Formed in 1974 by students at the Royal Academy of Music under the guidance of renowned quartet leader, Sidney Griller, the Coull Quartet rapidly achieved national recognition, and were appointed Quartet-in-Residence by the University of Warwick in 1977, a post which they held for 42 years. The quartet, which includes two founder members, has performed and broadcast extensively throughout the UK, and has made tours of Europe, the Americas, Australia, China, India and the Far East.
Since the mid-1980s the quartet have made over 30 recordings featuring a wide selection of the repertoire closest to their hearts, from the complete Mendelssohn and Schubert quartets to 20th-century and contemporary British chamber music. Their CD of quartets by Maw and Britten on the Somm label has received universal acclaim; in addition to being featured in ‘Editor’s Choice’ in The Gramophone, it was also described as the ‘Benchmark Recording’ by BBC Music Magazine. Their recordings of music by Sibelius and Ian Venables have also received excellent reviews in the major musical publications.
Their impressive and unusual list of commissions includes works by Sally Beamish, Edward Cowie, Joe Cutler, David Matthews, Nicholas Maw, Robert Simpson and Howard Skempton. These include string quartets, quintets with piano or wind player, works with solo voice or choir, and even a piece for quartet and table tennis players!
The Coull Quartet were Quartet-in-Residence at the University of Warwick between 1977 and 2019 and had a wide-ranging role that included: giving annual series of concerts at Warwick Arts Centre, acting as ambassadors for the University both here and abroad, and encouraging the musical activity around the campus alongside the University’s Music Centre.
The Coull Quartet’s New Music 20x12 award for the Cultural Olympiad involved working with the University’s Sports Centre for the first time, and assisting them in welcoming teams from across the world as they visited Warwick to take part in the 2012 Olympic Games football tournament.