One of the UK's leading string quartets, the award-winning Sacconi Quartet continues to perform with its four founder members. It is celebrated for its creativity, energy and integrity of interpretation.
Ben Hancox violin Hannah Dawson violin Robin Ashwell viola Cara Berridge cello
The award-winning Sacconi Quartet is recognised for its unanimous and compelling ensemble, consistently communicating with a fresh and imaginative approach. Formed in 2001, its four founder members continue to demonstrate a shared passion for string quartet repertoire, infectiously reaching out to audiences with their energy and enthusiasm. The Sacconi is Quartet in Association at the Royal College of Music.
2017 saw the release of three highly praised new CDs by the Sacconi Quartet: In Damascus, their CD of music by Jonathan Dove including In Damascus, commissioned by the Quartet, and featuring Mark Padmore and Charles Owen; Graham Fitkin’s complete string quartets; and three of John McCabe’s quintets, featuring the composer on piano, horn player David Pyatt, and baritone Roderick Williams. In Damascus hit the Classical Top Ten, and was chosen as one of Gramophone Magazine’s 2018 Recordings of the Year.
2018-19 plans include a cruise to the Arctic circle, performing fifteen concerts with artists including with Simon Rowland-Jones and Tim Horton; two Wigmore Hall concerts (the first with Daniel Hope and Freddy Kempf); the Irish premiere of In Damascus with tenor Robin Tritschler; a tour of the rarely heard John Ireland Sextet with Robert Plane and Alec Frank-Gemmill; and a new commission by Judith Bingham. 2018 saw the eleventh year of the Sacconi Chamber Music Festival in Folkestone, with Graham Fitkin as composer in residence and collaborations with the London Bridge Trio, Moray Welsh and African trio Chesaba.
In Summer 2015 the quartet launched HEARTFELT, their most innovative project to date. A radical re-interpretation of Beethoven’s iconic String Quartet in A minor opus 132, HEARTFELT pushed the boundaries of chamber music through combining sound, light and touch, for a truly unique performance in which audience members connected with each performer’s heartbeat through holding robotic ‘hearts’. www.heartfelt.org.uk
The name Sacconi Quartet comes from the outstanding twentieth-century Italian luthier and restorer Simone Sacconi, whose book The Secrets of Stradivari is considered an indispensable reference for violin makers. Robin is indebted to Ellen Solomon for the use of his viola. Ben, Hannah & Cara have all been generously loaned their instruments by the Royal Society of Musicians, a charity which helps musicians in need, for which they are extremely grateful.
The Sacconi Quartet celebrates its 20th Anniversary in 2021.
This month, three of Ikon Arts Management’s artists feature in Gramophone Magazine. Newly-released CDs by The Sacconi Quartet, Peter Donohoe and The Marian Consort all attract high praise, and The Sacconi Quartet feature again in ‘Critic’s Choice’. Read more
The overall impact of the work and its performance was profound... their fine balance and near flawless ensemble provided the bedrock for a graceful yet rhythmically vital interpretation.
To start the concert, the Sacconi Quartet delighted in Haydn, distinguished by clean, classical playing, often sparing vibrato. Both in Haydn and Schubert’s Death and the Maiden, the leader’s delicate phrasing […] were matched in the Death second movement by finely balanced chording and blend from his colleagues […] the Sacconi Quartet is a young group to watch out for.
The Classical Source
Quartets are often lauded for their longevity […] so while the Sacconi is a mere toddler at 10 years, the likelihood of them celebrating their fortieth anniversary is worth putting money on.
Classic FM Magazine
The Sacconi, a fast rising British string quartet … bring something fresh and distinctive. Dvorak’s American Quartet has a light touch and springy rhythms that suit the music perfectly.
…British Sacconi Quartet provided the musical backdrops, with immaculate playing and precise ensemble, bringing Dealzey’s characterful music to colorful life.
The Edinburgh Reporter
Ample vigor in the vivace movements, yet space is allowed to capture the witticism in a turn of phrase; when the mood darkens in the adagio of No. 2 the players provide rich, Gypsy-inflected hues. These are performances to treasure and one awaits eagerly the next release from the ensemble’s new label.
A beautiful blend of sound…highly engaging
A quartet of genuine substance
The Daily Telegraph
The festival sensation, the young Sacconi Quartet completely bowled over a packed audience. The chemistry between these four young players is tangible and magical.
An exceptional ensemble…a unanimous sense of musical breath and a meticulous attention to detail
Great power and sweetness…intimate closeness.
Enviable technical prowess
Selected Discography —
Graham Fitkin String Quartets
...the ever-outstanding Sacconi Quartet have turned their attention to another outstanding British composer... A terrific disc that I encourage everyone to buy
Highlights from the ninth Sacconi Chamber Music Festival in Folkestone from 20-22 May 2016, which included the world premiere of Jonathan Dove's 'In Damascus' for the Sacconi Quartet and tenor Mark Padmore. View on YouTube
An immersive, interactive performance of Beethoven's String Quartet in A minor Op.132 which pushes the boundaries of chamber music as audience members are invited to hold each performer's heartbeat, through holding robotic 'hearts'. Filmed in 2015. View on YouTube