Wihan Quartet to give celebratory concert at Wigmore Hall

Wihan Quartet to give celebratory concert at Wigmore Hall

Wihan Quartet

The Wihan Quartet look forward to performing at Wigmore Hall in a joint celebration of their 40th anniversary and the 95th birthday of Simon Majaro, author, professor, instrument-maker, philanthropist, and long-time friend of the quartet.

One seldom has an opportunity of celebrating two interrelated events.

The Wihan Quartet are celebrating over 30 years since they gloriously won their way into the British musical world as first prizewinners at the 1991 London International String Quartet Competition. Over these years they developed a huge audience of loyal supporters and friends.

Their concert on 24 June 2024 at the Wigmore Hall will celebrate some of the greatest Czech composers of the past century, featuring works by three great Czech composers, the second quartets of Smetana and Janáček and one of the most played quartets on the world stage, the American Quartet of Antonín Dvořák.

Regarded as one of the leading quartets of the Czech school of performance, the Wihans have a distinguished reputation for their interpretation of this repertoire, which also forms the backbone of their extensive discography.

‘Music is the life of the Czechs’, declared Smetana. The centenary of his death in 1924 was the impetus for establishing the tradition of the Year of Czech Music, which has been commemorated every ten years since then.

By coincidence, we will also be celebrating the 95th birthday of Simon Majaro, a great philanthropist and renaissance man. Simon, together with his dear late wife Pamela, welcomed the Wihan Quartet to London and acted as their patrons and supporters throughout their career in the UK. The Quartet called Simon and Pamela, ‘Our English Parents’.

Some years ago, Simon retired as a Professor at two prestigious Business Schools, in the UK and in Switzerland. During his academic tenure he published many professional books.

Since then, he has recently published Jerusalem’s Doctor of the Poor, a moving memoir about his father, a Russian refugee doctor in Jerusalem. More recently, he brought out his first novel, Who is Mr. Poliakoff? It is a historical thriller, packed full of history, from the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union and the Gulag under Khruschev to secret agents in Israel.  It is full of twists and turns. Not for nothing is it dedicated to John le Carré, who once gave Simon Majaro some interesting advice in a restaurant, when Majaro was thinking of writing a novel about the mysterious Mr. Poliakoff, who sat eating a few tables away. 

Remarkably, Simon Majaro found the time to pursue a third career, his passionate hobby of making string instruments. He has made fifteen instruments (violins, violas and cellos). They have all been played by professional musicians. During the Covid Pandemic, The Wihan Quartet came to Britain without their personal instruments and played on Simon’s instruments at a number of prestigious venues to great acclaim, including The Wigmore Hall. Now, at the age of 95  Simon is making his 16th instrument.

Finally, in 2011, Simon was awarded the MBE for voluntary service to The Cavatina Chamber Music Trust, which has enriched the lives of many children by introducing them to the joys of chamber music.

Do join us at The Wigmore Hall on 24th June for a special double celebration: The Wihan Quartet playing some of the greatest Czech music and the fascinating life of Simon Majaro, author, professor, instrument-maker and philanthropist.

Tickets and full details for this unmissable event may be found by following this link.

Read David Karlin’s in-depth interview with Simon Majaro here.

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