festival Glasgow, plus Glasgow University Study Day

“From a number of perspectives in both traditional and classical music, Edward McGuire is among Scotland’s best known composers. He’s not a self-proclaimer, but in the music community he is an almost iconic figure in a quiet way”
Michael Tumelty, The Herald, February 2008

Commissioned to mark the 6oth anniversary of the composer’s birth in 1948, this important new work will also be part of the 50th anniversary celebrations of the Edinburgh Quartet’s foundation.

McGuire’s earlier “Guest Quintet” was commissioned by the Edinburgh Quartet in 1985 with funds from the Bank of Scotland and has been performed by the EQ with a wide variety of guest players and instruments, in scores of locations across three continents.

This new work will celebrate the composer’s affection for the viola – the subject of his first commission – and also his love for the Isle of Arran. Indeed, the Isle of Arran Music Society, which was much involved in the original idea, has generously offered to contribute towards the commission.

It will be available for Festival performances during summer 2009 and will be generally available thereafter on request.

“The tribute (McGuire’s 60th Birthday Concert, Glasgow University) had opened with young Jessica Beeston, a stunning violist, in a gripping performance of McGuire’s Martyr, his first commission from 1972, which, in its breathtaking profusion of ideas and confidence, sounded like a bursting open of the floodgates of inspiration.”
Michael Tumelty, The Herald, February 2008