skip to Main Content

Solem Quartet in residence at Norfolk & Norwich Festival

This year’s Norfolk & Norwich Festival features the Solem Quartet as Ensemble in Residence, performing three exciting concerts over the course of a week in May.

On Wednesday 17th May, the Solems will present the premiere of their “Beethoven Bartók Now: Courage” programme, including a brand new commission by Bushra El Turk entitled Rostan, Rastan, Rast-kara. Meaning ‘to grow, to be freed, redemption’ the piece is inspired by the ongoing revolution in Iran and the place of women in its society, and the Quartet will be joined by kamancheh player Faraz Eshghi, proving the ever-evolving nature of the string quartet, and the power of music to unite. Rostan, Rastan, Rast-kara will appear alongside Beethoven’s Quartet Op. 135 and Bartók’s Quartet No. 6 at 7:30pm on 17th May at Norwich’s Octagon Chapel. Click here for more info and tickets.

On Wednesday 24th May, the Solems will give a late-night concert in the Adnams Spiegeltent in central Norwich, featuring their programme of Steve Reich and Kate Bush. Reich’s Different Trains features an electronic soundscape of trains, sirens, bells, and recorded voices which inspire melodies in the live string quartet. Reich paints a vivid picture of the American trains he took as a child during WW2, starkly contrasting the holocaust trains he could have experienced had he grown up a European Jew. The Quartet will then be joined by singer Alice Zawadzki to perform a selection of songs by Kate Bush, specially arranged for quartet by Solem violinist Will Newell. Click here for more info and tickets.

On Thursday 25th May, the Solems return to the Octagon Chapel to perform another instalment of their ongoing BBN project, “Beethoven Bartok Now: Life Episodes”. This concert will see the world premiere of Edmund Finnis’s String Quartet No. 3 ‘Devotions’, drawing inspiration from the ‘Heiliger Dankgesang’ of Beethoven’s Quartet Op. 132, which also features, along with Bartók’s Quartet No. 2. Interwoven with the musical programme, to reflect and enhance its message, will be films made by Jessie Rodger featuring four moving portraits of people who tell their own remarkable stories of overcoming adversity. Click here for more info and tickets.


“BBN: Life Episodes” and “BBN: Courage” are the last two instalments of Beethoven Bartók Now, an ambitious six-part series which has seen the Solem Quartet collaborate with leading young composers of today to perform commissioned new works and present the historic works of Beethoven and Bartók in a new light.

Solem Quartet | Norfolk & Norwich Festival: Norwich | Wed 17 May | 7:30pm
Bushra El-Turk: Rostan, Rastan and Rast-Kara
Bela Bartók: Quartet no. 6, BB 119
Ludwig van Beethoven: Quartet no. 16 in F major, op. 135
with Faraz Eshghi (kamancheh)

Solem Quartet | Norfolk & Norwich Festival: Norwich | Wed 24 May | 7:30pm
Steve Reich
: Different Trains
Kate Bush
, arr. William Newell: Selection of songs
with Alice Zawadzki (voice)

Solem Quartet | Norfolk & Norwich Festival: Norwich | Thu 25 May | 7:30pm
Bela Bartók
: Quartet no. 2, op. 17, BB 75
Edmund Finnis
: String Quartet no. 3, Devotions
Ludwig van Beethoven
: ‘Heiliger Dankgesang’ from Quartet no. 15 in A minor, op. 132

You may also like to see...
Back To Top