Britten Oboe Quartet
Nicholas Daniel – oboe/cor anglais, Jacqueline Shave – violin, Clare Finnimore – viola, Caroline Dearnley – cello
Nicholas Daniel founded the Britten Oboe Quartet together with his colleagues and co-principals of the award-winning Britten Sinfonia; they all bring to this ensemble not only the highest musical standards but also the experience of playing together over many years, resulting in warm, expressive and above all enjoyable playing. Their aim is to bring music of the highest quality to audiences and to explore lesser-known repertoire, both British and from abroad, as well as playing standard classics such as the Mozart oboe quartet.
Their repertoire includes oboe and cor anglais quartets by Britten, Berkeley, Knussen, Elgar, Krommer, Francaix, Gordon Jacob and Elisabeth Lutyens. Their imaginative programming embraces repertoire other than the oboe quartet, often including string trios, solo works such as Britten’s Metamorphoses after Ovid or other chamber music combinations.
They relish the challenge of programming a well-balanced and attractive concert in line with specific themes and can be sure to find something new and interesting for every concert.
Recent concerts include performances at the Gregynog, Swaledale, Champs Hill and Wimbledon Festivals, Brighton Dome and King’s Place in London. The past year has seen the quartet perform at the RNCM in Manchester, and in Sheffield, Nottingham and Bury St Edmunds. In 2016 the quartet recorded their soon-to-be-released debut disc.
‘If you were assembling the chambermusic equivalent of a fantasy football team, chances are that the oboist Nicholas Daniel […] and the violinist Jacqueline Shave would all be high on the list. Add the wonderful Caroline Dearnley on cello and Clare Finnimore on viola and you have a supergroup of serious heft. All principals [of] the Britten Sinfonia […] the musicians’ long-performing relationship is the basis for a communicative energy that gives us a way in to even the inscrutable music of the contemporary British composer Helen Grime.’
Alexandra Coughlan, The New Statesman, March 2013