Shostakovich and Britten

Friendship without words

Brodsky Quartet
Sun 10/10/2021 - 14:30
Music, Classical
Daytime Show, Youngsters (12+)

Ticket prices

€ 25 - check our reductions

The world-famous Brodsky Quartet will soon celebrate its 50th (!) anniversary. As it was founded in 1972, this ensemble witnessed the release of Britten’s and Shostakovich’s later quartets. It’s hard to get closer to the original today.

After Shostakovich’s swansong in the matinee concert, now it’s Britten’s turn: his Third String Quartet. In that quartet, the British composer quietly drifts away, in the end even accompanied by quotes from his last opera, Death in Venice.

Britten’s sober goodbye is balanced by two tormented string quartets by Shostakovich: powerful yet abstract theatre pieces with stories that can only be created in your own imagination.

  • Benjamin Britten, String quartet No. 3 op. 94
  • Dmitri Shostakovitch, String quartet No. 12 op. 133
  • Dmitri Shostakovitch, String quartet No. 13 op. 73


The works are introduced by a short, specially designed documentaries. Testimonies and images will completely immerse you in the fascinating atmosphere in which the works were created. Especially the autobiography of Galina Vishnevskaja, who was a muse for both Britten and Shostakovich in the 60s and 70s, provided inspiration. Video artist Lise Bruyneel took care of the design and Pieter Bergé was responsible for the composition.

Shostakovich and Britten

Benjamin Britten and Dmitri Shostakovich both managed to write music that is completely unique, ground-breaking and accessible. Maybe that was the real reason for their friendship. Even though they didn’t understand each other’s language, they understood each other’s music perfectly. This theme day zooms in on their relationship, with a focus on their incredibly intense later works.


More info

with Krysia Osostowicz (violin), Ian Belton (violin), Paul Cassidy (viola) and Jacqueline Thomas (cello) photo Sarah Cresswell

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