Kate Oswin and Alicia Berendse – violin
Ana Teresa de Braga e Alves – viola
Ghislaine McMullin – violoncello
The Behn Quartet is formed of players from England, the Netherlands, Portugal, and New Zealand. Winners of the 2017 Orlando International Chamber Music Competition, they are currently an Associate Ensemble at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, and previously held the CAVATINA Chamber Music Fellowship at the Royal Academy of Music in London. They take their name from Aphra Behn, the seventeenth-century playwright, political activist, and philanthropist of the arts.
Since their formation in 2015 the Behn Quartet have given recitals across Europe, including at the West Cork Chamber Music Festival, the String Quartet Biennale Amsterdam, at the Fondazione Cini Venice and the Filarmonica Laudamo Messina in association with Le Dimore del Quartetto. They made their Wigmore Hall recital debut in 2018 with thanks to the Maisie Lewis Young Artists' Award, and made their Concertgebouw debut later that year during a tour across the Netherlands in association with Squire Artists. They gave the world premiere of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies’ final work at his Memorial Concert in St John’s Smith Square and live on BBC Radio 3, and have recorded chamber works by Maxwell Davies, Stravinsky and Birtwistle for Linn Records, conducted by the late Oliver Knussen. They were finalists in the Royal Overseas League Chamber Music Competition, and gave a highly acclaimed tour as 2018 Encompass Artists with Chamber Music New Zealand, reviewed in the New Zealand Herald as 'a performance that left the audience silently spellbound for several seconds before bursting into enthusiastic applause, recognising the magic cast throughout the auditorium by this talented quartet.' The Behn Quartet have been featured on Dutch National Radio, NHK World TV Japan, Radio New Zealand, Medici TV. They were also part of the official 40th Anniversary celebrations of Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen, performing a specially-commissioned ‘reimagination’ of the iconic song featured in news outlets worldwide.
The Behn Quartet are currently mentored by Oliver Wille, having previously studied with Christoph Richter and David Waterman on the ChamberStudio masterclass scheme at Kings Place London. Future engagements include a recital as part of Royal Birmingham Conservatoire’s NovemberFest 2019, and a prize-winner’s concert and award ceremony at the Concertgebouw, where they will receive a stipend from the organisation Het Kersjes Fonds.
The Behn Quartet are generously supported by the De Lancey & De La Hanty Foundation, Help Musicians UK and Het Kersjes Fonds. The Quartet plays instruments and bows kindly on loan from the Harrison Frank Foundation and Hurwitz Fine Instruments.
"All women together ought to let flowers fall upon the tomb of Aphra Behn which is, most scandalously but rather appropriately, in Westminster Abbey, for it was she who earned them the right to speak their minds."
- Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own