“Take note of the Maxwell Quartet – they bring wit, charisma and a sense of adventure to their programmes”
The New York Times
“This music had a mystery, delicacy, and depth that made you want to hear it again instantly”
“A young ensemble whose fresh, unaffected playing marries technical brilliance with an authentically Haydnesque joie de vivre”
1st Prizewinner and Audience Prizewinner at the 9th Trondheim International Chamber Music Competition in 2017, and hailed as “brilliantly fresh, unexpected and exhilarating” by The Scottish Herald, and "superb storytelling by four great communicators" by The Strad Magazine, the Maxwell Quartet is now firmly regarded as one of Britain's finest young string quartets, with a strong connection to their folk music heritage and a commitment to bringing together wide-ranging projects and programmes to expand the string quartet repertoire.
The quartet performs regularly across the UK and abroad, at venues including London’s Wigmore Hall, Purcell Room, Queen’s Hall, Perth Concert Hall. After its success at Trondheim in 2017, the quartet has toured widely across Europe, with performances in France, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Norway, and Portugal, including at Tivoli Concert Hall, Muziekgebouw Amsterdam, Stavanger, Schiermonnikoog, Wonderfeel Festivals, Lammermuir Festival, Fjord Classics, Cheltenham, St Magnus, and many other festivals across Europe.
Passionate about collaborating with musicians and other artforms, the quartet has worked with a global roster of artists and institutions including theatre company Cryptic, installation artists Wintour’s Leap, the Royal Ballet School, soul duo Lunir, folk duo Chris Stout & Catriona MacKay, cinematographer Herman Kolgen, and many more. In addition to a busy concert diary, the quartet regularly feature in broadcasts for BBC Radio 3 and BBC Radio Scotland, as well as regularly giving schools workshops and concerts for children.
The Maxwell Quartet has studied with the Endellion Quartet through a Chamber Studio mentorship programme at King's Place, and privately with Hatto Beyerle, founding member of the Alban Berg Quartet, in Hanover, Germany. Other mentors have included Miguel da Silva (Quatuor Ysaye), Erich Hobarth (Quatuor Mosaiques), Krysztof Chorzelski (Belcea Quartet), Donald Grant (Elias) and Alasdair Tait.
The quartet plays on two fine Italian violins, by Castello and Calcanius, generously loaned to them from the Harrison Frank Foundation; a J.B Vuillaume viola, and a Francesco Ruggieri cello, both on loan from generous benefactors.
Anthony Friend is a clarinettist and concert promoter who founded the Bandstand Chamber Festival in 2020, and has subsequently launched Spotlight Chamber Concerts. He joins the Maxwell String Quartet in a performance of Mozart's Clarinet Quintet on 28 November.
His playing has been praised as “delicious” (The Times) and “energised and raunchy, but not too much” (The Telegraph). Anthony’s chamber music collaborators have included the Allegri, Solem and Maxwell quartets, the Philharmonia Chamber Players quartet, pianists Karim Said, Joseph Havlat and Florian Mitrea, violist Ásdís Valdimarsdóttir, harpist Oliver Wass, double bassist Misha Mullov-Abbado, the Pelléas Ensemble and wind quintets Cavendish Winds and the Magnard Ensemble. As an orchestral musician he has worked with conductors such as Semyon Bychkov, Edward Gardner, Sakari Oramo, Leif Segerstam and Mark Wigglesworth. He regularly freelances with orchestras such as the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and English National Opera, and was a member of Southbank Sinfonia in 2017. He has been broadcast on BBC radio and television and played in major venues in the UK and abroad.
A keen exponent of contemporary and twentieth-century music, he is co-founder of Filthy Lucre, an immersive, mixed-genre new music night which moves from concert to club night. He has played Terry Riley’s In C at King’s Place with Katia and Marielle Labèque, and has worked with groups such as the Hermes Experiment, the Riot Ensemble and Ensemble x.y.
Aside from his performing, he runs the prestigious chamber music series Camerata Musica Cambridge, and writes programme notes for major artists and series such as the Aldeburgh Festival.
Anthony studied at Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge, and then at the Royal Academy of Music with Angela Malsbury, Chris Richards, Lorenzo Iosco and Chi-Yu Mo. He previously studied with David Campbell and Michael Whight. His subsequent studies have been with Patrick Messina in Paris.
Photo: William Marsey (Anthony Friend)