To mark the 40th anniversary of Shostakovich's death in 2015, the internationally acclaimed Carducci Quartet embark upon their Shostakovich 15 project. Throughout 2015, they will perform complete cycles of Shostakovich's fifteen string quartets in venues worldwide. February saw the release of a recording of the 4th, 8th and 11th Shostakovich quartets for Signum Classics, which went straight into the Specialist Classical Albums Chart top 10.

The Carducci Quartet will perform the complete Shostakovich String Quartets in England, Wales, Ireland, USA and in South America, where they are the only British string quartet to perform regularly in Colombia. A major highlight of the Carducci Quartet's Shostakovich 15 is the almost unheard of physical and mental challenge of all fifteen quartets in one day, which we believe to be the first time such a musical marathon will have taken place in the UK. This takes place on 9 August 2015, Shostakovich's anniversary, at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, London.

The Quartet's performances of the complete cycles in 2015 include: Cheltenham Festival (27 & 28 June); Colombia (18-23 August); Jubilee Hall, Aldeburgh (26 & 27 September); Cardiff University (4 & 5 October); Cork School of Music (5-8 November); The Phillips Collection, Washington DC (15 & 22 November); Holywell Music Room, Oxford (throughout 2015).

Speaking about the project, Carducci Quartet commented: "As a quartet, we really enjoy playing Shostakovich, and many of our strongest memories of music as students were of Shostakovich. His quartets are compelling, exciting and moving, and of course, you cannot play or hear Shostakovich without thinking about the historical and political context within which he wrote his music. Many of the quartets were very much influenced by his feelings towards the Soviet regime, war and the holocaust and there is an expressive emotional quality about them that really speaks to both performers and listeners, going beyond their passion, drama and even humour. Shostakovich's quartets are certainly one of the most significant contributions to the string quartet repertoire."

The CD of Shostakovich String Quartets numbers 4, 8 and 11 was released by Signum Classics (SIGCD418) on 9 February 2015.

Carducci Quartet will blog about their experiences and discoveries across the year, with key information about performances as well as insights from the musicians at

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