Introducing The Dunev Quartet|Formation of a String Quartet

Hristo Dunev. Mahaliah Edwards. Eleanor Chapman. Alice Cheer. We are the Dunev Quartet, a string quartet formed in October 2017 at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.

Formation

Although we were “put” together by the head of chamber music, from early on, it was clear that as musicians, we were completely on the same wavelength. All four of us immediately shared interest and excitement to play great chamber music and share it. What’s great is that individually, we all have quite different personalities which somehow manage to compliment each other. The unique situation of a string quartet is that it we spend a LOT of time together practising and then scheduling rehearsals as well as general planning and strategising and so we have become very close colleagues.

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The quartet

Hristo – our very talented first violinist from Bulgaria. He has won a plethora of awards and is an avid photographer.

Me – I’m the second violinist of the quartet and…well if want to know more about me you can read my about me page on my blog!

Eleanor – is the viola player of the quartet. She’s from Lancashire, she’s a fab musician and also has the best fashion sense.

Alice – is from Cardiff and is without doubt the most organised student in the country. She keeps us all in check!

Since our formation, we have been fortunate to have regular coaching with Rose Redgrave and Robin Ireland. In addition, we have received coaching from Sini Simonen and Christopher Roberts of the Castalian Quartet; Jana Kuss and William Coleman of the Kuss Quartet, Oliver Heath and Krysia Osostowicz.

 

 

Repertoire

Our current repertoire consists of Beethoven’s quartet no.10 op.74 aka “The Harp” and Haydn’s op.20 no. 5. Soon to come is Shostakovich’s 8th quartet. Past performances include November 2017 in the Recital hall at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, January 2018 at the Birmingham Central Library. Upcoming events include a performance of Beethoven op.18 No.5 in the Beethoven Marathon June 12th at the Royal Birmingham and Sunday Classics at the Spotted Dog on June 17th.

28695046_1314228572010676_982958423_oTo find out more about each member’s individual music journey, head over to our Instagram page @Dunevquartet, where you’ll find our interview sessions. We are also on Facebook so be sure to follow our page for the latest news, concert info and general shenanigans of the quartet. Our website is on its way and will be launching in June so in the meantime, for any enquiries for gigs and events, send us a message on facebook, direct message on Instagram or email mail@dunevquartet.com

 

 

 

 

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BMus 1

The transition from sixth former to fully-fledged,  self-sufficient adult wasn’t a difficult one for me. Purcell was a great school for giving sixth formers a good amount of independence. I found that boarding school was the best preparation for university/conservatoire life because I was living away from home at 16. So for me, the living independently aspect was absolutely fine – sorted.

Year 1 at music college/ university definitely started out as a lot of fun but I soon began to realise that my care-free days at Purcell are long over.  Having gone through the rigmarole of applying of student finance and the enrolment process, I really did realise that being a full time student was something that I’d have to do for myself. Suddenly I found that I was the one that had to fill out all the forms and sort myself out. Doing the important stuff like registering at a new doctor’s surgery didn’t even cross my mind. Going from school student status  to suddenly being a ‘responsible adult’ at 18 is a tricky transition.

I had already decided in my head that I wanted to approach being a full time student differently to being in compulsory education. It’s different in that there is no one there to push you and ultimately, the incentive and motivation to do things must come from oneself. So, from day 1, I knew that I just wanted to dedicate as much time as I could to improving my skills as a violinist – specifically working on performance anxiety and technical issues that were significantly holding up my development. And in order to do that, it was a matter of prioritising. I prioritised my personal development over the more social aspects of student life. I can honestly say that I made the right decision for me hence being  MIA for the last few months. Committing myself to making a conscious effort to work on myself and the things that are important to me paid off.

May 25th was my final recital which marked the end of my first year at Birmingham Conservatoire. I played a really great, varied programme: Brahms: Scherzo from the F-A-E sonata, Bach: Sonata No.1 for solo violin (Adagio and Presto) and Sarasate: Romanza Andaluza. I enjoyed my repertoire despite there being a few difficulties. All I can say is that  a year ago, I faced considerable challenges both musically and personally and I have achieved most things that I set out to.

Bring on BMus 2 in September 2016 🙂