George Smith, 2nd violin
Elliott Perks, viola
Duncan Strachan, cello
The Maxwell Quartet consists of four close friends who grew up playing classical and folk music together in youth orchestras and music schools across Scotland. The group officially began in 2010 at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, where its founding members met as postgraduate students. The very next year, the Quartet was appointed as the Conservatoire's Young Artists in Residence, and selected for Enterprise Music Scotland’s Residency Programme.
In 2014, the line-up changed to include Colin Scobie and Elliott Perks on violin and viola respectively. Since then, the quartet has developed a unique, fresh and genuine voice of its own in the world of chamber music.
They made their debut at London’s Wigmore Hall in 2016, as Park Lane Group artists. In 2017, the Quartet received 1st Prize and Audience Prize at the Trondheim International Chamber Music Competition, and their performances were hailed as "superb storytelling by four great communicators" by The Strad Magazine and as “brilliantly fresh, unexpected and exhilarating” by The Scottish Herald.
Now based across the UK and touring in Europe and the United States regularly, the Quartet’s performances are set apart by the tribute they pay to their Scottish folk music heritage. From 2019-2021, the Quartet is Associate Artists at both the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, and Music at Paxton Festival.
In February 2019, they will broadcast their first BBC Radio 3 Lunchtime Concert.
Always keen to take the possibilities of the string quartet in new directions, the Quartet has worked with musicians including Kari Kriiku, Jonathan Kelly, Benjamin Grosvenor, David Watkin, Anna Meredith, Herman Kolgen, Lunir, and the Danish String Quartet. The Quartet has studied with Hatto Beyerle of the Alban Berg Quartet, and members of the Endellion Quartet.
Their debut CD, featuring Haydn’s Opus 71 quartets alongside their own Scottish traditional music arrangements, is to be released in March 2019 on Linn Records.
The Maxwell Quartet is loaned fine violins from the Harrison Frank Foundation; Elliott plays a viola by J.B Vuillaume, and Duncan a cello by Francesco Ruggieri, on loan from private benefactors.