Gildas Quartet


Venue Great Hall

Running time 90 minutes

Artists Gildas Quartet


£15 - £20 (50% off students & under 18s)

Next date 19th August 7:45 pm

Book online below

About this event

A tremendously rich programme from the youthful Gildas Quartet, to open Harrison Birtwistle’s residency with us this week. Purcell’s Chacony directly inspired the Chaconne variations in Britten’s second quartet, composed to celebrate Purcell’s 250th anniversary in 1945. Harrison Birtwistle – a huge admirer of Henry Purcell – wrote The Tree of Strings for the Arditti Quartet, alternating moments of total stillness with passages of great athleticism and rhythmic energy, recalling his time lived in the Hebrides.

‘Birtwistle’s The Tree of Strings – an evocation of what might have survived of a lost musical culture on the Hebridean island of Raasay – is starting to emerge as one of his finest recent achievements. It seems to reveal more mysteries and beauties with every performance.’ The Guardian


Purcell – Chacony in G minor arr. Britten
Britten – Quartet no.2 in C major Op.36
Harrison Birtwistle – The Tree of Strings


Christoper Jones violin
Gemma Sharples violin
Kay Stephen viola
Anna Menzies cello


Don’t miss:
Birtwistle: Happy Birthday Harry
Harrison Birtwistle introducing Composition Students’ chamber works
Škampa String Quartet
Dartington Festival Orchestra playing Britten and Mozart


The award-winning Gildas Quartet have performed to critical acclaim at major venues including the Bridgewater Hall, Purcell Room, Wigmore Hall, and on BBC Radio 3. Praised for their ‘energy, verve and refreshing approach’, their bold and explorative approach to performance has been recognised by the International Franz Schubert and Modern Music Competition, Graz, where they were first prize winners of the Audience Engagement Award in 2018. The quartet regularly works with composers – including Sir Harrison Birtwistle and Colin Matthews – on performing their works, mixing brand new performances with traditional repertoire. The quartet has given recitals at Two Moors, Oxford Lieder and Kings Lynn festivals, as well as Cheltenham International Festival, and have collaborated with musicians such as the Brodsky Quartet, Nicholas Daniels, Robin Tritschler, Alexander Baillie, and Matthew Barley.

About our Summer Concerts

This concert is part of the Dartington International Summer School & Festival, a month-long musical celebration, encompassing shared music making, learning and listening.

Our extensive public concert series utilises a faculty of internationally renowned and emerging musicians to create a stunning cross-genre programme of over 100 concerts and events. Set against the backdrop of Dartington’s striking medieval Great Hall, the Summer School’s concert series presents the highest levels of performance in a carefully curated collection of classic works and “made for Dartington” exclusives. Full listings for the Summer School concert series can be found here.

If you are interested in taking part in one of Summer School’s music courses, you can find out further details here.

Food and drink

Head up to the Dartington estate early to enjoy our pre-concert food offerings. The Green Table café will be staying open late during the festival, plating up fresh and seasonal local food and drinks. Next to the Great Hall, The White Hart restaurant and bar will be serving a selection of food, along with a broad range of quality drinks and between concert nibbles.

Watch: Trailer

Book now

Select a time below to begin your online booking. You can also contact our Box Office daily, 1–7pm (Please note that during our Summer Concert season (until 24 Aug) extended hours apply: 11am-9pm, Sun-Mon, 1-7pm, Sat)
Phone: 01803 847070 |

Monday 19th August

Visiting Dartington Hall

At our 1,200 acre estate, based in South Devon, there’s plenty to explore – from the natural beauty of the grounds, to our visitor attractions and year-round events programme. You can also make a stay of it with our historic hotel or campsite, and enjoy award-winning food and drink in our cafes and restaurants.


As a member, you’ll feel much more a part of our work, helping us to create a Dartington that is fit for the 21st century and is a model and test-bed for a sustainable society. You'll also get access to a wide range of great benefits, both on our estate and at partners across south Devon.