The Edinburgh Quartet has long been celebrated as one of Britain’s foremost chamber ensembles, having appeared regularly at prestigious venues across the UK and toured extensively across Europe, the Far and Middle East, and North and South America.
In addition to a busy concert schedule the Edinburgh Quartet is frequently featured in radio broadcasts for the BBC and other stations. Recently this has included live appearances on Classics Unwrapped (BBC Radio Scotland) and Jazz Line-Up and In Tune (BBC Radio 3) as well as video recordings for Studio One Sessions, which appear on the BBC Radio Scotland website.
The Edinburgh Quartet is committed to nurturing talent and is resident at the University of Stirling and University of Edinburgh. As well as giving a regular classical concert series at each of these institutions, the players work with composition students, instrumentalists and student teachers. In addition to this the Edinburgh Quartet’s outreach programme encompasses workshops for primary and secondary school children and tutoring adults on the Variations Summer School in Ullapool, and their annual tours around Scotland.
The Quartet has always been a champion of new music and has worked with many important and prolific composers of our age including James MacMillan, Michael Tippett and Howard Blake.
The Edinburgh Quartet has an extensive discography available on various labels such as Delphian, Linn, Meridian and RCA. Among their recordings are the complete string quartets of Hans Gál (Meridian), Kenneth Leighton (Meridian) and Mátyás Seiber (Delphian), as well as discs of Bartók, Robert Crawford, Haydn, Schubert and Thomas Wilson.
Their recent release “Postcard from Nalchik” featuring Haydn, Prokofiev and Shostakovich received a four star review in The Scotsman, with Ken Walton commending the playing as “perky and pristine in the Haydn, gutsy and attitudinal in the folk-inspired Prokofiev, movingly sustained in the grim delights of the Shostakovich… richly considered, rigorously balanced and, ultimately, a musical treat”.
Their new James MacMillan disc (also on Delphian) received 5 stars in The Scotsman from Walton, was described in The Herald by Michael Tumelty as “absolutely essential listening” and was praised by Gramophone Magazine: “These players have worked to produce the precise sound to transmit the emotional import of each phrase”.
Dutch violinist Tijmen Huisingh (Amsterdam, 1979) is a tempestuous musician who wholeheartedly delves into every piece and genre he encounters: from 16th century Renaissance Baroque to pop/rock music of today. He finds great inspiration and guiding in working with Gordan Nikolic and the philosophy and recordings of Sergiu Celibidache. He is much in demand as a chamber musician and guest-concertmaster/director with ensembles such as Concertgebouw Chamber Orchestra, English Symphony Orchestra, Kristjan Järvi’s Absolute Ensemble, Combattimento and the Netherlands Symphony Orchestra.
He was a laureate in numerous violin competitions in the Netherlands and at the International Chamber Music Competition 2007 “Rovere d’Oro” in Italy.
Early in 2017 he became a member of the Royal Northern Sinfonia. At the end of that same year he joined the prestigious Edinburgh Quartet as their new first violinist.
Recent highlights include appearances at the international chamber music festivals of Utrecht, the Hague, Schleswig-Holstein (Ger) and Staunton (USA), the European tour of Janine Jansen’s (cd) project ‘the Bach concerto’s’ as well as a tour of the Netherlands with Bach’s Goldberg variations with the Huisingh-Zemtsov-Wispelwey string trio.
He is a founding member of the Amsterdam Chamber Soloists, a piano quartet of four soul-mates. They perform in the major concert halls in the Netherlands and regularly for Dutch radio4.
Tijmen studied the violin at the Amsterdam Conservatory with Jan Repko, Lex Korff de Gidts and Ilya Grubert and finished his studies in 2007 at the Scuola di Musica di Fiesole under the guidance of Pavel Vernikov and Oleksandr Semchuk in the ‘International Competition Preparation Course’.
He gratefully plays a 1750 Venetian violin by Sanctus Serafin and a Caressa-Francais bow kindly loaned to him by the NMF (Dutch Musical Instruments Foundation).
