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Some of the incredibly talented string players from our 2018 programme play first fiddle in our new playlist.


Scottish violin superstar Nicola Benedetti opens The Queen's Hall concert series on 4 August with a programme of Vivaldi and Telemann, performed together with the Academy of Ancient Music. On 25 August, Benedetti joins the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra conducted by Marin Alsop, for the celebrations of Berstein's birth centenary.

Presenting diverse programmes in their morning recitals, is charismatic Russian-born violinist Viktoria Mullova joined by pianist Katia Labèque on 8 August; and Canadian violinist James Ehnes with Scottish pianist Steven Osborne on 23 August. At the Usher Hall on 20 August, you can also hear the remarkable young US violinist Simone Porter (and a former Colburn student) joining Colburn Orchestra for Barber's tender Violin Concerto.

Cellists and violists

BBC Young Musician 2016 winner, Sheku Kanneh-Mason, will make his International Festival debut on Friday 17 August with a performance of Elgar’s Cello Concerto with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. For more cello, come to The Queen's Hall on 14 August when French cellist Jean-Guihen Queryas with Russian pianist Alexander Melnikov will play works from Beethoven, Chopin and Rachmaninov.

If you want to indulge in the sound of viola, on 17 August Norwegian violist Eivind Ringstad, winner of the Eurovision Young Musicians 2012 contest, with pianist David Meier play a morning recital at The Queen's Hall.

String ensembles

Do you love the sound of several string instruments in action? Treat yourself to recitals from some of the world's most exciting ensembles, including Philadelphia-based Dover Quartet, extraordinary Czech foursome Pavel Haas Quartet, and the soloists if the Berliner Philharmoniker joining pianist Christian Blackshaw.

And of course, there's so many talented string players in the ensembles and orchestras coming to the International Festival, from the Grit Orchestra playing Martyn Bennett's 'Bothy Culture', to Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra playing Strauss and Prokofiev, and many, many more...

Now press play to hear a sample of skills of some of the string players highlighted in this blog: