The Telegraph calls the “delicate perfection” of their sound “a marvel,” with “an exquisite tenderness,” and The Washington Post praises their “winsome blend of impetuosity and discipline.”
The dynamic and charismatic Heath Quartet is one of the most exciting British chamber ensembles of the moment, steadily building a reputation for their upbeat and integrated sound. Their recording of Sir Michael Tippett’s string quartets (Wigmore Live) received widespread acclaim and won the 2016 Gramophone Chamber Disk of the Year. A subsequent, critically acclaimed release on Harmonia Mundi of Tchaikovsky’s Quartets Nos. 1 and 3 was selected as Disk of the Week by both The Sunday Times and BBC Radio 3. The Quartet’s complete Bartók cycle (recorded live at the Wigmore Hall) was released by Harmonia Mundi (June 2017). The Heath Quartet became the first ensemble in fifteen years to win the prestigious Royal Philharmonic Society’s Young Artists Award (1913). Formed in 2002 at the Royal Northern College of Music they were selected for representation by YCAT, awarded a Borletti-Buitoni Special Ensemble Scholarship, and in 2012 won the Ensemble Prize at the Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern where they are now regular invitees.
Champions of contemporary music, the Quartet has worked with numerous leading composers including Hans Abrahamsen, Louis Andriessen, Brett Dean, Anthony Gilbert, Sofia Gubaidulina, Steven Mackey, and John Musto.
With a deep commitment to education, the Heath Quartet members are Professors of Chamber Music at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, individually holding instrumental teaching posts on the faculty. Education and outreach work are very important parts of the Quartet’s life.
In August 2021, the Heath Quartet announced that Marije Johnston will become the ensemble’s new joint leader, alongside Sara Wolstenholme, replacing departing founder Oliver Heath.
Marije joins fellow Heath’s Sara Wolstenholme (violin), Gary Pomeroy (viola) and Christopher Murray (cello). The new line-up will debut at the Presteigne Festival, with further performances at Wigmore Hall (including the European premiere of Helen Grime’s String Quartet No.2), Palau de la Música Catalana, Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, and at the Pierre Boulez Saal as part of their ongoing residency in Berlin.
“A performance of unforced beauty and tremulous tension.”
“If the Haydn slow movement had been heavenly, so was the truly inspired, time-stopping playing in Beethoven’s Adagio, the most impressive part of an exceptional evening.”
“The delicate perfection of the sound was a marvel, and in leader Oliver Heath’s hands the recurring dropping figure had an exquisite tenderness.”
“Their account of Beethoven’s Quartet in E flat, Op 74 was suavity itself.”
- Haydn Quartet Opus 76 No 2 'Fifths'
- Jörg Widmann's Quartet No 3 'Hunt'
- Mendelssohn's Quartet No. 6 in F minor, Op. 80, mvt. 1: Allegro vivace assai live from the JdP Music Building, St Hilda's College, University of Oxford
- Sir Michael Tippett's complete String Quartets are given fresh perspectives by the vibrant and adventurous Heath Quartet. The first ensemble in 10 years to receive the Royal Philharmonic Society's Young Artist Award, the Heaths bring irresistible energy to these works.
- Full Beethoven String Quartet Cycle at the 2011 FÀCYL Festival (Spain).
- The String Quartet's Guide To Sex And Anxiety - Introducing Calixto Bieito and The Heath Quartet
- Art Meets Science - The Heath Quartet at Middlebury College
- Marije Johnston joins Heath Quartet as joint leader
- Art Meets Science on the Concert Hall Stage
- Heath Quartet returns to Lincoln Center March 22, 2018
- The Heath Quartet returns to North American in the fall of 2016, and offers programs and touring times in 2017/2018
- Heath Quartet releases albums, performs at Wigmore, and more