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The Aestus Quartet

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Since their formation at the Royal Northern College of Music in 2021, the Aestus Quartet have established themselves as a dynamic ensemble that is recognized for their warmth and sensitive musical approach. The name “Aestus” is Latin for sea tide and is inspired by the seaside imagery evoked in the first piece they performed together: Benjamin Britten’s String Quartet No. 2. They are recipients of the Weil Prize for Chamber Music, participants of Chamber Studio UK’s inaugural Hans Keller Forum in 2022-2023, and finalists in the Christopher Rowland Ensemble of the Year Prize among others. They are grateful to have been mentored by international artists including Donald Grant (Elias Quartet), Petr Prause (Talich Quartet), Jeremy Young, Richard Ireland, John Meyerscough (Doric Quartet), and Alasdair Beatson.

This year the quartet both opened and closed the Lake District Summer Music Festival’s Emerging Artist Series. In May 2023 they worked with the festival's artistic director Stephen Threlfall to deliver a series of workshops in schools and community centres in Kendal and Barrow-in-Furness. The Aestus Quartet are passionate about making classical music inclusive and accessible and hold these principles at the core of their purpose as a group. They performed an evening recital for Lymm Chamber Music Festival and led a community workshop for students in Lymm on Mozart’s “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik” that utilised the principles of Dalcroze Eurythmics. They have also participated in outreach work for the music program at the Sandbach School.


This season, the quartet additionally made appearances at Southwell Music Festival, Wrexham Classical Music Festival, the Warrington WACIDOM charity series, and the Royal Northern College of Music Spotlight series. As part of the Hans Keller Forum, the quartet gave a final concert at the West Road Concert Hall, Cambridge and performed in a lecture recital: “Behind the Music: Pre-compositional thought in Benjamin Britten’s Second String Quartet” presented by Nicky Swett.

Leda Mileto, Christopher Karwacinski violin

Beth Willett viola

Clara Hope-Simpson cello

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