Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos wrote 17 string quartets over his long life. They feature in concerts in Southern Europe
and in America far more frequently than they do in Britain.
Argentinian composer Astor Piazzolla claimed that the "tango is always for the ear rather than the feet". You can judge whether
he was right in this "Tango Ballet" - a single movement work with four distinct sections.
American Samuel Barber only wrote one string quartet, but its Adagio will be familiar to almost everybody. This is because Barber later
orchestrated it as Adagio for Strings, and it was performed by the NBC Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Arturo Toscanini to
great acclaim in 1938. It has been frequently played on radio programmes ever since.
Dvorák had not composed a string quartet for twelve years when he wrote his ever popular "American" quartet when on vacation in
Spillville, Iowa, in 1893. Like Barber's Adagio, many of the melodies of this string quartet will be familiar, even to people who
are not regular concert goers.
Enthusiastic and exciting, the Astaria String Quartet brings youthful exuberance to the challenging and sublime compositions
from the core of the string quartet repertoire. In addition to being the official "Quartet in Residence" at Huntindon Hall
in Worcester, their busy schedule involves performing for music societies and festivals across the UK.
The Astaria String Quartet was awarded an "Arts4All" Grant from the National Lottery to study with the distinguished doyen of
chamber music Gábor Takács-Nagy, in Geneva. They were also awarded a bursary to attend the prestigious "International Musicians'
Seminar" at Prussia Cove.
They have released an excellent CD album of compositions from, and influenced by, Latin America and Spain entitled