Dmitri Shostakovich was deeply affected by Soviet communism, which sprang into life in October 1917 – inspired by the studies of Marx and Engels in Chetham’s Library. As we approach the centenary of Red October, Chetham’s presents all fifteen Shostakovich String Quartets, performed by superb professional performers, Chetham’s students and leading conservatoires.
The series began in the 600-year old buildings of Chetham’s Library in January 2017, with special guest speaker Tristram Hunt MP – author of The Frock-Coated Communist, on the life of Friedrich Engels – introducing the programme. Throughout the first movement of the series, Chetham’s players performed alongside young musicians from the Royal Northern College of Music, Royal Academy of Music, Birmingham Conservatoire and Barratt Due Institute of Music.
The second movement begins in April 2017 with the opening of The Stoller Hall, a stunning new space for chamber music built on Chetham’s site. The Navarra String Quartet join us for the Hall’s Opening Weekend, followed by the Vasara, Carducci and Kuss Quartets in the run up to October’s Red October festival.