Concert Promotions Intern Becky Davies talks to the Sacconi Quartet’s Ben Hancox ahead of their performance at Turner Sims on Wednesday 7 July…
BD: This year marks 20 years since you started performing together – congratulations! How have you evolved during that time?
BH: We know each other extremely well! After all this time, we’ve learned how to work together, when to challenge each other, and also when to support one and other. A balance of this is so important for a chamber group. We’re also still very good friends!
BD: What has been the highlight of your career so far?
BH: It’s hard to pick one moment. Performing in great halls is always a highlight. London’s Wigmore Hall, or the Brahms-Saal in Vienna’s Musikverein for example. Our own festival is always a highlight and something that has grown over the years.
BD: This year was also saw the return of in-person performances at the annual Sacconi Chamber Music Festival, after you were forced to make the festival virtual last year. What was it like performing in front of a live audience again? How does it feel to be responsible for one of the UK’s most prestigious chamber music festivals?
BH: Our festival this year was the first time we’d played to a live audience for a long time. It was very emotional, for us, and for some of our audience. After a forced break, you realise how important it is to have the relationship between performer and audience. I don’t think any of us will ever take performing for granted again.
BD: You also recently released a new CD of Roxanna Panufnik’s chamber works, including your own commission Heartfelt. How would you describe it to somebody who hasn’t listen to it yet?
BH: This is a rainbow of an album. Each work is vividly different and tells a different story. Roxanna’s music had such clear messages and ideas. She understands so well how to write for the quartet, and on this album, we are lucky to be joined by some phenomenal artists.
BD: Finally, before the days of covid, you performed all over the world – where are you most excited to return to, when you get the chance?
BH: Before the world locked down, we were due to tour a lot of it with our Beethoven in the Dark project, where we perform Op 131 from memory, in almost complete darkness. We were due to play in Mexico, Lebanon, Italy. I hope sometime soon we can put those concerts on again.
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