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.

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Artist Hyperion Records
Guildhall Strings

Guildhall Strings

Guildhall Strings was formed in 1981 (as The Guildhall String Ensemble) by David Takeno at The Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. The Ensemble won several prizes in its first year, including the prestigious International Jeunesses Musicales Competition in Belgrade which launched them onto the international music scene. From its first concerts the Ensemble was heralded by the musical press as a highly gifted group, most notably in The Guardian where a performance was described as 'an object in ensemble playing'.

Since then, Guildhall Strings has built an enviable reputation, performing to great acclaim in countries throughout Western Europe, Hungary, Algeria, the United States, Canada, Brazil, Asia and—financed by The British Council—Greece, Denmark, Tunisia, India and Sri Lanka.

Most of the original eleven members still play in Guildhall Strings. All but its cellists play standing up, forming a semicircle on stage to create a freedom of communication impossible in traditional orchestral seating. Since there is no conductor, all the players contribute to the overall shape of the music, as members of a string quartet do. This sense of involvement, along with a strong commitment and enjoyment of making-music, helps to explain why there have been very few personnel changes in the eighteen years since the ensemble's formation.

'The first thing which comes across in any concert by the Guildhall Strings is a sense of the player's own enjoyment in music and music-making. They are as mush a pleasure to watch as to listen to.' (The Daily Telegraph)

The ensemble has an extensive repertoire ranging from Purcell, Bach, Handel, Corelli, Vivaldi, through Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Elgar, Stravinsky and Britten to the many contemporary works which have been written for them by composers including William Mathias, John Woolrich, Diana Burrell, Robert Saxton, Richard Rodney Bennett, Nigel Osborne and John McCabe. Many soloists have appeared with them, including Michala Petri, Evelyn Glennie, Peter Donohoe, Dmitry Sitkovetsky, Emma Johnson, Richard Stolzman, Manuel Barrueco, Nikolai Demidenko and William Bennett, tenor Philip Langridge, organist/harpsichordist Dame Gillian Weir and saxophonist John Harle.

In 1999, Guildhall Strings was nominated for the prestigious Royal Philharmonic Society Music Award for its work in 1998.


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