The Florian Quartet is a dedicated and flexible ensemble, made up of four musicians who love playing together.
Based in London and Manchester, the Florians share their passion for this amazing genre in lots of different ways, including formal concert performances, sociable living room gigs, outreach work, collaborative and crossover projects, and academic research.
At the heart of the group's activities is giving insightful and risk-taking performances of the core quartet repertoire, and especially the wonderful music of Haydn. Drawing on a sophisticated attitude to unity and diversity, they explore myriad ways in which music - old and new - can move, delight and surprise the people who hear it.
The quartet's members trained at some of the UK's most prestigious conservatoires and universities, and have since developed varied and rewarding musical careers. As a group, they have benefited from the guidance of many inspirational teachers, but are especially indebted to Catherine Manson, James Boyd and Laurence Dreyfus.
To find out more about the quartet's activities, continue reading!
“The Florian had the audience in the palm of their hands and the edges of their seat… truly outstanding chamber music”*
THINGS WE DO
Since graduating from the Royal Academy of Music in 2012 Francesca has gone on to forge an exciting career comprising solo recital and concerto performances, chamber ensemble work, orchestral playing, education and outreach and violin teaching. As a soloist Francesca has given performances of concertos by Brahms, Beethoven, Bruch, Mendelssohn, Sibelius, Mozart and Bach. She is a member of the Berkeley Ensemble, the Del Mar Piano Trio and Ensemble Matisse and has given chamber music performances at Wigmore Hall, Purcell Room, Kings Place, the Aldeburgh and Spitalfields festivals as well as live relays for BBC Radio 3.
Francesca is the leader of Covent Garden Sinfonia, regularly leads the award winning Multi-Story Orchestra (most recently at their high acclaimed BBC Prom live from a car park in Peckham) and she is a member of City of London Sinfonia. She also enjoys performing regularly with the John Wilson Orchestra. Francesca loves teaching; she teaches violin privately and is a member of the instrumental teaching staff at Royal Holloway University of London. Francesca plays a violin made in Naples in 1879 by Pasquale Ventapane.
Joy begged her mum to learn the violin after watching Tasmin Little in concert at the age of 5. She attended Chetham’s School of Music for three years, after which she joined the Junior Royal Northern College of Music under the tutelage of Leland Chen, with whom she continued to learn throughout her degree at the RNCM. At the age of 14 Joy received Gold in Future Talent’s ‘Future Champions’ competition - founded by Katharine, Duchess of Kent - as a result of which she has performed in a number of wonderful venues and festivals including Hovingham Hall, the House of Lords and the Buckingham Palace, as well as an appearance with Katharine on the BBC News as a representative of Future Talent.
A keen orchestral musician, Joy led the National Children’s Orchestra, the Halle Youth Orchestra and is a former member of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain. She graduated with first class honours from the RNCM in 2015, and during her time there enjoyed leading a number of RNCM ensembles, highlights including the UK premiere of Penderecki's Seventh Symphony in the Bridgewater Hall conducted by the composer, and a performance of the Pulcinella Suite under Christian Curnyn. She is now pursuing her career as a violinist, and has just completed her place on the Hallé/RNCM String Leadership Scheme.
Chris is a cellist, viol player and musicologist based in Manchester. He studied at Magdalen College, Oxford and the Royal Northern College of Music, and is currently a PhD student at King’s College London. His instrumental teachers were Raphael Wallfisch and Philip Higham. He has been the cellist of the Florian Quartet since 2012, and currently enjoys a varied career that combines orchestral, chamber and solo performances with researching and writing. Recent solo highlights include the first recording of a sonata by Michael Parkin, and a performance of Gerald Finzi’s cello concerto.
Chris’s research at King’s deals with conventions of string quartet performance, with particular focus on recordings made before 1930. He has taught modules in music analysis and the history of recording, and enjoys collaborating with King’s composers on new music for both the cello and the gamba. Chris began playing the viol while a student at Oxford University, taking lessons from Laurence Dreyfus and Jonathan Manson. He is a member of early music ensemble Three Parts Vied, and has also played with renowned consort Phantasm, appearing on a 2014 CD of verse anthems by John Ward.
Anna Brigham is a violinist and violist from Cornwall. She is a versatile and committed chamber musician; as the violist of the Florian Quartet and violinist in the Phantasy Duo she has performed throughout the country, including Prussia Cove, Kings Place and St Martin in the Fields. She has appeared several times as a guest with the Dante Quartet, and has collaborated with other ensembles in Sweden, Belgium and France. After completing an academic music degree at the University of Birmingham Anna went on to study at the RNCM in Manchester, where she obtained a Masters degree with distinction. She studied with Krysia Osostowicz and Pavel Fischer. She has worked with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra and Opera North, and regularly plays with the Philharmonia Orchestra in London.
Anna's varied freelance career also encompasses playing with a folk band, shows with Michael Bublé, several concerto appearances and projects with Kaleidoscope; a dubstep orchestra. She is also heavily involved with musical outreach and, as part of the prestigious Live Music Now scheme, has led many sessions in special schools, a residency in a school for children who have been expelled, and concerts for people with Althzeimer's. Upcoming projects include playing in hospitals, concerts with the Multi-storey Orchestra, and work with the new charity 'Music for Kenya'
*Review by Donald Judge, Bollington Chamber Concerts, 2018