Galway Music Residency

Beethoven 250 | ConTempo Quartet

Bogdan Sofei, Violin I
Ingrid Nicola
, Violin II
Andreea Banciu
, Viola
Adrian Mantu
, Cello

To celebrate Beethoven’s 250th birthday, Galway Music Residency with ConTempo Quartet present Beethoven’s Middle Quartets, arguably his most popular works composed for the genre.

Tickets Available! Book Now:

String Quartet Opus 59, No. 1 | Book tickets for 22 September
String Quartet Opus 59, No. 2 | Book tickets for 23 September

String Quartet Opus 59, No. 3 | Book tickets for 24 September

String Quartet Opus 74 & Opus 95 | Book tickets for 25 September

About ConTempo Quartet

Formed in 1995 in Bucharest, ConTempo Quartet is recognised as one of the most exciting and vibrant chamber ensembles performing today. The quartet was chosen as Galway Music Residency’s [GMR] Ensemble in Residence in 2003 and continues to captivate audiences throughout the city and county with its repertoire of classical, contemporary, folk and traditional music.

In 2013, ConTempo Quartet was appointed RTÉ’s Quartet in Residence and in 2016 the members of the quartet were awarded honorary doctorates from NUI Galway for their service to Galway in the areas of music performance and education.

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About the Middle Quartets

Beethoven’s music is life itself. It’s full of drama and beauty, torment and pure bliss … it speaks to all of us through its amazingly rich array of human emotions” – Andreea Banciu, ConTempo Quartet

Beethoven’s middle period was one of great productivity and optimism for the composer and many of his most popular works were created during this feverish time of writing. Among the middle works are five string quartets, which ConTempo Quartet will explore during this series of evening concerts.

The Rasumovsky quartets (Op. 59), the first three of the middle quartets, were commissioned by Count Rasumovsky, Russian Ambassador to Vienna. These fiery quartets, which nod to Russian themes throughout, were longer and more emotionally intense than the music of the day, demonstrating Beethoven’s ability to compose beyond his years.

The ‘Harp’ Quartet (Op. 74) gets its nickname from the characteristic pizzicato sections of the first movement. It is a good-natured, graceful piece, typical of Beethoven’s ‘Heroic’ middle period.

The ‘Serioso’ Quartet (Op 95), the last of the five middle quartets, is true to its name. Indeed, it points to what was to come in Beethoven’s intense and tormented late works. Despite the fact that it was Beethoven’s shortest quartet to date, it displays a wide array of both musical material and emotion stemming from the composer’s anguish over his progressing deafness.