Since 2002, the Mavron Quartet has fused artistic excellence with a passion for innovative outreach, inspiring audiences and engaging communities. The Quartet’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of its art sees it at the forefront of an exciting chamber music revival in Wales, and in 2010 it became the first ever Ensemble in Residence at St David’s Hall (the National Concert Hall of Wales). A simultaneous residency at the Gate Arts Centre in Cardiff is demonstrative of the Quartet’s dedication to blending classical repertoire with fresh contemporary pieces.
Led by founding member Christiana Mavron, the Quartet has developed a reputation for musical quality which is evident throughout its performance history. The Quartet frequently gives recitals at St David’s Hall, music societies and festivals across the UK. Many prestigious engagements include several world premieres, demonstrating the Quartet’s commitment to showcasing new works, such as: Mark Slater’s The Turning Room at Leeds University; Tim Raymond’s String Quartet No.2 at Bolton Abbey; Charlie Barber’s Baroque Sonatas at the Gate Arts Centre; Mervyn Burtch’s String Quartet No.7 at Riverfront Newport; Rhian Samuel’s Threaded Light at St David’s Hall; Gareth Churchill’s Centrifuge at Cardiff’s Norwegian Church; Gareth Wood’s String Quartet No. 1 the Gate Arts Centre; and Peter Reynolds’ footsteps quiet in the shadows at the Monmouth Festival.
Traditional classical repertoire is also well represented in the Quartet’s concert programmes. In 2011, the Mavron Quartet performed Schumann’s Piano Quintet alongside Llŷr Williams, celebrating 20 years of Live Music Now in Wales. The Quartet also performed with esteemed clarinettist Michael Collins in Mozart’s Clarinet Quintet at the Lower Machen Festival.
In addition to numerous public performances, the Mavron Quartet has also appeared at several prestigious venues, including the Senedd, the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Lancaster House, Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace. The Quartet has had the distinct honour of performing for special guests such as HM The Queen, HRH The Prince of Wales, Prime Ministers and Welsh Ministers.
In 2004, the Mavron Quartet was appointed Junior Fellows in Chamber Music at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. The Vale of Glamorgan Festival – the only classical music festival in the UK dedicated to the music of living composers – recognised the Quartet’s energy, innovation and musical quality by appointing the quartet as Young Artists in Residence at the Festival in 2012.
Artistic collaboration is a core value of the Mavron Quartet, and with funding support from various bodies, it has commissioned, developed, and delivered several collaborative projects. One such work, A Wailing on the Wind, was a storytelling collaboration with writer Liz Weir and composer Ian Stephens. The piece was nominated for an Outstanding Multi-Arts Performance Award from the British Awards for Storytelling Excellence in 2013. For its tenth anniversary celebrations, the Mavron Quartet toured across the UK performing a number of works commissioned by Welsh composers Rhian Samuel, Gareth Wood and Gareth Churchill.
The Mavron Quartet takes great pride in collaborating with other outstanding internationally celebrated artists. Session work has included recording with Welsh singer-songwriter The Gentle Good, featuring on albums Ruins (winner of the Welsh Music Prize 2017), Tethered for the Storm, and Y Bardd Anfarwol (National Eisteddfod’s Welsh Album of the Year 2014). The Quartet, with a mix of past and present members, has also been featured on Cian Ciarán’s Outside In, Gildas’ Sgwnnu Stori and Sweet Baboo’s Motorhome Songs. In addition to recording, the Mavron Quartet has performed live with The Gentle Good at festivals including Glastonbury, Green Man, Brecon Jazz, and Latitude.
The Mavron Quartet is passionate about working within communities, making live music accessible to all. This regular charitable work includes representing the CAVATINA Chamber Music Trust in Wales since 2003, through which young people are introduced to chamber music, inspiring the growth of musical appreciation and keeping the genre alive. Additionally, the Quartet worked with Live Music Now Cymru to bring the joy of chamber music to disadvantaged communities.
In 2017, the Quartet are one of 15 arts organisations across Wales to collaborate on the R17 project, marking the centenary of the Russian Revolution and exploring the links between Russia and Wales. Autumn 2017 sees Mavron Quartet touring across Wales with a pioneering new digital chamber opera, The World’s Wife, based on poems by the Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy and composed by Tom Green.