Catherine Marwood studied at the Royal Academy Of Music and spent the following nine years playing with the Fairfield String Quartet with whom she toured Europe and recorded for the Hyperion label. She also explored the oboe quartet and string trio repertoire with her siblings in the Marwood Ensemble and together they recorded a disc of the music of Jean Francaix.
In 1988 she was appointed principal viola with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, a position she held for ten years. She appeared many times as soloist with the orchestra collaborating with such artists as Joseph Swensen, Yuri Bashmet and Ernst Kovacic and in the SCO’s chamber series she worked with Michael Collins, Stephen Isserlis, Peter Donohoe and many others. She also premiered and recorded Sir Peter Maxwell Davies Strathclyde concerto no 5. She was principal viola in the Scottish Ensemble with whom she recorded under the prestigious Wigmore Live label, frequently broadcast on Radio 3 and toured extensively in this country and abroad.
Catherine works with many other chamber groups and orchestras and in 2009 she was appointed principal viola of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. She has been a member of the Hebrides Ensemble for over 20 years and values the opportunity to showcase contemporary music alongside more traditional repertoire. She joined the Edinburgh Quartet in 2017 and is loving the return to the pinnacle of the chamber music form and the challenges it brings. Catherine also examines for ABRSM both in the U.K. and in the Far East.
Tom was first inspired to play chamber music when, aged 11, his parents took him to open rehearsals of a string quartet in the Holywell music room in Oxford.
He now leads a busy career as a violinist and violist.
With the Callino Quartet he has toured around Europe and in particular Ireland. Their most recent release is ‘The Seven Last Words’ by Haydn for ‘The sixteen’ label. They are grateful to ‘Whibley Holidays with Music’ for their support. They have recently started their own festival at Dartington.
Tom is a founding member of the Aronowitz Ensemble which was formed to explore the works for string quintet, sextet and piano, and strings chamber music. The group took part in the Radio 3 New Generation Artist scheme. A Borletti-Buitoni Trust award enabled them to release two CDs on the Sonimage label.
Tom has collaborated with musicians from different genres; touring India with Sarod player Amjad Ali Kahn and a West coast of Scotland tour with a string trio and tabla player Kuljit Bhamra. With the Red Note ensemble, based in Glasgow, he has premiered many challenging experimental contemporary works.
Most recently he has moved to Edinburgh and joined the Edinburgh quartet with whom he looks forward to exploring the rich string quartet repertoire.
While practicing he often thinks of the advice of his teachers; David Thompson, David Takeno, Krzysztof Smietana (at the Junior Guildhall), Levon Chilingirian and Yossi Zivoni (at the Royal College of Music).
Mark Bailey, cello
Born in London, Mark Bailey has performed all over Europe, the UK, USA & Canada, the Far East and Middle East, both as soloist and cellist of the Edinburgh Quartet. The EQ is one of the UK’s longest running chamber ensembles and celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2010. In 2007 the EQ received the much coveted Gramophone Editor’s Choice for their recording of the complete string quartets of Hans Gal. Mark studied at the Royal College of Music on a Foundation Scholarship where he won all the major cello prizes, including the top concerto and recital prizes.
He was then invited by PaulTortelier to study with him in France for two years, attracting scholarships from the British Council, The Countess of Munster and Suggia Trusts and the Martin Musical Scholarship Fund. There he was awarded the Premier Prix de la Musique de Chambre de Nice. Later he worked with William Pleeth and Jacqueline du Pré, as well as performing in master classes with, amongst others, Zara Nelsova and Johannes Goritzski.
As soloist he has broadcast for French & Spanish Radio and recorded recitals for the BBC. Works have been recorded under Meridian, Naxos, Delphian and The Divine Art labels. In the course of his distinguished career he has given recitals at the Purcell Room, Wigmore Hall and has appeared as soloist in many leading British festivals.
Mark teaches cello and coaches chamber music at the Universities of Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Glasgow, and Stirling – where the EQ is Quartet in Residence.