String quartet masterpiece

Levon Chilingirian, Ronald Birks, Susie M�sz�ros and Philip De Groote of the Chilingirian Quartet
Levon Chilingirian, Ronald Birks, Susie M�sz�ros and Philip De Groote of the Chilingirian Quartet

SHEFFIELD’S almost year-long festival, A Boy is Born, celebrating Benjamin Britten’s centenary gets underway with a cleverly conceived concert at Firth Hall on Tuesday from the renowned Chilingrian Quartet.

Ex-Lindsay Quartet second violin Ronald Birks has the same chair these days with the Chilingirian who perform one of Britten’s greatest works, the valedictory Third String Quartet.

A 20th century string quartet masterpiece, another follows, Shostakovich’s brooding, autobiographical Eighth – claimed by a close source as his intended epitaph, before Schubert’s No 13, born out dejection, ends proceedings.

Now in its fourth decade, the Chilingirian Quartet is one of the world’s most celebrated and widely-travelled ensembles.

Led by Cyprus-born Levon Chilingirian, it also comprises cellist Philip De Groote and viola player Susie Mészáros.