Hear from the Apprentice competition winners

The two winners of the apprentice competition, Emily Pond and Morag Robertson, share their thoughts on the experience, ahead of joining the quartet on tour (Emily joins the summer tour from 27 July and Morag will join the quartet for a project in September.)

“Chamber Music and in particular string quartet playing has always been a passion and something I thrive from, so the opportunity of playing with this quartet was extremely appealing. I knew how beneficial it would be to play with such inspiring musicians who know so much about the art of the String Quartet. I’m elated and so excited at the thought of rehearsing and performing with them further. To win this competition means so much to me and I know that working with the quartet will be invaluable. I look forward to working intensely, discussing and exchanging musical ideas and learning from their rehearsal techniques. I have done little viola quintet repertoire so I am also keen to understand and appreciate the differing roles that the 2 violas play. Performing with them will be unforgettable and I will feel incredibly proud to be sharing the stage with the Edinburgh Quartet! ” – Emily Pond

“Winning the Edinburgh Quartet’s Young Apprentice Competition gives me the unique opportunity to work with and perform alongside the members of the quartet and for me as a student; there is really no better form of work experience than that. I am very passionate about chamber music and it is definitely something I would love to pursue into my musical career so this opportunity will certainly be an important stepping stone for me. It was such an enjoyable experience playing with the quartet in the competition alone so I was delighted to hear I would have the chance to work with them again in full projects. I am excited about getting to know the players of the quartet and learning some completely new repertoire. I can’t wait to get started!” Morag Robertson 

“The aim of the Apprentice competition is to provide young musicians aged 18 to 25 the chance to play in a professional quartet, with two winners being announced to tour with the quartet in the 2016-17 season. It is very hard to get opportunities to play in so-called pre-formed groups while at music college or university – a totally different feeling to playing in groups which are newly formed. We were, however, not looking for players who would just ‘fit in’ to what we were already doing. The dominant quality that both Morag and Emily possess is not only fantastic musical awareness; but a musical charisma which shone through during their performance with us. They weren’t just looking to blend seamlessly with what we were doing but raised our level of performance and made us think afresh about why we were performing certain phrases in a certain way. We are delighted to have Emily Pond on board for the wonderful Dvorak String Quintet in our summer tour and we are looking forward to welcoming Morag Robertson for concerts in September and October.”

Gordon Bragg