The uniqueness of the string quartet lies in the fact that the greatest composers have chosen this medium to express their most profound and intimate musical thoughts. It is this which has inspired the Archaeus Quartet in their approach to preparation, rehearsal and performance. Within the group the individuality of each player is combined with a unity of intention which creates performances of character and cohesion.
The Archaeus is a well established group, formed in 1990, which has enjoyed a busy schedule from its very first season, performing in music clubs and arts centres throughout the UK, and at the Wigmore Hall and Purcell Room in London. The group has toured in Europe and played at Festivals including Warwick, Greenwich, King’s Lynn, Wooburn and at the ICA in London.
As well as an extensive traditional concert repertoire the Archaeus has a strong commitment to the performance of rarely heard but high quality works of the 20th Century. Premieres include the piano quintet by Ruth Crawford Seeger, the quartet by Antonin Tucapsky and the London premiere of Leonard Salzedo’s 7th quartet, and world premieres of his 8th and 9th quartets.
“After I had heard my 7th String Quartet played by the Archaeus Quartet on October 30th last year I was so pleased with their performance that I decided to write a new quartet especially for them. I started it on October 31st and completed it exactly five weeks later, on December 5th.” – Salzedo
This work received its premiere at the Wigmore Hall in June 1995 when the Archaeus made its highly successful London debut. The fruitful friendship and collaboration with Salzedo resulted in three further quartets and the Sonata for violin and viola.
The Archaeus’s award winning discography includes the quartet by Minna Keal; quartets by York Bowen with the quintet for bass clarinet with Timothy Lines; quartets by Ethel Smyth, Amy Beach and Susan Spain-Dunk; Leonard Salzedo; and quartets by Cyril Scott. The recording of Salzedo quartets and the sonata for violin and viola (performed by its dedicatees Ann Hooley and Elizabeth Turnbull) was selected as Editor’s Choice in the Gramophone Magazine. A further CD of Salzedo, comprising quartets 1, 5 and the world premiere of no.10 was released in October 2018. A double CD of the complete quartets of Parry was released in July 2018.
The aspiration to play the complete Beethoven quartets has always been important to the Archaeus. Having performed this cycle in Oxford, Cumbria and London in the late 90’s the group is now giving further cycles in Eastbourne, Salehurst, and Brighton.
For many years the Archaeus had a strong association with Trinity College of Music in London where the members regularly coached chamber music. The group has also been invited to coach and perform at established Summer Schools such as Beauchamp House, and Dartington International Summer School. There, in 1995, the quartet performed Schubert “Rondo” with Ruggiero Ricci. The Archaeus also ran its own Chamber Music Course in the Channel Islands.
In its early days the quartet received regular coaching from William Pleeth and worked closely with Eli Goren and Sandor Devich.
The quartet’s repertoire is also extended to include quintets and sextets. The Archaeus has had the privilege of collaborating with many esteemed artists including Thea King, Timothy Lines, Ruggiero Ricci, Philip Fowke, John Mills and several fellow cellists and viola players. In April 2013 the Archaeus gave the UK premiere of Csaba Erdelyi’s exciting arrangement for string sextet of Mozart “Sinfonia Concertante” K364.
Ann Hooley studied with Eli Goren at the Guildhall School of Music where she won several prizes as both solo violinist and chamber musician. Her subsequent teachers include Yossi Zivoni and Henryk Szeryng.
For three years she was Staff Violinist at Southampton University where she taught violin and gave numerous recitals. As a freelance player she has worked with many of the London orchestras, and for seven years was leader of the Mercury Ensemble, Ballet Rambert.
As well as having a great love for the classical repertoire of her instrument, Ann has a keen interest in contemporary music and has performed, broadcast and recorded with groups including the Endymion Ensemble, Lontano, the Almeida Ensemble and Music Projects – often appearing as guest leader. She has given several highly acclaimed recitals at the Purcell Room, and has premiered many contemporary works including Partita for solo violin by Leonard Salzedo and Cantillation for violin and orchestra by Minna Keal.
Ann has been leader of the Archaeus Quartet since its formation in 1990. Teaching commitments include Trinity College of Music from 1990 until 2009.
