The Heath Quartet, which plays with “a winsome blend of impetuosity and discipline” (The Washington Post), has just completed a stint as Middlebury College‘s first-ever string-quartet-in-residence.
The residency featured the Heath performing the six Bartók quartets (which they also perform at Wigmore Hall in May 2016), works by Tchaikovsky, Haydn and Beethoven, and many other activities including coaching music students, visits with local elementary schools, and community pop-up concerts.
This winter they also returned to Wigmore Hall for a concert with pianist James Baillieu and for the Bartók cycle; won accolades for a last-moment substitution, performing a concert for the Club Musical de Quebec (read a review here); and performed a lively “house concert” at the Colbert offices during the January conferences.
These dates followed the December 2015 release of the five string quartets of Sir Michael Tippett, recorded live at a Wigmore Hall retrospective of the composer’s works:
“Finally came Tippett’s great Third Quartet, which can surely stand beside Britten’s quartets, or anybody else’s. Its wonderful slow movement was sustained by the Heath Quartet with amazing, rapt intensity, and the pinpoint focus and swinging energy they brought to the final fugue was simply dazzling.”
Watch a beautiful preview of the album, and the Heath’s work preparing the repertoire, in the video below.
In 2016, the Heath begin a new relationship with Harmonia Mundi, with a Summer release of the Tchaikovsky Quartets Nos. 1 and 3 (recorded at Milton Court in December 2015). They record the Bartók Quartets live at Wigmore Hall next Spring, to be released in May 2017 in conjunction with an appearance at the Berlin Konzerthaus.