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Composed over just three days in 1960, Shostakovich’s Eighth String Quartet is arguably one of his most powerful and evocative works.

Although officially dedicated “to the memory of the victims of fascism and war,” the quartet is built around a four note theme spelling out Shostakovich’s initials and quotes his earlier works. This has led many people to believe that the work is in fact autobiographical. 

Over the course of about two weeks in the summer of 1680, Purcell produced an astonishing set of Fantasias for viol consort. These remarkably intricate pieces dazzle listener and player alike with virtuosic counterpoint, surprising harmonic shifts, pangs of pleading dissonance, and cascading fugal material. Moments of poetic homophony are also interspersed amidst these endlessly inventive episodes. Purcell manages to invert, reflect, augment, and superimpose thematic material in a way that expands all previously known limits. 

Seating for this concert will be in the round.

Friends of the festival will have reserved front row seating. Click here to learn more about our Friends scheme.

This concert has no interval. Running time 45 minutes.

Ticket Price £16, Free for 16 and Under


  • Purcell -Selection of Fantasias arr. for String Quartet
  • Shostakovich – String Quartet No.8 in C minor, Op.110


  • Freya Goldmark, violin
  • Sofia Alberto Gomez, violin
  • Oscar Holch, viola
  • Maxim Calver, cello