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Van Kujik Quartet

The Music curriculum at the Martin High School is enriched by opportunities to explore music and the culture from which it is derived. Already during this year, pupils in year 7 have had the chance to explore Chinese music, the Chinese New Year and how Chinese music is performed in a module, on the curriculum, which they study. This term pupils in year 8 are exploring Indian Classical Music, alongside an understanding of its place within Indian Culture. To ensure that these cultural perspectives are fully grasped, pupils have benefitted from hearing professional musicians from India and China, perform on authentic instruments from these places within the world. Whilst these visiting musicians from India and China, explain the broader context of the music, through interactive workshops, pupils are given the chance to play some of these authentic instruments. This helps them to appreciate the sound world of these different musical traditions, but also to respect the people who come from these parts of the world.
Nevertheless, on May 9th 2016, the award winning Van Kuijk Quartet, founded in Paris in 2012, visited the Martin High School, as part of a new classical music project for Leicester, organised by the concert series director, Graham Oppenheimer. The series director, Graham Oppenheimer is a professional violist, who has seized the opportunity to stage an outstanding series of International String Quartets outside London, at the beautifully proportioned Victorian Gallery in the New Walk Museum in Leicester.
Graham Oppenheimer is committed to music education and enabling young people to have access to the masterclass programme for young string quartets, as well as inspiring young people through visits to schools to enable pupils to hear high quality musical performances.
The Van Kuijk Quartet have shared their musical expertise with the young musicians here at the Martin High School and pupils doing GCSE Music. They outlined with performances, something of the musical heritage of the String Quartet. This was a valuable experience for our pupils, as some of them will need to compose musical compositions for their GCSE coursework. Consequently, being able to understand how the String quartet works as a genre is an important milestone in the journey to writing a composition for a string quartet.
The Van Kuijk Quartet comes with impressive credentials, as they have won numerous awards, including the 2015 Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition where they took Best Haydn and Best Beethoven prizes. More recently they have become BBC New Generation Artists. The Guardian said of them "These four young Frenchmen made the music smile".
On Sunday 8 May 2016, they performed Haydn's Quartet in Bb major Op.76 No. 4 "Sunrise", Ravel's Quartet in F major and Beethoven's Quartet in F major Op. 135 at the New Walk Museum.
The String Quartets Series director, Graham Oppenheimer said, "Education is so important to me and I am glad to have both the masterclass programme for young quartets and of course, these school visits. I hope we can do even more in the future."
Philip Herbert, The Head of Music at The Martin high School said, "This has been a marvellous opportunity for our pupils to experience, live music performed by award winning musicians of international standing, particularly with a view to helping them to understand where the string quartet fits within music history and GCSE Music coursework."

Last modified on Tuesday, 21 June 2016 18:06
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