Melisma Quartet: Runners-Up in Highly Prestigious Chamber Music Competition
Thursday 17 March 2022
MR CHRISTOS KOKKINOS
ASSISTANT DIRECTOR OF MUSIC AND COACH OF THE MELISMA QUARTET
We are very proud to announce the success of the Melisma String Quartet, who scooped the runner-up prize in the finalists concert of the prestigious South East Schools Chamber Music Competition. The SESCMC was founded by Harrow School, North London Collegiate and Wycombe Abbey over ten years ago in order to inspire and promote chamber music playing in schools.
The Melisma Quartet in rehearsal
This is the first time our four talented string players - Tehya D (Year 13, violin 1), Jodi-Faye H (Year 12, violin 2), Nana W (Year 9, viola) and Kalli Z (Year 8, cello) – have entered this competition, and it was unanimously agreed that they did a fantastic job of interpreting their chosen piece, LW Beethoven’s String Quartet Op.18, No. 1 in F, 1st Mvt, with real flair and musicality. They played with fluency, stylistic awareness and a fine ability to communicate with their instruments the conversation between their parts, placing them only just second behind the winners in the Senior category of the competition – the Piano Trio from Dame Alice Owen’s, who interpreted Martinu’s Madrigal Sonata, 2nd mvt, with great artistry and superb technical command.
They were competing as Seniors, but in fact had by far the youngest average age of any ensemble in their category. The competition was very strong from the outset, and the Melisma Quartet had to pass through a preliminary round to win a place in the finalists’ concert, which this year was held in the sumptuous St Georges’ Church, Hanover Square, London.
Just under 50 ensembles from around a dozen schools competed in the prelims, including wind groups, piano trios, string quartets, quintets and octets. In the finalists concert (Senior category), the Melismas were in the company of equally gifted and talented players and ensembles from schools with long and established musical traditions and reputations, such as St Paul’s, Harrow, Wycombe Abbey, and University College School (to name but a few).
It was an amazing evening – a three-hour long concert featuring some of the best chamber music-making by some of the most gifted young musicians in the country. Tehya, Jodi, Nana and Kalli flew the flag high for Queenswood and they certainly delivered on the night!
Garfield Jackson (the head judge for the evening, and viola player with the world renowned Endelion String Quartet) and Michael Dussek (assistant judge and fellow of the Royal Academy of Music) were extremely impressed with the high level of performance and the interpretation of the ensembles that made it through to the finals, with some of them displaying incredible nuance, technical command and tonal colours and showing real maturity through their interpretation and deep understanding of how the individual parts fit together, enabling the players to musically communicate with each other.
All in all, a fabulous venture and a wonderful achievement by our four pupils. We’re so proud of them!