About the Quartet In Residence

The Edinburgh Quartet has long been celebrated as one of Britain’s foremost chamber ensembles, having appeared regularly at prestigious venues across the UK and toured extensively across Europe, the Far and Middle East, and North and South America.

In addition to a busy concert schedule the Edinburgh Quartet is frequently featured in radio broadcasts for the BBC and other stations. Recently this has included live appearances on Classics Unwrapped (BBC Radio Scotland) and Jazz Line-Up and In Tune (BBC Radio 3) as well as video recordings for Studio One Sessions, which appear on the BBC Radio Scotland website.

The Edinburgh Quartet is committed to nurturing talent and is resident at the University of Stirling and University of Edinburgh. As well as giving a regular classical concert series at each of these institutions, the players work with composition students, instrumentalists and student teachers. In addition to this the Edinburgh Quartet’s outreach programme encompasses workshops for primary and secondary school children and tutoring adults on the Variations Summer School in Ullapool, and their annual tours around Scotland.

The Quartet has always been a champion of new music and has worked with many important and prolific composers of our age including James MacMillan, Michael Tippett and Howard Blake.

The Edinburgh Quartet has an extensive discography available on various labels such as Delphian, Linn, Meridian and RCA. Among their recordings are the complete string quartets of Hans Gál (Meridian), Kenneth Leighton (Meridian) and Mátyás Seiber (Delphian), as well as discs of Bartók, Robert Crawford, Haydn, Schubert and Thomas Wilson.

Their recent release “Postcard from Nalchik” featuring Haydn, Prokofiev and Shostakovich received a four star review in The Scotsman, with Ken Walton commending the playing as “perky and pristine in the Haydn, gutsy and attitudinal in the folk-inspired Prokofiev, movingly sustained in the grim delights of the Shostakovich… richly considered, rigorously balanced and, ultimately, a musical treat”.

Their new James MacMillan disc (also on Delphian) received 5 stars in The Scotsman from Walton, was described in The Herald by Michael Tumelty as “absolutely essential listening” and was praised by Gramophone Magazine: “These players have worked to produce the precise sound to transmit the emotional import of each phrase”.

Photographs by Martin Stewart Photography

 

Click/tap tab for individual Edinburgh Quartet artist biography

Catherine Marwood studied at the Royal Academy Of Music and spent the following nine years playing with the Fairfield String Quartet with whom she toured Europe and recorded for the Hyperion label. She also explored the oboe quartet and string trio repertoire with her siblings in the Marwood Ensemble and together they recorded a disc of the music of Jean Francaix.

In 1988 she was appointed principal viola with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, a position she held for ten years. She appeared many times as soloist with the orchestra collaborating with such artists as Joseph Swensen, Yuri Bashmet and Ernst Kovacic and in the SCO’s chamber series she worked with Michael Collins, Stephen Isserlis, Peter Donohoe and many others.

She also premiered and recorded Sir Peter Maxwell Davies Strathclyde concerto no 5. She was principal viola in the Scottish Ensemble with whom she recorded under the prestigious Wigmore Live label, frequently broadcast on Radio 3 and toured extensively in this country and abroad.

Catherine works with many other chamber groups and orchestras and in 2009 she was appointed principal viola of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. She has been a member of the Hebrides Ensemble for over 20 years and values the opportunity to showcase contemporary music alongside more traditional repertoire. She joined the Edinburgh Quartet in 2017 and is loving the return to the pinnacle of the chamber music form and the challenges it brings. Catherine also examines for ABRSM both in the U.K. and in the Far East.

Born in London, Mark Bailey has performed all over Europe, the UK, USA & Canada, the Far East and Middle East, both as soloist and cellist of the Edinburgh Quartet. The EQ is one of the UK’s longest running chamber ensembles and celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2010. In 2007 the EQ received the much coveted Gramophone Editor’s Choice for their recording of the complete string quartets of Hans Gal. Mark studied at the Royal College of Music on a Foundation Scholarship where he won all the major cello prizes, including the top concerto and recital prizes.

