National String Quartet Foundation Announces Over 50 Concerts for Autumn Season

The Marmen Quartet (Photo: Marco Borggreve)

National String Quartet Foundation Announces Over 50 Concerts for Autumn Season

Marmen, ConTempo, Ficino and Gealán Quartets to feature in nationwide tours with new works by Garth Knox, Michael Doherty and Ailbhe McDonagh.

The National String Quartet Foundation has announced a programme of over fifty concerts taking place across the country this autumn.

From September to December, fifty-two chamber music concerts will be presented in over thirty venues. Included in the programme are three newly commissioned works by Garth Knox, Michael Doherty and Ailbhe McDonagh. 

The season launched last week with the Carducci Quartet on tour from 6 to 10 September. The next tour is a series of five concerts with the ConTempo Quartet who will perform works by Haydn, Rebecca Clarke, Jane O’Leary and Schubert from 20 to 24 September in Clifden, Ennis, Skibbereen, Tullamore and Dublin.

From 29 September to 1 October, the Vanbrugh will perform works by Beethoven and Dvořák in Cork, Cahir, Carrigaline and Bantry; and from 4 to 8 October, the Esposito Quartet will perform works by Haydn and Brahms, as well as John Kinsella’s Quartet No.3 (1977) and At the purchaser’s option by Rhiannon Giddens, arranged for string quartet. 

From 18 to 22 October, the Marmen Quartet will present a new work by Garth Knox, Secret Letters. The work was commissioned by the quartet and the composer will be in attendance at each performance to introduce the piece. The tour will see the quartet visit Castlebar, Cork, Kilkenny, Castlepollard and Dublin and also perform works by Haydn, Schubert and Janáček.

The Gealán Quartet has commissioned Derry composer Michael Doherty to compose a new string quartet that they will perform in Galway, Ballina, Cork, Tinahely and Dublin in November, as part of a programme including music by Schumann and Shostakovich.

Later in the season there will be five performances from 6 to 10 December by the Ficino Quartet who will perform Quartet No.2 The Lore Quarteta new work by cellist-composer Ailbhe McDonagh, commissioned by the National String Quartet Foundation. 

Further tours throughout the season include the Sonoro Quartet (1–5 November); the Vanbrugh (17–19 November); and the Navarra Quartet who will visit Kilkenny, Cork, Birr, Dublin and Castleconnell from 24 to 28 November. 

See full listing links below. For further information and tickets, visit

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Contempo Quartet (20–24 September)
Vanbrugh & Friends (29 Sept–1 October)
Esposito Quartet (4–8 October)
Marmen Quartet (18–22 October)
Sonoro Quartet (1–5 November)
Gealán Quartet (7–12 November)
Vanbrugh & Friends (17–19 November)
Navarra Quartet (24–28 November)
Ficino Quartet (6–10 December)

Published on 12 September 2023

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