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  the smith quartet

the smith quartet
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  the smith quartet  
For over 20 years The Smith Quartet have been at the forefront of the world’s contemporary music scene.

They have developed a repertoire by some of the world’s most exciting composers and have established an international reputation for their dynamic style and original approach to contemporary music.


Carne Trust Ensemble in Residence:
Composers Recording Workshop and Summer Concert.

Trinity Laban, Greenwich, London.
The Smith Quartet Carne trust Ensemble at Trinity Laban

The Quartet continues their residency with an intensive day of activity including a Composers Recording Workshop, coaching sessions with student performers and a concert.

10am – 1pm Theatre Studio
Composers Recording Workshop

The quartet will be working on and recording compositions by Trinity Laban students based on a dance theme.

5pm Theatre Studio, King Charles Court
Carne Trust Ensemble in Residence Summer Concert

Free Admission
Join us for a performance of Steve Reich’s Triple Quartet played by The Smith Quartet and two Trinity Laban string quartets. Also there will be the World Premiere of a new commission by alumnus John Ashton Thomas, performed by The Smith Quartet with Martin Speake on saxophone.

Philip GlassQuartet No.2 “Company”

John Ashton ThomasRiver Thames Quintet (2019)
World Premiere. Smith Quartet with Martin Speake (saxophone)

Steve ReichTriple Quartet (1998)

For more information about the day:

Carne Trust Ensemble in Residence:
Performance, Composers Workshop and Masterclasses.

Trinity Laban, Greenwich, London.
Smith Quartet at Trinity Laban with Dance Connections

The Quartets residency resumed on February 4th 2019 with a day of activity including Recitals, a Composers Workshop and coaching sessions with student performers.

Michael Nyman’s String Quartet No.2 has been showcased to great acclaim in Configurations, a dance work by Trinity Laban alumnus Shobana Jeyasingh, conceived as a statement of affection for this music and the potential for adventure in Bharata Natyam, a genre of Indian classical dance. This music was performed alongside two other works evocative of movement and dance-like structures: Graham Fitkin’s Servant and Witold Lutosławski’s Five Folk Melodies.

Graham FitkinServant
Witold LutosławskiFive Folk Melodies
Michael NymanString Quartet No.2

For more information about Shobana Jeyasingh Dance:

100 works by Polish composers
marking 100 years of Polish Independence

A unique PWM Edition celebration
Smith Quartet at BlackDiamond Det Kgl. Bibliotek
Smith Quartet participate in Niepodległa
2018 marks the 100th anniversary of Poland regaining its independence as a republic. This was celebrated globally in November 2018 with a worldwide music project ‘100 for 100’. The Decades of Freedom celebration presented more than one hundred works by Polish composers from the last one hundred years.

As part of this project The Smith Quartet performed with award-winning vocal group Theatre of Voices at the Queens Hall in The Black Diamond at The Royal Danish Library in Copenhagen, Denmark, on November 11th 2018 at 16.00 as part of a series of connected worldwide performances.

The programme included works by Krystyna Moszumańska-Nazar, Witold Lutoslawski, Rafał Augustin, Agata Zubel, Grażyna Bacewicz and Henryk Mikołaj Górecki. A detailed programme is available here.

Smith Quartet (UK)
Theatre of Voices (DK)
Signe Asmussen  Jakob Bloch Jespersen  Else Torp
Isabella Hübner  flute
Tanja Zapolski  piano

More information about the performance:

For information about the Niepodlegla: 100 years of Polish Independence project: and at

2017 highlights
Material Men Redux
More information:

“The evening was a jaw-dropping delight…”
Stagetalk Magazine (5 stars)

“…marvellously intense… the double edges of clarity and complexity, contrast and connection, are pure Jeyasingh…”
The Guardian (5 stars)

The Ravenna Festival

The quartet performed at the Ravenna Festival, Italy, at the historic Chiostro della Biblioteca Classense, performing the Italian premiere of Michael Nyman’s 5th quartet as well as works by Gavin Bryars and Steve Martland.
Smith Quartet at Ravenna Festival
More information:

The Smith Quartet are the Carne Trust Ensemble
in Residence at Trinity Laban London

Commencing their residency in January 2018 with performances of Glass and Volans, lectures and student coaching sessions – the quartet continue to have a strong input into many areas within the Conservatoire during 2019.
Smith Quartet at Trinity Laban
More information:

Nyman String Quartets 5 and 4 String Quartets
5 and 4

Michael Nyman

Shop now at


“…the familiar driving rhythms, the merciless ostinatos and the pop-like syncopations are all still there, but there’s also a more considered restraint behind the propulsive energy. Lines are etched with brilliant clarity in the Smith musicians’ playful account of the Fifth Quartet…”
The Strad magazine, October 2018

“…The Smith Quartet opt for a tighter, more focused sound, resulting in a direct and very dynamic
performance overall.”

Gramaphone, October 2018

“…the music is meaningful, beautiful — and, in the hands of the Smith Quartet, moving, too.”
BBC Music Magazine, July 2018

“Listen, reflect, marvel.”
The Observer, February 2010

“In 2006, the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival focused on Morton Feldman, one of the few important composers of the second half of the 20th century whose music had not previously been featured at the festival. At the centre of this belated tribute was a survey of Feldman’s works for piano and strings, spread across several recitals, with pianist John Tilbury and the members of the Smith Quartet. They were extraordinary experiences.”
The Guardian, February 2010

“…the superb Smith Quartet…”
The Times

“Effortless class…”
BBC Radio 3: Andrew McGregor’s CD review

“As versatile as the Kronos Quartet, and smoother than the Brodskys, The Smith Quartet have edged ahead of their competitors in contemporary chamber music…”
The Independent On Sunday

“How long before the Kronos is labelled the ‘American Smith Quartet’?… they are ahead of the curve at generating new repertoire and taking the experimental back-catalogue seriously…”
Classic FM Magazine

Recent news

Released on Matchless Recordings, Music for Piano and Strings Vol.3 is the final volume of all the works written for Piano and Strings by Feldman, which was recorded live at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival in 2006.

Featured works include Spring of Chosroes (violin and piano), The Viola in My Life (viola and piano) and Trio, the mesmerising work for violin, cello and piano. Recorded and produced by Sebastian Lexer, this volume celebrates 10 years of extraordinary collaboration. Included here are the beautiful notes that John Tilbury has written for the booklet.
John Tilbury
“…If any single piece epitomises the beauty and hypnotic power of Feldman’s final works, it is Piano and String Quartet.”
The Guardian

Reviews for St. Johns Smith Square
concert with John Tilbury

“Feldman’s feeling for proportion and weight was exquisitely displayed in the piece, but only because the performance was so beautifully judged… In their wonderful performance Feldman’s masterpiece took on a lovely vernal glow.”
Ivan Hewett, The Telegraph (5 stars)

“…The Smiths and Tilbury are seasoned exponents of this style and made the performance magical…”
Paul Driver, The Sunday Times

“Pianist John Tilbury and the Smith Quartet interpreted 85 minutes of Morton Feldman’s ‘slow music’ with silken beauty…”
Geoff Brown, The Times (4 stars)

    PRS FoundationRVW TrustArts Council England
The Smith Quartet gratefully acknowledges the support of PRS for Music Foundation, Arts Council England and the RVW Trust.