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January 20, 2024

Maxwell Quartet

7:30 PM at the Sunset Center | Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA


Pre-concert talk at 6:30 PM

Joseph Haydn String Quartet in G Major,  op.77   no. 1

Anonymous Scottish work songs

Herbert Howells Phantasy Quartet, op.25

James MacMillan Memento

Felix Mendelssohn String Quartet No. 6 in F Minor, op.80

“…superb storytelling from four great communicators” – The Strad


Colin Scobie, violin

George Smith, violin

Elliott Perks, viola

Duncan Strachan, cello

About The Ensemble

The Maxwell Quartet is formed of four close friends, who grew up playing folk and classical music together in youth orchestras and music schools across Scotland. The group officially began in 2010 at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, where its founding members met as postgraduate students. In 2011, the Maxwell Quartet was named as Residency Artists for Enterprise Music Scotland 2011- 2013, which saw several acclaimed concert tours over their two-year tenure. Performing widely across Scotland, the quartet established a reputation for delighting audiences with their "unaffected enthusiasm" (North Highland Times) and their "panache and conviction" (Strathearn Herald). The quartet has since held residencies at Oxford University, Perth Concert Hall, and many chamber music festivals across the UK, including their own festival Loch Shiel in the west highlands of Scotland, and a new self-curated concert series at Guardswell Farm in Perthshire. The quartet currently holds the position of Associate Artist at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow, and at Music at Paxton Festival in the Scottish Borders. Passionate about collaborating with musicians and other art forms, the quartet has worked with a global roster of artists and institutions, including theatre company Cryptic, installation artists Wintour’s Leap, the Royal Ballet School, soul duo Lunir, folk duo Chris Stout & Catriona MacKay, cinematographer Herman Kolgen, and many more. In addition to a busy concert diary, the quartet regularly features in broadcasts for BBC Radio 3 and BBC Radio Scotland and regularly gives schools workshops and concerts for children.


The Maxwells’ debut tour of the USA in January 2019 garnered critical acclaim from the New York Times (“eloquent performers who bring the same sense of charisma and sense of adventure to their programming”) and saw the group performing to sold-out venues in New York, Florida, California, and Washington. In 2020, the quartet undertook a 35-date tour of the United States. The quartet’s collaborators have included the Danish String Quartet, Calidore Quartet, pianist Imogen Cooper, clarinetist Kari Krikku, baritone Roderick Williams, and folk duo Chris Stout & Catriona McKay. The Quartet's debut CD on Linn Records, released in March 2019 and featuring string quartets by Haydn alongside the quartet’s own compositions based on Scottish traditional folk music, received unanimously glowing reviews from international press, and reached number 3 in the classical specialist charts. In 2021, the follow-up album Haydn String Quartets Op 74 / Folk Music from Scotland received widespread critical acclaim. It reached number 6 in the classical specialist chart and was selected as one of Apple Music’s “10 Best Albums of the Month (Classical)”.

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