The National String Quartet Foundation presents
Saturday 26th March 2022
Bogdan Sofei - violin
Ingrid Nicola - violin
Andreea Banciu - viola
Adrian Mantu - cello
with Christopher Marwood - cello
The Contempo Quartet is the resident quartet of the Galway Music Residency and was RTE’s Resident Quartet from 2014 until 2019. Praised as a “fabulous foursome” (Irish Independent) and noted for performances which are “exceptional” (The Strad) and “full of imaginative daring” (The Irish Times), RTÉ ConTempo Quartet has forged a unique place in Irish musical life.
Since its formation in Bucharest in 1995, the quartet has performed more than 1,800 concerts world-wide in 46 countries, including prestigious venues such as Wigmore Hall; Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris; St Martin-in-the-Fields; Berliner Philharmonie; Palazzo del Quirinale, Rome; Carnegie Hall and the Opera House Tel-Aviv. ConTempo have had the honour to meet and play in front of world personalities such as Prince Charles, Nelson Mandela, Pope John Paul II, EU Ministers, Michael D. Higgins, Hollywood stars and Nobel Prize winners. The ensemble has won a record of 14 international prizes (including Munich, Rome, Berlin, Prague and London) and worked alongside artists of the highest calibre including Emma Johnson, Yuko Inoue, Hugh Tinney, Chen Zimbalista, Jérôme Pernoo, Peter Donohue and Martin Roscoe. Collaborations with other distinguished quartets have also been a feature, such as the Amadeus, Arditti, Vanbrugh, Casals and Endellion.
Christopher Marwood graduated from Cambridge University in 1983 and went on to study at London’s Royal Academy of Music and Conservatorium Maastricht. His cello teachers included Florence Hooton, David Strange, Ralph Kirshbaum, William Pleeth and Radu Aldulescu. His chamber music mentor for many years was Emmanuel Hurwitz.
As cellist of the Vanbrugh Quartet for 32 years, Christopher Marwood enjoyed a busy career performing throughout Ireland and touring worldwide. The Quartet released over thirty CDs encompassing a wide range of repertoire and including the complete Beethoven quartets (“fine enough to bear comparison with any set” Fanfare, USA). They built up a considerable repertoire including at least sixty Irish works, many of them commissions or premieres. The Quartet’s contribution to music in Ireland was formally recognized in 2016 when they were presented with the National Concert Hall’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
Christopher co-founded the West Cork Chamber Music Festival in 1996 and remains director of the Festival’s masterclass programme. He is also director of the National String Quartet Foundation which curates and sponsors some fifty concerts nationwide each year, supporting Irish musicians and concert promoters. He teaches at CIT Cork School of Music and at the Royal Irish Academy of Music and continues to perform both as soloist and as chamber musician. His recent CD of works by Boris Tchaikovsky was nominated for the 2019 International Classical Music Awards
HAYDN – String Quartet in D major Op.76/5
JENNIFER WALSHE – ‘Minard’
SCHUBERT - String Quintet in C major
A classic programme from Ireland’s longest established quartet. Haydn’s D major quartet is full of miracles, particularly its bewitching slow movement and sparkling finale. Jennifer Walshe’s recent appointment as professor of composition at Oxford University confirms her status as one of Ireland’s most acclaimed and original composers. ‘Minard” is from 2003 and is scored for string quartet, two boomboxes, and a torch. Schubert’s monumental ‘cello quintet’ is perhaps the greatest of chamber music’s masterpieces
Tickets €30 includes programme and interval refreshments.
In 2021, the DMA published a Memory Book, listing all concerts and music played since the first concert in 1987. The book has wonderful sketches from concerts at Tullynally drawn by the late Jeremy Williams. There are also several delightful short 'memories' from performers and audience members. Books are €10 each plus P&P at €3 per book and you can purchase them by contacting
If you have booked to attend a forthcoming concert, you can reserve books to collect saving you the cost of postage. We are now operating our events as 'cashless' so we ask you email your order to email@example.com in advance and pay into the DMA account directly and you can collect your books at the concert.
2022 Concert schedule
Autumn concert dates will be posted in July
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Patron: Valerie Pakenham
Chaired by: Jane Massy
Treasurer: John Farrell
Alex Chisholm, Joan Flood, Dawn Harmon, Michael McCann, Hugh Logan, Bridget Taylor, Octavia Tulloch, Susan Wiggins, Charney and Maire Weitzman.