In 2008 the Navarra Quartet won the Outstanding Young Artist Award at the MIDEM Classique Awards in Cannes. They were selected for representation by Young Concert Artists Trust in 2006 and in 2007 received a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship culminating in a highly acclaimed disc of Haydn’s 7 Last Words.
Formed in 2002 at the Royal Northern College of Music under the guidance of the late Dr Christopher Rowland and Alasdair Tait, and latterly as postgraduate students of the Alban Berg Quartet in Cologne, they are now Quartet in Association at the RNCM. In 2007 the Quartet won 2nd Prize at the Melbourne International Competition and in 2005 1st Prize in the Florence International Competition.
At the opening of the 2009/10 season the Quartet returned to Australia to give recitals in Melbourne, Sydney and the Huntingdon Estate Music Festival under the auspices of Musica Viva. They went on to appear at Wigmore Hall, Bath Festival and Aldeburgh, and gave recitals in France (as Laureates of the Aix-en-Provence Festival), Switzerland, Italy, Ireland and the Netherlands. In 2010 the Quartet recorded their first CD for Challenge Records of Peteris Vasks’ Quartets and took part in the BBC Proms Chamber music series at Cadogan Hall with pianist Francesco Piemontesi. Future engagements include return visits to Wigmore Hall and the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam.
Over the last two years the Quartet has increasingly developed their international profile, appearing at major festivals and venues throughout Europe including the Philharmonie in Luxembourg, the Konzerthaus in Berlin, the Schwetzinger, Rheingau and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festivals in Germany, the Aix-en-Provence and Bellerive Festivals and the Kattegat and Sandviken Festivals in Sweden. Further afield they have given concerts in Russia, the USA and Bahrain.
In 2009 they took part in the Haydn series at Wigmore Hall (broadcast by BBC Radio 3) and recorded Haydn’s 7 Last Words on the Cross for Altara Records for which they commissioned 9 paintings for illustrated performances from the world-renowned artist Jamie Boyd. They also worked with Wayne MacGregor’s Random Dance Company on a new work (Entity) with music by Joby Talbot giving a series of performances at Sadler’s Wells, Snape Maltings and the Muziektheater in Amsterdam.
The Quartet has collaborated with the Elias, Australian, Heath and Sacconi Quartets, Li-Wei, Matthew Barley, Richard Harwood, Guy Johnston, Hansjörg Schellenberger, Jiri Hudec, Julius Drake, Allan Clayton, Patricia Bardon, John O’Conor and Alasdair Tait. They have taken part in the International Musicians Seminar at Prussia Cove and in 2008 were resident Quartet at the Britten-Pears School in Aldeburgh and at the Verbier Festival in Switzerland. The Quartet has broadcast for BBC Radio 3, RAI 3 (Italy), Radio 4 (Holland), SWR (Germany), Radio Luxembourg and ABC Classic FM (Australia).