Following the success of their first Deutsche Grammophon recording, the Simón Bolívar String Quartet embark on an action-packed tour of Europe this December. They begin the tour with a concert at the prestigious Berlin Philharmonie. Here they will be reunited for the first half of the concert with a former El Sistema colleague, Edicson Ruiz, who now leads the double bass section of the Berliner Philharmoniker. Together they will take on some challenging Quintets by Hoffmeister, Juan Bautista Plaza and Aldamaro Romero. In the second half, the quartet will be performing Ginastera’s String Quartet No.1 and Brahms String Quartet No.2. These stirring pieces, along with Mendelssohn’s String Quartet in A minor and Shostakovich’s String Quartet No.8, also make up the programme for the rest of the tour.
The tour includes visits to various conservatories in the UK including the Barber Institute in Birmingham, Lancaster Institute for Contemporary Arts and the Royal Northern College of Music. The quartet will then return to mainland Europe for a performance at Gothenburg’s Konserthuset, another significant venue for the Venezuelans. Following what promises to be a fantastic concert, they will also work with the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra’s thriving education department, including rehearsals with the children’s orchestra. Their stories and experience will surely inspire these young musicians.
A concert at the Gläserne Saal in the Vienna Musikverein will be the penultimate stop on this thrilling European tour and will form part of a project supporting young quartets. The tour finishes in Ettelbruck in Luxembourg, after which they will return home just in time for Christmas when they can have some time to rest and reflect on what promises to be a wonderful tour for this inspiring quartet.
Alejandro Carreño, the lead violinist of the quartet had this to say: “It’s an honour and privilege to play and to represent El Sistema in such historical and prestigious places. It is wonderful to have the opportunity to bring this beautiful mix of Latin American Chamber music with Classical Western repertoire in places where amazing musicians have played before.”