FUAIM Friday Lunchtime Concert

The Vanbrugh & Friends

Beethoven String Quintet in C Major Op.29


Keith Pascoe, violin
Marja Gaynor, violin
Simon Aspell, viola
Ed Creedon, viola
Christopher Marwood, cello


Beethoven: String Quintet in C major Op.29

The Vanbrugh and their guests present Beethoven’s Op.29 string quintet, ‘The Storm’. Written in 1801, shortly after his Op.18 string quartets this great and seldom heard work combines his mastery of quartet writing with the expansive richness of texture offered by the addition of a second viola.


Keith Pascoe, violin – Simon Aspell, viola – Christopher Marwood, cello

The Vanbrugh has evolved from the work of the Vanbrugh Quartet which was based in Cork as RTE’s Resident Quartet from 1986 to 2013 and as Artists-in-Residence at University College, Cork from 1990 until the retirement of violinist Gregory Ellis in 2017. Over three decades the quartet gave close to three thousand concerts, presenting the chamber music repertoire to audiences throughout Ireland, Europe, the Americas, and the Far East. Commercial recordings include more than thirty CDs of repertoire ranging from the complete Beethoven quartets to many contemporary Irish works. In 2016 the group was presented with the National Concert Hall’s Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of their contribution to music in Ireland.

Keith Pascoe, Simon Aspell, and Christopher Marwood continue to perform together as the nucleus of the Vanbrugh and are joined by guest artists for performances of a wide range of chamber music repertoire.  For this concert they welcome violinist Marja Gaynor and violist Ed Creedon.

Keith Pascoe, violin

Keith Pascoe was invited to join the Vanbrugh Quartet in 1998 whilst still a London-based musician. He studied violin, piano, chamber music, and conducting at the Royal College of Music under Jaroslav Vanecek, Eileen Reynolds, Aeolian and Amadeus Quartets, and Norman Del Mar. In 1985 he founded the Britten Quartet who became EMI exclusive artists having previously made numerous recordings with other labels, touring the world for ten years. After the Britten Quartet disbanded, it wasn’t long before he heard Ireland’s call…

In Cork he hit the ground running with a hectic national and international schedule, touring for nearly twenty years with the Vanbrugh Quartet. In quieter times he was inspired to take further studies including research into the music of Luigi Boccherini. Several of his critical editions have been published, and he is lecturer in chamber music and violin at TU Dublin.

His solo violin work includes performing cycles of the complete Mozart and Beethoven Sonatas on a tour of Ireland supported by the Arts Council. And as director-violinist of Evlana, an Irish contemporary music group, he continues to work with living Irish composers. As conductor of the Cork Fleischmann Symphony Orchestra for many years, he has conducted and played concertos on numerous occasions.

The renaissance of the Vanbrugh has brought him further inspiration and refocus, opening new possibilities in repertoire, collaborations and artistic challenges.

Marja Gaynor, violin

Marja Gaynor was born in Finland but has been based in Cork since 2005. She was awarded a 1st class honours MA at Cork School of Music, and continued her Baroque violin studies at The Royal Conservatoire of The Hague with Pavlo Beznosiuk.

Marja is a member of the Irish Baroque Orchestra and Camerata Kilkenny. Both ensembles have released much-acclaimed recordings and toured nationally and internationally.  Marja is also a founder member of Giordani Quartet, Ireland’s only chamber group specialising in early Classical repertoire using period instruments.

Outside Ireland Marja works with the Helsinki Baroque Orchestra and other leading European period orchestras, and is increasingly in demand as a leader, soloist and workshop facilitator. She was the Artistic Director of East Cork Early Music Festival 2013-2015, and has also been invited to act as guest curator for the Kaleidoscope Night concert series.

With her various areas of interest and expertise (Baroque, traditional music, and improvisation) Marja is much sought after as an arranger, studio musician and collaborator in all genres. Her proudest project to date was her critically acclaimed arrangement of Purcell’s ‘Dido and Aeneas’ (Cork Opera House), and she also arranged and played the strings of ‘Falling Slowly’ for the movie ‘Once’, Oscar winner for best song in 2008.

Simon Aspell, viola

A graduate of the Royal Academy of Music, London, Simon Aspell is one of Ireland’s leading viola players. Aside of his work with Vanbrugh Quartet, Simon has also had a successful career as an orchestral principal, guesting with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Royal Northern Sinfonia, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, as well as appearing as soloist and recitalist throughout Ireland and the UK. A frequent guest with numerous ensembles, Simon has also joined his colleagues at the RIAM’s chamber group ACE (Academy Chamber Ensemble), performing regularly throughout Ireland. Simon teaches viola and chamber music at MTU Cork School of Music and at the Royal Irish Academy of Music, in Dublin.

Ed Creedon, viola

Ed Creedon enjoys a varied career as a viola player, performing chamber music, in recitals and as an orchestral musician. Recent performances include the National Concert Hall Chamber Music Gathering, tours throughout Ireland with the Lir String Quartet, tours to Finland, France and India with Camerata Ireland as well as solo performances with Camerata Ireland and Barry Douglas.

Chamber music highlights include performances with the Vanbrugh Quartet, as well as appearances with the Ficino Ensemble in Dublin, the Piatti Quartet in the U.K., at the Ortús Festival in Cork, and repeat invitations to the Clandeboye Festival in Belfast and the Killaloe Festival of Chamber Music. For four consecutive summers he took part in the West Cork Chamber Music Festival’s Young Musicians Programme.

Ed comes from Cork and studied with Constantin Zanidache and Simon Aspell at the Cork School of Music.

Christopher Marwood, cello

Christopher Marwood graduated from Cambridge University in 1983 and went on to study at London’s Royal Academy of Music and Conservatorium Maastricht. Cello teachers included Florence Hooton, David Strange, Ralph Kirshbaum, William Pleeth and Radu Aldulescu. His chamber music mentor for several years was Emmanuel Hurwitz.

As cellist of the Vanbrugh Quartet for 32 years, Christopher Marwood enjoyed a busy
career performing throughout Ireland and touring worldwide. He co-founded the West Cork Chamber Music Festival in 1996 and remains director of the Festival’s masterclass programme. He is director of the National String Quartet Foundation, planning and raising funds for more than fifty concerts annually. He teaches at MTU Cork School of Music and at the Royal Irish Academy of Music and continues to perform both as soloist and as chamber musician. His recent CD of works by Boris Tchaikovsky was nominated for the 2019 International Classical Music Awards.


10 Feb 2023


1:10 pm - 2:00 pm


Aula Maxima
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