Welcome to Hyperion Records, an independent British classical label devoted to presenting high-quality recordings of music of all styles and from all periods from the twelfth century to the twenty-first.

Hyperion offers both CDs, and downloads in a number of formats. The site is also available in several languages.

Please use the dropdown buttons to set your preferred options, or use the checkbox to accept the defaults.

Artist Hyperion Records
Smith Quartet, The
© Anne Johnstone

The Smith Quartet

Now into its third decade the Smith Quartet remains at the forefront of the new music world. It has championed the works of the world’s most celebrated composers commissioning over 150 new pieces during its career. A list that includes recent works by Donnacha Dennehy and Joe Cutler and works by Nyman, Volans, Bryars, Fitkin, and Skempton.

Continually striving to go beyond the string quartet’s traditional role in the concert hall the group has shared the stage with artists as different as rock group Pulp and Malian singer Rokia Traore. Working with longtime partners, Sound Intermedia, the concept of the stage itself can be challenged, commuters in Cologne for example witnessing the Smiths forty feet above the platform performing Steve Reich’s Different Trains. The quartet’s long association with this seminal work led to a performance of the 2nd Movement, Europe – During The War, in the most unusual and poignant location of all when, along with artists such as Maxim Vengerov and Emmanuel Ax, it was asked to be a part of the BBC’s award winning documentary Holocaust – A Music Memorial Concert from Auschwitz filmed on location at Birkenau-Auschwitz at the end of 2004. The film went on to win a BAFTA and the 2006 Emmy for Best Arts Documentary Film.

The quartet has enjoyed a number of prestigious residencies recently including a five concert series in 2006/7 at Queens University Belfast at the Sonic Arts Research Centre (SARC), and a series of European concerts featuring the work of celebrated Portugese composers as part of Miso Music’s Circuits tour. As Artists in Residence at the 2006 Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, they performed the complete works of Morton Feldman for piano and strings with the celebrated pianist John Tilbury.

In 2008 the Smiths toured South Korea for the first time where they performed to over 10,000 people. They were also invited for a residency at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. 2009 saw them make their US debut at the Phillips Collection, Washington DC followed by an appearance at the Bang On A Can Marathon at the Winter Gardens, New York of which the New York Times commented, ‘The Smith Quartet…drew one of the strongest responses of the day with its lush account of the early Gavin Bryars proto-Minimalist work The Sinking of the Titanic’. In October 2009 the Smith’s celebrated Kevin Volan’s 60th Birthday with two concerts at London’s Wigmore Hall where the Daily Telegraph noted that ‘they…played with exquisite care’. Highlights of its 2010 season included an appearance at the Sligo New Music Festival and, in October, at ‘Minimal’ in Glasgow and SOUND Festival in Aberdeen.

In 2005 the quartet released their debut album ‘Different Trains’ for Signum Classics. The album met with much critical acclaim, the Sunday Independent remarking that ‘…the Smith Quartet’s intense sound re-emphasises the rhapsodic ending of the work’ and that Duet and the Triple Quartet ‘are played to perfection’. This was swiftly followed by their second album ‘Ghost Stories’ described by the press as ‘…a compelling blend of live ensemble and electronics’, Andrew Clements of the Guardian commented that the release was ‘…superbly played…’ Their recent album for Signum, ‘Philip Glass Complete Quartets’, received considerable critical acclaim and coverage in the media leading Classic FM magazine to ask ‘How long before the Kronos is labeled the ‘American Smith Quartet’?…they are ahead of the curve at generating new repertoire and taking the experimental back-catalogue seriously’.


Waiting for content to load...

Complete works available for download

Alphabetical listing of all musical works

Waiting for content to load...
Waiting for content to load...