Hello friends, family and supporters!
It is now almost two months since we returned from our European Tour. It was a wonderful time of travelling and making music. Our tour began on Saturday June 28th with a flight from London to Bern, where we were warmly welcomed by the family of our cellist Samuel Justitz. It was straight into action the next day with our first concert of the tour – the Guastalla Quartet’s Switzerland début. Performing Dvorak’s String Quartet No. 11 and Milhaud’s String Quartet No. 1, we filled the Saal der Heilsarmee and received a standing ovation from a wonderful audience.
Having a tight schedule, we drove across the border to Germany the following morning. After lunch at the Schreer household, we met up with Steven Ebel, opera singer at the Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe and composer. He had written and re-arranged the beginning of a cycle called ‘Birds’ for string quartet and tenor, and three lullabies to a text by WB Yeats. We performed both works, together with Dvorak and Milhaud, at a concert in the evening at Studio Rabus, a chamber music recital room in the attic of pianist and harpsichord builder Volker Rabus.
Tuesday was a day for visiting The Black Forest and rehearsing. After a quick trip into the mountains during our drive back to Switzerland, we took advantage of the afternoon off to prepare for our recording session on Wednesday at Boulder Studios in Bern. The session was hard work, but great fun. We will shortly be releasing the end product in the form of our second album.
Tired, but with many wonderful memories, we flew back to London on Thursday. With just a little time to spare for Marie’s graduation ceremony, we drove to Norwich on the same evening to take our place as artists in residence for the Norwich Chamber Music Festival over the weekend, where we both led a string orchestra in the stunning Norwich Cathedral, and gave our final quartet performance of the tour in the iconic Park Lane Chapel.
We had an amazing week and would like to thank everyone who has supported us and made this tour possible:
Alan & Joan Gittins
Carmen & Wolf-Günther Schreer
Frank & Ruth Garner
L’Association Musicale de Combret sur Rance
Sikander Singh Chahal