He was then invited by PaulTortelier to study with him in France for two years, attracting scholarships from the British Council, The Countess of Munster and Suggia
Trusts and the Martin Musical Scholarship Fund. There he was awarded the Premier Prix de la Musique de Chambre de Nice. Later he worked with William Pleeth and Jacqueline du Pré, as well as performing in master classes with, amongst others, Zara Nelsova and Johannes Goritzski.

As soloist he has broadcast for French & Spanish Radio and recorded recitals for the BBC. Works have been recorded under Meridian, Naxos, Delphian and The Divine Art labels. In the course of his distinguished career he has given recitals at the Purcell Room, Wigmore Hall and has appeared as soloist in many leading British festivals.

Mark teaches cello and coaches chamber music at the Universities of Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Glasgow, and Stirling – where the EQ is Quartet in Residence.

Tristan Gurney enjoys a wide-ranging career as a director, soloist, chamber and orchestral violinist. He established himself on the British chamber music scene as leader of the Edinburgh Quartet (2007-2016). During his time with the quartet, Tristan collaborated with many esteemed artists such as harpist Isobelle Moretti, tenor Andrew Staples, clarinetist Maximilliano Martin and flautist Juliette Bausor and worked closely with composers such as Sir James Macmillan. Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, Helen Grime, Tom Harold and Howard Blake.

The Edinburgh Quartet released several CDs with Tristan, including, recordings of Mayas Seiber Quartets, Robert Crawford Quartets and Haydn, Shostakovich and Prokofiev Quartets all to great acclaim. Their disc of Sir James McMillan String Quartets was awarded a 'Critics Choice' and included in the list of best recordings of 2014 in Gramophone Magazine.

Tristan is currently the Curator of Chamber Music at Sage Gateshead. In addition to programming, it is a role that draws on his Chamber Music expertise, joining his friends and colleagues at Royal Northern Sinfonia as a director, soloist and chamber player. Tristan combines his responsibilities at Sage Gateshead with a flourishing freelance career, regularly collaborating with chamber music colleagues and guesting as a principal player with orchestras such as the London Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic, Philharmonia, Academy of St Martin in the Fields and Scottish Chamber Orchestra. He is also Principal Second of Scottish Ensemble which performs at prestigious venues and festivals worldwide and has a regular series at Wigmore Hall, London.

Tristan studied the violin at the Royal Nothern College of Music with Yossi Zivoni and then at the Royal Conservatory of Music, Toronto with Lorand Fenyves and plays on a Ferdinand Gagliano Violin

Justine Watts studied at the Royal Academy of Music, London and won many prizes including The Principal’s Prize, The Beare Prize, the Manson Prize for ensemble playing, and was one of only two in her year to receive Distinction for the Recital Diploma.

She was chosen to perform the Elgar Concerto with the RAM Symphony Orchestra & led the YMSO and the NYOS. She then won a Countess of Munster scholarship for study abroad and attended Rice University, USA where she gained a Masters’ Degree in Music, studying with renowned violinist Sergiu Luca, and leading the Honors String Quartet. At this time she won the Concerto competition and became Leader of the Texas Chamber Orchestra, also freelancing with Houston Symphony Orchestra, Houston grand Opera and Houston Ballet.

On returning to Britain, Justine joined the RSNO where she became Co-Leader for ten years. She is now the Leader of the Scottish Ballet Orchestra. Justine has been a guest with the City of Birmingham Symphony, the Hallé, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Welsh National Opera, the Scottish Ensemble and guest Leader of the Ulster Orchestra & Scottish Opera.

During her time with Scottish Ballet, Justine has performed many solos including a Mozart Concerto arranged for dance, and recently ‘Dextera’ which included the Mozart A major concerto and solos from Queen of the night. Her life highlight was realised when the Ballet performed Swan Lake including its solos for the White Swan. Justine is also a regular coach for the National Youth Orchestras of Scotland and a teacher at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.