Marie-France Ouellet was born in Quebec City, Canada. She started playing the violin at the age of eight and within two years was given a full time place at the Conservatoire de Musique du Quebec. Her musical training eventually took her to England where she studied at Trinity College of Music London on a full scholarship with Ann Hooley and Nona Liddell. During her studies she performed as soloist at the Unesco Centre in Paris, the Fairfield Halls, Wigmore Hall and St.Martins-in-the-Fields, for which she was awarded the ‘Worshipful Company of Musicians Medal for Solo Playing’ in 1998. In that same year she gained her Post-Graduate Diploma in Performance with Distinction. Under the guidance of Michael Thomas, founder member of the Brodsky Quartet, she also became an associate of The Royal College of Music in 2000. As a freelance musician she has played with the London Chamber Orchestra, the London Baroque Players and Oxford Philomusica. Marie-France plays on one of the finest violins made by the late British luthier, Wilfred Saunders, famous maker of the Tertis viola. He very generously gave her the instrument in 2003.
Elizabeth Turnbull was born in New Zealand. She won an Arts Council Scholarship to pursue her musical studies in London. This she did, studying with Nicholas Roth and Peter Schidlof. Shortly after leaving College she made her Wigmore Hall debut and embarked upon a career of chamber music, teaching and orchestral playing. She has had a rich and varied experience in chamber music being a founder member of the Roth Quartet with whom she recorded, broadcast, and performed throughout Great Britain, and Europe. She is a founder member of the Archaeus Quartet. As a soloist Elizabeth has performed widely, often presenting new and unusual repertoire. She plays in String Talk, a duo for violin and viola with violinist Ann Hooley. Their recording of Sonata Op.132 for violin and viola by Leonard Salzedo, written especially for them, won the editor’s choice in Gramophone Magazine.
Elizabeth has always had a lively interest in teaching, which she began as a schoolgirl. She was appointed to the professorial staff at Trinity College of Music, where in 1992 she became Head of Strings and Chamber Music. She taught viola at Wells Cathedral School and has given classes at numerous specialist schools, conservatoires and festivals throughout Europe. Following an invitation to tutor a course for adults at Jackdaws she has become fascinated with helping late starters and mature string players to reach and fulfill their musical aspirations. She has written the tutor “Modus Operandi” specifically designed for adults to improve their instrumental skills – to unlock and rejuvenate their musical talents.
In addition to her performing career, Elizabeth continues to take courses at Jackdaws and now runs a private teaching practice in London.
Born in Dublin, David Burrowes sang as a chorister at Canterbury Cathedral. He was awarded a choral scholarship to Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge where he read Music. During this time he studied ‘cello with Christopher Bunting and Moray Welsh. He then spent five years as No.3 cello with the Ulster Orchestra in Belfast.
Since moving to London, he has appeared as guest principal cellist with many of the top chamber orchestras, as well as performing extensively with the Philharmonia and Royal Philharmonic Orchestras. He was Principal Cello of English Classical Players from 1991-2011. He has held the post of Principal Cello in the London production of Phantom of the Opera since 1998 and he is also currently Principal Cello of Southern Pro Musica.
In the field of chamber music, in addition to being the cellist of the Archaeus Quartet, David is cellist and Artistic Director of Cirrus and a member of Primavera, appearing on a number of highly acclaimed CDs with both groups.
Amongst his solo recording credits is a CD of the Brahms Double Concerto with Rolf Wilson on violin, and a recent CD of music from the Celtic Revival for cello and piano alongside readings by his wife Sarah Hayhurst of the poetry and letters of W. B. Yeats.
As a teacher, David was Head of Strings at the Kent Music Academy from 1992-2010. Since 2000, he has held the post of Associate Lecturer at the University of Surrey. In addition he has taught at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the Royal Academy. From 2010-2017, he was Director of the annual Pro Corda cello course, and he will be Course Director for the inaugural Cello Dynamo course in August 2019.
Away from music he adores playing and watching cricket, listening to cathedral music, and working in his garden whenever possible.
He plays on a fine English cello, made by Thomas Kennedy in London in 1801.