The Aylwin String Quartet  is a distillation of the “Aylwin Ensemble” which was founded in 1996. Richard Aylwin, Ruth Hudson, Peter Mallinson and Graham Bradshaw are members of the BBC Symphony Orchestra who were keen to establish an outlet for their own creative ideas within this more intimate framework. With a desire to complement the mainstream classical quartet repertoire with the more unusual, they have always had a strong interest in contemporary music and still occasionally enlarge the group with guest artists in order to achieve a more flexible programming. Their repertoire ranges from Purcell to Stravinsky and beyond. 

In 2000 The Aylwin String Quartet gave a concert supported by the Wurzburger Society, performing his 2nd and 5th Quartets, and in 2004 they appeared at the Bellapais Music Festival in North Cyprus. The Quartet have performed the Bliss Oboe Quintet several times with Richard Simpson, principal oboe of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, and in the summer of 2006 they were invited to play a rarely heard Mozart Piano Concerto with the pianist Huw Watkins, as arranged in quintet form by Mozart,  at Castle Howard as part of the Ryedale Festival. The Quartet has performed on a yearly basis for the “Music at St James” season in Manchester since 1994. Richard Aylwin, having directed the inaugural concert of the series in 1988, was commissioned, with help from the “RVW Trust”, to compose “Journey to Mars” a work for string quartet, oboe and synthesizer to celebrate “Music at St James” 20th anniversary concert in March 2008.                          

The Quartet members have had an association with the orchestra at the University of Hertfordshire, “de Havilland Philharmonic”, for several years, acting as soloists, leader and principals, and have also participated as a quartet in various workshops involving student composers within the Music Department of the University of Hertfordshire. The quartet was honoured to have the 5th String Quartet by Prof. Howard Burrell written for them and the first performance was on 14th May 2008. This work is included on their CD “…AND THE BIRDS SANG TOO.” The quartet has another CD release with UH Recordings, performing the 2nd, 4th and 5th Quartets by Walter Wurzburger.

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