5 May 2020

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News from lockdown

Dear all,

Hello and hope you’re doing well! The last few weeks have been unusual and certainly trying at times, but I hope that, like us, you’ve all been able to find silver linings and take pleasure in new things.

We were of course devastated to have all of our concerts from mid-March onwards cancelled, and naturally at the moment we have no idea when we will be able to perform again. A lot of our friends and colleagues are concerned about the long-term effect of enforced closure on arts organisations and venues; we are just keeping our fingers crossed that the arts get the support they need and we can pick up where we left off when this is over.


We were grateful that a particularly busy fortnight as a quartet fell just before the lockdown was implemented. We played our final “Lobster Live” in Cambridge, performed for the first time in the beautiful surrounds of Kettle’s Yard, gave masterclasses at Eton College and Kings College Wimbledon and performed with wonderful clarinetist Anthony Friend at Claygate Arts Festival. We gave a fundraiser for Aberystwyth MusicFest and performed for Hay Music Club , as well as perfroming in the beautiful chapel at The Royal Marsden for staff and patients at the hospital. Our last concert was our debut at Conway Hall, where alongisde Brahms and Beethoven we premiered ‘The Blue Windows’ by Camden Reeves, a beautiful work we commissioned last year. You can listen to a short excerpt from the piece below.

We also managed to get a few new shots by the brilliant Dimitri Djuric, included in the video.


Since the lockdown, we’ve kept busy by putting together a very special concert, due to take place on 6th May as part of the University of Liverpool lunchtime concert series. In place of the concert and workshops we should have been doing, we’re giving a livestream concert of solo and ensemble pieces. Amy and Will have both arranged items specially and we’ve been enjoying getting to grips with the technology involved in syncing it all together.

It means so much for us to be able to give this concert – having something to work towards, and connecting through performance to people who appreciate music, is really vital for us at a time when everything else is unfamiliar. If you’d like to watch the concert, the concert will appear HERE at 1pm on 6th May.

We’d love to feel like we’re at the concert together, so please do let us know if you’re enjoying the concert by connecting with us on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter – leave us a comment and give us a like!

There have been other silver linings to having more time at home: the obvious one, which we all constantly crave, is time! We can’t pretend we haven’t enjoyed living life at a slightly slower pace and having time to get stuck into things without the pressure of worrying about learning notes or getting packed for the next concert. It’s been good to exercise more and find time to cook properly every day, as well as doing more mindful practice and pursue a few new hobbies (cycling around the deserted streets of London, making baklava, portrait painting, making up crosswords, fancy dress quizzing, barbering…)


And while we’ve got the time off, we’ve also been making plans for the months and years ahead – we’ve got a couple of exciting ideas in the pipeline, so no doubt we’ll still be keeping ourselves busy even if not with concerts for a while.

One last thing to mention – we’re in the process of setting up the ‘Solem Charitable Fund’ to support the education and commissioning work we do. It’s enormously important to us as a quartet – now more than ever – to inspire future generations and to play a role in shaping the future of classical music in whatever way we can. If you would consider making a donation to this fund and supporting our future projects, please head to our Support page.



Many thanks for reading – best wishes to all and hope you can join us on Wednesday 6th May!

Love, the Solems xx