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Elias String Quartet to Give Free Concert of Works by Beethoven March 14

November 10, 2015

Middlebury’s Performance Is First Stop on Quartet’s Four Week U.S. Tour

Elias String Quartet, photo by Aaron KimballMiddlebury, VT—Middlebury College’s Performing Arts Series will present a free concert by the acclaimed Elias String Quartet on Saturday, March 14 at the Mahaney Center for the Arts. In this third Middlebury appearance, the quartet will present an all Beethoven program, including opuses 95, 131, and 135. The quartet has experienced a meteoric rise in the chamber music universe due to “imaginative, full-blooded playing” (Classic FM Magazine), and “sophisticated phrasing, subtle coloring, and impeccable tuning…” (The Independent).

Elias String Quartet, photo by Benjamin Ealovega

Comprised of violinists Sara Bitlloch and Donald Grant, violist Martin Saving, and cellist Marie Bitlloch, the Elias String Quartet takes its name from Mendelssohn’s oratorio “Elijah,” or “Elias” in its German form. The quartet was formed in 1998 at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, England. Among their many prestigious mentors are the late Dr. Christopher Rowland, the Alban Berg quartet, Hugh Maguire, György Kurtág, Gábor Takács-Nagy (a Takács Quartet founder), Henri Dutilleux, and Rainer Schmidt. The quartet quickly established itself as one of the most intense and vibrant quartets of its generation, and has accumulated accolades at every turn. They were chosen to participate in BBC Radio 3’s prestigious New Generation Artists’ scheme. With the support of a 2010 Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award, the quartet embarked on their Beethoven Project, endeavoring to learn and perform all the Beethoven string quartets, while documenting the journey on the dedicated website

Elias String Quartet, courtesy photo

The quartet made its North American debut in Middlebury in March 2012, to great critical acclaim. On that tour, they also gave a sold-out concert at Carnegie Hall, and earned praise from the Washington Post for “shimmering beauty.” The Philadelphia Inquirer proclaimed, “Few quartets at any stage of their evolution have this much personality.”


The quartet’s concert at Middlebury is made possible by a generous partnership in support of the arts: An eleven year collaboration between the Performing Arts Series and the Institute for Clinical Science and Art funds one or two high-profile string quartet concerts to be presented free of charge each year. This gift to the Middlebury community is made in memory of F. William Sunderman Jr. and Carolyn Reynolds Sunderman. Earlier this season, the Institute funded a concert by the Jupiter String Quartet, which played to a packed house of appreciative listeners.

Elias String Quartet, photo by Aaron Kimball

The Elias String Quartet’s concert will take place on Saturday, March 14, 2015 at 8:00 P.M. in the Concert Hall of the Kevin P. Mahaney ’84 Center for the Arts, on the Middlebury College campus. Associate Professor of Music Larry Hamberlin will offer a pre-concert lecture at 7:00 P.M. in Room 221. Both events are free; no tickets are required. Seating will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. The Mahaney Center for the Arts is located at 72 Porter Field Road in Middlebury, just off Route 30 south. Free parking is available. For more information, call (802) 443-MIDD (6433) or go to

Image credits:

(top right and second from top/center) Elias String Quartet, photo Benjamin Ealovega

(center top) Elias String Quartet, photo Aaron Kimball

(bottom) Elias String Quartet, courtesy of the artists

Mahaney Arts Center
Middlebury College
South Main St./Route 30 South
72 Porter Field Rd.
Middlebury, VT 05753
(802) 443-3168 phone
(802) 443-2834 fax