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Sacconi Quartet with Emma Abbate - piano


Sunday, May 8th 2022 @ 7.30 pm


Rachmaninoff - String Quartet No. 1 'Romance'
Shostakovich - Piano Quintet in G minor, Op 57
Schumann - Piano Quintet op. 44 in E flat major


Ben Hancox - violin

Hannah Dawson - violin

Robin Ashwell - viola

Cara Berridge - cello

Formed in 2001, the four founder members of the Sacconi Quartet continue to enjoy a busy international career, and are Quartet in Association at the Royal College of Music and Quartet in Residence in Folkestone.


Their latest album of world premiere recordings by Roxanna Panufnik was released in May. Releases of recent years include premiere recordings by Jonathan Dove, Graham Fitkin and John McCabe. In Damascus, their CD of music by Dove, hit the Classical Top Ten, and was chosen as one of Gramophone Magazine’s Recordings of the Year. Last season saw the quartet make their debut in Russia with pianist Peter Donohoe. They continued their performances of Dove’s In Damascus, and gave several performances of their inimitable Beethoven in the Dark.


Firm advocates of new music, the Sacconi recently premiered their latest commission from Graham Fitkin, Loosening for saxophone and quartet. Last season they gave premieres by Judith Bingham, Roxanna Panufnik and John Woolrich, and toured with Helen Grime’s string quartet. Future commissions and premieres include works by Bingham, Dove and Nicola LeFanu.


The Sacconi Quartet is Quartet in Residence for the town of Folkestone and its surrounding areas, enabling creative collaborations with local artists and projects, and an embedded outreach programme. The Sacconi Chamber Music Festival in Folkestone is firmly established among the UK’s major chamber music festivals. In March, the quartet released an exclusive film of Jonathan Dove’s ‘Out of Time’ on Amazon with all proceeds going to Hands Up Foundation, a young and innovative charity that delivers aid directly and effectively to Syrians in need.


The Quartet is indebted to the Royal Society of Musicians and Ellen Solomon for the use of their instruments. The Sacconi Quartet celebrate their 20th Anniversary in the 2021-22 season, performing their latest commission from Jonathan Dove, and Beethoven in the Dark, their immersive performance of Beethoven’s op.131 quartet entirely from memory, in almost complete darkness. “This stunner from the Sacconi Quartet was all about letting the music speak. Eyes open or closed, it was all you got.” Classic FM

Emma Abbate - piano

The Neapolitan pianist Emma Abbate enjoys a demanding career as a piano accompanist and chamber musician. Described as "an amazingly talented pianist" by the leading Italian magazine Musica, she has performed in duo recitals for international festivals and concert societies in Austria, Portugal, Italy, Poland and USA, and at many prestigious UK venues such as the Wigmore Hall, Southbank Centre, Royal Opera House, St John’s Smith Square, St George’s, Bristol and at the Aldeburgh Festival, in addition to broadcasts on BBC Radio 3.


Emma has made a series of recordings devoted to 20th century Italian vocal chamber music, the latest of which is the world-première Sera d'inverno: Songs by Ildebrando Pizzetti with the acclaimed mezzo-soprano Hanna Hipp on Resonus Classics: their disc has been praised by Gramophone for its 'considerable intensity' and was Editor's Choice in the June 2018 issue of the leading Australian magazine Limelight. Emma previously recorded the world-première disc of Shakespeare Sonnets by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco with the BBC New Generation Artist Ashley Riches, also on Resonus Classics.

A keen advocate of contemporary music, Emma has released two discs devoted to works by Stephen Dodgson that include his piano quintets with the Tippett Quartet. Other world-première recordings include works for cello and piano by Algernon Ashton and Krzysztof Meyer with Evva Mizerska. Emma also cultivates an active interest in historical keyboards, and has performed and recorded on a range of original instruments for the Finchcocks Charity and at Hatchlands Park and the Russell Collection. She has recently released Weber's complete keyboard duets with Julian Perkins, with whom she has also recorded Mozart's complete keyboard duet sonatas.

Based in London, Emma is a professor at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama and a staff coach at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. She has been elected an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music in recognition of her ‘significant contribution’ thus far to the music profession.

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