Happy Birthday, Hugh Maguire

FRANK CLIFF Jubilee Hall, Aldeburgh


Jubilee Hall, Aldeburgh

The distinguished career of violinist Hugh Maguire - who was 80 on Saturday - includes leader of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Opera and the Allegri Quartet, but he would probably say the 30 years he has been head of strings at Snape has given him greatest satisfaction.

Some of the ensembles he has coached - the Kamus, Rubens, Promotao, Danel, Navarra and Elias quartets - gathered at Aldeburgh at the weekend for a birthday celebration.

The Kamus quartet began with Mozart's K387, with a reading in which a wide range of dynamics, fast tempi and calculated use of vibrato seemed geared to a “period” performance, and a very polished one too.

The Rubens began with Sofia Gubaidinala's second quartet of 1987 - mesmeric and hauntingly beautiful - and followed with an authoritative performance of Beethoven's opus 135.

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It was a splendid beginning to a joyous celebration.