Amy Tress, violin
William Newell, violin
Alistair Vennart, viola
Stephanie Tress, cello
Winner of the 2014 Royal Overseas League Ensemble Competition, the Solem Quartet was formed in 2011 at the University of Manchester. The quartet takes its name from the university’s motto “arduus ad solem”, meaning “striving towards the sun”.
The quartet enjoys a busy concert schedule performing at venues both across the UK – including Wigmore Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Bridgewater Hall and Holywell Music Room – and internationally. In keeping with its name, the Solem Quartet’s first project was to play the Haydn Op. 20 “Sun” Quartets. Their repertoire is now extensive, spanning the period from early Haydn to living composers such as Emily Howard, whose quartet ‘Afference’ they performed in a BBC Proms Extra broadcast, live on BBC Radio 3.
The Solem Quartet has benefited from inspirational teaching from a number of the world’s greatest chamber musicians including Gábor Takács-Nagy, Thomas Adès, Michal Kaznowski, Gerhard Schulz and Richard Ireland. They have attended IMS Prussia Cove and the European Chamber Music Academy, as well as courses with the Chilingirian, Dante and Maggini Quartets. The quartet were delighted to have been selected for the prestigious ChamberStudio Mentorship 2014/2015, which allowed them to study intensively with the internationally renowned cellist Christoph Richter at Kings Place.
The Solem Quartet has recorded two CDs of 20th Century British music for Divine Arts record company. They were 2016/17 Park Lane Group Artists and have given recitals at Wigmore Hall, Kings Place, St John’s Smith Square and St Martin-in-the-fields as part of the PLG recital series. They were also selected as Tunnell Trust Artists in 2016, leading to a tour of Scotland in 2018, and recently completed the Junior Fellowship in Chamber Music at the RNCM. They held this position from 2015-17, giving regular coaching to chamber ensembles as well as a series of concerts. The Solems also enjoy working with Live Music Now, giving concerts and workshops in a number of special needs schools and care homes across the UK.
Since September 2016 the Solem Quartet has been ‘Quartet in Residence’ at the University of Liverpool. They were also recently appointed ‘Ensemble in Residence’ at Aberystwyth MusicFest. The quartet is particularly excited to have been privately commissioned to undertake a complete Beethoven and Bartok cycle, which will start in 2020 and take place in London and Aberystwyth over a three year period.