Barbican String Quartet

St Mary the Virgin, Twickenham Riverside, TW1 3NJ

Photograph by Andrej Grilc

The Richard Oake Concert

String Quartet in D Op. 20 No. 4
String Quartet No. 1 ‘Metamorphoses Nocturnes’
String Quartet in A minor Op. 132

Amarins Wierdsma violin, Kate Maloney violin, Christoph Slencza viola, Yoanna Prodanova cello

Four international musicians, four unique personalities, one string quartet. The Barbican Quartet is an original voice on the chamber music scene, delighting audiences with their intimately powerful performances and virtuosic ensemble playing.

2022 has already been an outstanding year for the quartet, following the appointment of new second violinist, Kate Maloney in February. Instant connection between the four musicians led to the development of a distinct and luscious quality of sound, which was quickly recognized by their mentors the Quatuor Ébène and Günter Pichler. A short 6 months later the quartet celebrated an outstanding first prize win at the 71st ARD International String Quartet Competition, also being awarded the special prize for Best Interpretation of the commissioned work by Dobrinka Tabakova, the Genuin Classics CD production special prize, the GEWA prize and the Henle Urtext prize. This incredible success follows the quartets third prize win at the Bordeaux International String Quartet Competition in May.

The Barbican Quartet name has a dual meaning. A Barbican is a defensive wall surrounding a city or castle, which the quartet connects to their quest to discover, develop and continue the tradition of string quartet playing. The Barbican Quartet is also deeply connected to London, as it was here at the Barbican Center that the quartet had their founding concert in 2015. The founding members, Amarins, Christoph and Yoanna met at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama during their studies, first playing chamber music together for pleasure and later becoming more serious. Now the international quartet (who boasts 4 nationalities and a total of 7 languages between them) spends its time between London and Munich.

The Barbican quartet is mentored by Günter Pichler at the Reina Sofia String Quartet Academy in Madrid, as well as the Quatuor Ébène in Hochschule für Musik München.
 They are guided and supported by the Belcea Quartet, Alasdair Tait, Andras Keller, and David Waterman..

The quartet won the first prize at the 2019 Joseph Joachim International Chamber Music Competition as well as the 2018 St Martin in the Fields Chamber Music Competition. They made their Wigmore Hall debut in 2017 thanks to the Maisie Lewis Award and in 2018 the Royal Philharmonic Society awarded them the Albert and Eugenie Frost Prize. The Barbican Quartet were selected as the St John Smith Square Young Artists for 2020 and were Park Lane Group artists in 2016.

The Barbican Quartet has appeared in festivals such as Peasmarsh Festival, Vibre! Quatuors à Bordeaux, Zeister

Muziekdagen, Montreal Chamber Music Festival, IMS Prussia Cove and Aldeburgh. Their performances have been broadcast on BR Klassik Radio, NPO Radio 4 and BBC Radio 3.

The 2022/2023 season is an exciting time for the Barbican Quartet, who will be recording and releasing their debut cd, and touring in Germany, France, Holland, Switzerland, Italy, Canada and the USA.

String quartet playing is the most human form of artistry. It requires communication, flexibility and understanding. In a world that is becoming increasingly polarized, the Barbican Quartet is a shining example that individual differences can be celebrated and combined to create something beautiful.


The quartet is very grateful to the National Muziekinstrumenten Fonds for the loan of a Guadagnini violin, played by Amarins and the Canimex Group Canada for Yoanna’s Gagliano cello and Kate’s Vincenzo Panormo violin.