Piacere String Quartet join the Festival of Chichester

Piacere String Quartet
Piacere String Quartet

The newly-formed Piacere String Quartet join the Festival of Chichester for a concert in St John’s Chapel, St John’s Street on Tuesday, June 18 at 7.30pm.

Inna Erskine (first violin), Michael Sullivan (second violin), Phyllida Maude-Roxby (viola) and Graham Elliott (cello) will be performing Mozart’s popular Dissonance quartet K 465 and Dvorak’s 12th American string quartet Op 96.

“We have been playing together for the last year or so really,” says Michael. “I have known Graham for many, many years, and he introduced me to Inna, and then Phyllida has been a viola player in the area for many years. It is just really friends getting together to perform as a professional string quartet for Chichester.

“Our concerts so far have been in St John’s Chapel. We have managed three performances over the last year there, but we are looking to travel further afield. We regularly play together for social events all over the south of England, and we have been playing together in London quite a lot, but not on a concert stage. But we are looking to do more and more. We have got a booking to play Bognor Regis Music Club as well.

“We want to be as accessible as possible. We want as wide an audience as possible. We did an afternoon concert for the little ones as well as for more mature children. It was right the way through from the age of five. That was at Christmas in St John’s. We played a lot of popular Christmas numbers, and then we had a Christmas concert for a more adult audience in the evening.

“But the idea really is to play more and more on the concert stage. We are looking to do half a dozen concerts at year and then to increase that number. We are looking at some of the standard repertoire, but we are also looking at branching out from that. We are looking to do some of the quartets by various composers that are perhaps not done so much in Chichester.

“Like all human beings we are all different in the quartet in many ways, but what is interesting for me is that I am playing second violin. I have always played first violin and in another quartet I play first violin, but this has been a real eye-opener for me to take the second part, very much trying to complement the first part. It is equally challenging and interesting.”

As for the Festival of Chichester concert: “The Mozart Dissonance is a piece which is regularly performed. The hint is in the title.

“It is slightly unusual Mozart. The harmonies are slightly more challenging, but the beauty is the growth throughout the piece starting from a very humble opening. The piece opens out and by the end is extremely joyous.

“The Dvorak is very accessible. There are lots of very famous tunes in it, written about the same time as the New World Symphony, using lots of examples of folk idiom from America at that time. It a very, very interesting work with lots of energy. It is also a very, very accessible listen.”

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