Elias String Quartet at RNCM

Johnny James, Managing Editor

Elias String Quartet at Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM), Manchester 21 November 2022 Tickets from £9.00 — Book now

On 21 November, the internationally celebrated Elias String Quartet will return to the RNCM to perform works by Haydn, Beethoven and Sally Beamish, following their announcement as Artists in Residence at the College.

Formed at the RNCM in 1998, the Elias String Quartet are one of the leading quartets of their generation, praised for their intense and vibrant performances, which they’ve taken around the world. “Few quartets at any stage of their evolution have this much personality”, wrote the Philadelphia Enquirer who caught them on their USA tour, while The Strad remarked on the ensemble’s ability to “live and breathe each phrase with an enraptured sensitivity which proves revelatory.”

The ensemble – Sara Bitlloch and Donald Grant (violins), Simone van der Giessen (viola) and Marie Bitlloch (cello) – have had a long association with the RNCM, culminating in their being named as Artists in Residence – an exciting announcement for budding string musicians at the College. Through workshops, teaching and performance, the Quartet will work closely with students during the RNCM’s anniversary year, giving them the invaluable opportunity of full immersion in string quartet training with a leading ensemble.

The 21 November concert is the first of two special events featuring the Elias (the second coming in spring 2023). The evening starts with Haydn’s String Quartet No 39 in F minor, seen as one of the composer’s most challenging and unsettling works. Next, it’s Sally Beamish’s Reed Stanzas, first premiered by the Elias at the 2011 Proms. “Reed” in the work’s title connotes areas of marsh and fen, and speaks to the landscape of the Isle of Harris in the Outer Hebrides, where part of the work was written. Beamish also draws on the Gaelic roots of Donald Grant, making the most of the Elias’ second violinist’s talent as a Scottish fiddle player as well as violinist.

The Elias String Quartet have long been celebrated for their subtle and fiery interpretations of Beethoven, and so the composer’s String Quartet No 8 in E minor seems a fitting way to conclude this concert. Known for its intensity and characteristically Slavic themes, the second of Beethoven’s ‘Rasumovksy’ quartets is a tense and tumultuous piece, which never allows us to drift into complacency as moments of quiet anxiety explode into ferocious outbursts.

The concert is one of many highlights from the RNCM’s Autumn Season. Read our full highlights in our dedicated guide.

Elias String Quartet at Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM), Manchester 21 November 2022 Tickets from £9.00 Book now

Where to go near Elias String Quartet at RNCM

San Carlo Fumo

San Carlo Fumo may be part of a chain, but it doesn’t feel like it. Right at the top of Oxford Road, it’s lavishly decorated and specialises in cicchetti, or Italian small plates.

Utility Gift Shop
Utility Gift Shop

Utility Gift Shop on Oxford Road is all about products that are new, unique, quirky and cool. High street shopping at its best.

exterior of Contact Theatre building
Contact Theatre

Following a major redevelopment, the iconic venue on Oxford Road will be reopening its doors to welcome the public back into the building this autumn. 

The Salutation pub in Manchester
Bar or Pub
The Salutation

This traditional boozer, surrounded by imposing flats and university buildings, was taken over by Trof (of the Deaf Institute fame). The Sally, as the regulars call it, hosts an energetic, arty crowd – and its recently expanded outside area is another good reason to visit.

MMU Student Union

Manchester Metropolitan University Students’ Union building houses a bar and various other facilities for students and staff.

Music venue
The Deaf Institute

The Deaf Institute is a vibrant gig venue and nightclub for which it is well worth taking a jaunt out of the Northern Quarter.

What's on: Music

Open Deck at Band on the Wall

Bring your records for a spin at our Open Deck session this Saturday! If you’ve bought some new vinyl from a local record shop this week, just show your receipt at the bar to get yourself a free 9” pizza!

the artist
Waxahatchee at New Century

Mercurial singer-songwriter Katie Crutchfield AKA Waxahatchee performs at New Century in support of her new album, Tigers Blood.

from £29
Festivo Winds
Festivo Winds at Low Four

One of the UK’s most exciting young wind quintet’s brings an eclectic programme to Low Four studios.

from £5.00

Culture Guides

Rebecca Watson author photo
Literature Events in Manchester and the North

In between working out, then working through, your holiday reading pile this summer, find inspiration for your next bookish acquisitions from our selection of live events and exhibitions.