Next event:

Friday, 21 July 2017 at 7.00pm
St Mary's Church, Hay-on-Wye

The Solem Quartet

Amy Tress (violin), Alistair Vennart (viola),
Catherine Guy (violin), Stephanie Tress (cello)

artist pic

The Solem Quartet


Tickets: £12.00     Now booking

Tickets in person from Richard Booth's Bookshop, 44 Lion Street, Hay on Wye or (afternoons) from the Bookshop Cinema - entrance in Brook Street

or by telephone: 01497 -822 010 / -820 322

or online through Booth's Bookshop




String Quartet in D minor K421


String Quartet in F major




Quartet No 8


Winners of the 2014 Royal Overseas League Ensemble Competition, The Solem Quartet were brought together in 2011 by their studies at the University of Manchester, where they take their name from the University motto "arduus ad solem", meaning "striving towards the sun".

The quartet has a busy concert schedule at venues across the UK including the Wigmore Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall and Bridgewater Hall, as well as performing internationally in several European countries. Their repertoire extends widely from early Haydn to living composers such as Emily Howard, whose quartet 'Afference' they recently performed in a BBC Proms Extra broadcast live on BBC Radio 3. They have recorded two CDs of 20th Century British music for Divine Arts record company. They have recently been announced as 2016/17 Park Lane Group Artists and will give recitals at Kings Place, St John's, Smith Square and St Martin-in-the-fields in the coming year as part of the PLG recital series.

In September 2016 they took up the position of Quartet in Residence at the University of Liverpool. They were also recently appointed Ensemble in Residence at Aberystwyth MusicFest. They have been privately commissioned to undertake a complete Beethoven cycle, to take place over five years starting in 2017, in London and Aberystwyth.

Violinist Amy Tress enjoys a busy career around the UK and abroad as a soloist, chamber musician and teacher. Winner of numerous awards including Oxford University's Gibbs Prize for the highest 1st class Music degree and the Royal College of Music Violin Competition and Unaccompanied Bach Prize, in recent years Amy has regularly appeared at major concert venues across the UK such as the Queen Elizabeth Hall and Wigmore Hall. Having studied Music at Christ Church, Oxford, Amy went on to complete a Masters and Artist Diploma at the Royal College of Music with Professor Maciej Rakowski. Subsequently she won a place at the Scuola di Musica di Fiesole, Italy, to undertake a Corso di Perfezionamento with Professor Pavel Vernikov. As well as the Solem Quartet, Amy is violinist of the Lipatti Piano Quartet, winners of the Elias Fawcett Trust Award for an Outstanding Chamber Ensemble at the finals of the Royal Overseas League Competition 2016. They were selected as Park Lane Group Artists 2015-16. Amy's performances with orchestra include the concertos of Shostakovich, Mendelssohn, Beethoven, Korngold, Schnittke (Concerto Grosso) and the Bach Double, as well as Ravel's Tzigane, Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherezade and Sibelius's Humoresques. She has participated in many solo and chamber music festivals, including IMS Prussia Cove, Mendelssohn-on-Mull Festival and Academie Internationale de Maurice Ravel. Since August 2014 Amy has directed her own course, La Mariette Junior Masterclasses in France, where she teaches violin and chamber music.

Catherine Guy is from Hampshire and came to Manchester to study on the joint course run between the Royal Northern College of Music and Manchester University. She studied violin with Maciej Rakowski and whilst at University won the Hargreaves academic prize and graduated with a First Class MusB (Hons) degree and GRNCM Diploma. Catherine graduated from the RNCM with a Postgraduate Diploma (Distinction) in 2013 and now plays in the first violin section of the Orchestra of Opera North. She also freelances with orchestras including the Halle, Manchester Camerata, BBC Philharmonic, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Scottish Ballet, Sinfonia Cymru and Bournemouth Symphony.

Alistair Vennart is from Northumberland and started playing the Viola when he was nine years old. He graduated from the University of Manchester in 2011 gaining several prizes including the Keith Elcombe Award for highest overall performance. He was awarded the Thomas Barratt Memorial Prize for Viola in July 2013. He studied with Louise Lansdown for 4 years at Manchester University and the RNCM, and with contemporary specialist Garth Knox from 2013-14. He has had lessons and masterclasses with some of the world's greatest Violists including Thomas Reibl, Nobuku Imai, Maxim Rysanov, Roland Glassl, Tatjana Masurenko, Simon Rowland-Jones, Adam Romer and Susie Meszaros. He works professionally with the Hallé, Sinfonia Cymru, Northern Chamber Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic and the Royal Northern Sinfonia. He has appeared as a soloist in Germany, Italy, Switzerland and the UK, including performing Mozart Sinfonia Concertante with Manchester University Symphony Orchestra and Bach Brandenburg Concerto No. 6 with the Talich Quartet's Vladimir Bukac. He also has a side-profession in composition and arrangement, writing new music commissions for the Solem Quartet and fiddle trio 'Y Singhs', as well as creating new arrangements of existing music, notably for the BBC documentary 'Dancing Cheek to Cheek: An Intimate History of Dance'.

Winner of numerous awards including the 2013 Sir John Barbirolli Cello Prize, Stephanie Tress has performed around the UK and abroad as a chamber musician and soloist. Before moving to Manchester, Stephanie studied with Michal Kaznowski and then with Alexander Baillie for a year at Bremen Hochschule für Künste in Germany. She completed the Joint Course at the University of Manchester and the Royal Northern College of Music in 2014, with a First Class degree from both institutions. She studied at the RNCM with Nicholas Trygstad and has had masterclasses with Natalia Gutman, Ralph Kirshbaum, Gary Hoffman, Jens Peter Maintz and Miklos Perenyi. Stephanie freelances with various orchestras and also plays with London Chamber Collective and contemporary music group the house of bedlam. As a soloist, Stephanie has given numerous concerto performances with orchestras.




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