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    DATE: Tuesday, March 25, 2014

    TIME: 7:30 PM - 9:30 PM

    Stude Concert Hall, Shepherd School of Music
    Rice University

    The Elias String Quartet has been designated as an Emerging Young Ensemble, in recognition of and in tribute to the gift from the Barbara Osborne Trust.


    • Sara Bitlloch, violin
    • Donald Grant, violin
    • Martin Saving, viola
    • Marie Bitlloch, cello

    The Elias String Quartet takes its name from Mendelssohn's oratorio, Elijah, of which Elias is its German form. Formed in 1998 at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, the quartet has quickly established itself as one of the most intense and vibrant quartets of its generation. They spent a year studying at the Hochschule in Cologne with the Alban Berg Quartet. Other mentors in the Quartet’s studies include Hugh Maguire, György Kurtág, Gábor Takács-Nagy, Henri Dutilleux and Rainer Schmidt.

    The Quartet made its North American debut in March, 2012 to great critical acclaim. In addition to a sold-out concert at Carnegie Hall, they were praised in the Washington Post for their “shimmering beauty,” and the Philadelphia Inquirer proclaimed, “Few quartets at any stage of their evolution have this much personality.” Their concerts in Philadelphia and in Washington, DC were with pianist Jonathan Biss, and they return to North America for concerts both with and without Mr. Biss in 2013.

    The Quartet has been chosen to participate in BBC Radio 3's prestigious New Generation Artists’ scheme, and they were the recipients of a 2010 Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award. With the support of the Borletti-Buitoni Trust, the Elias Quartet is now immersed in the Beethoven Project: learning and performing all Beethoven string quartets. The cycles started in 2012 and continue throughout this season in Great Britain. They are documenting their journey on a dedicated website:

    The Elias Quartet received second prize and the Sidney Griller prize at the 9th London International String Quartet Competition in 2003 (as the Johnston String Quartet) and were finalists in the Paolo Borciani Competition in 2005. For four years they were resident String Quartet at Sheffield’s “Music in the Round” as part of Ensemble 360.

    The ensemble has released many discs as a quartet and also in collaboration with other artists. Their performance of the Mendelssohn Quartet, Op. 80 was chosen as best recording on BBC Radio 3's "Building a Library" in September 2009, and their disc of Mendelssohn, Mozart and Schubert was given the BBC Music Magazine Newcomer Award in April 2010.

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