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Irvine Arditti (b1953)

Irvine Arditti’s specialism in contemporary music is well known and defines his contribution to present-day violin playing. It is often said that, by commissioning such works and presenting them via attractive programming (often setting a new work alongside a Beethoven quartet, for example), his Arditti Quartet saved the string quartet as a compositional medium in the latter half of the twentieth century, it being considered outmoded by modernist composers.

Arditti’s training was at London’s Royal Academy of Music and it was there that he established his Quartet. Although he would have been well acquainted with traditional repertoire as a student, Arditti’s musical language has become modernist and experimental to the extent that he looks backwards to the Second Viennese School, whereas the majority of artists would approach serialism and later experimental music in the light of several hundred years of tonal composition.




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