Bogdan Sofei, violin I | Ingrid Nicola, violin II | Andreea Banciu, viola | Adrian Mantu, cello
Formed in 1995 in Bucharest, Romania, ConTempo Quartet is recognised as one of the most exciting and vibrant chamber ensembles performing today. It has performed world-wide in many prestigious venues, winning prizes at competitions in Munich, Rome and London, and worked alongside artists of the highest calibre. It has broadcast widely on European radio and premiered and recorded many contemporary pieces.
In 2003, following a three-year fellowship at the Royal Academy of Music in London, ConTempo Quartet was chosen as Galway Music Residency’s Ensemble in Residence and continues to captivate audiences throughout the city and county with its repertoire of classical, contemporary, folk and traditional music. In June 2016 the members were conferred with Honorary Doctorates in Music by NUI Galway in recognition of their role in promoting music and education in the West of Ireland.
ConTempo Quartet has also been RTÉ’s Quartet in Residence since 2013.
The Galway Music Residency
The Galway Music Residency (GMR) was established in 2002 to cultivate a comprehensive music development programme for Galway, with a professional ensemble at its centre. The programme was designed to bring performances to new audiences in Galway City and County and to broaden the experience of those already involved in music. Through the unique talent and community focus of ConTempo Quartet, and the vision and hard work of the GMR board and staff, this has been achieved beyond all expectation over the past 15 years.
As well as performance projects, education has played a central role in GMR’s work since its earliest beginnings and continues to be a driving force in the organisation’s mission. ConTempo Quartet facilitate a number of education programmes, from mentorship initiatives; to workshops at primary, secondary and university level; to community education programmes; to intergenerational, cross art from projects.
One GMR’s longest-running and most successful education initiatives is the Apprentice Ensemble Programme. Now in its 13th year, the programme offers frequent mentoring sessions with ConTempo Quartet and performing opportunities to emerging, talented performing groups. This year, in addition to regular workshops with ConTempo focusing on ensemble performance and musicianship, GMR is delighted to partner with Music for Galway in offering the participants the opportunity to attend a workshop each semester with a visiting artist as part of its International Concert series.
GMR is also thrilled to continue its longstanding collaboration with Music for Galway in the realm of performance in lending ConTempo Quartet to another outstanding Midwinter Festival: Swansong.