Glens Show of December: The Esposito Quartet

December 1st 2018


The Esposito Quartet comprises four musicians with a
combined bounty of experience as orchestra leaders,
principals, professors, recital and recording artists.
Including Bocherini, Shostakovick, Adams and Grieg.
Mia Cooper and Anna Cashell, violins, Joachim Roewer,
viola, and William Butt, cello.

The Esposito Quartet comprises four musicians with a combined bounty of experience as orchestra leaders, principals, professors, recital and recording artists, whose common love of the quartet treasury drove them in 2010 to ignore it no longer and seek each other out. Their name honours Michele Esposito, pianist and composer, who for forty years from 1888 was the initiator for much of the chamber music making in Dublin through the establishment of The Royal Dublin Society concert series. 

Mia Cooper, violin

Mia Cooper has lived in Dublin since her appointment as leader of the RTE Concert Orchestra in 2006. She previously held principal positions with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and City of London Sinfonia, has appeared as guest leader of many of the UK’s symphony orchestras. Equally at home as a chamber musician, Mia has participated in chamber music festivals, in Ireland, the UK, France, India, and Lithuania.  This year she participated in a Music Network nationwide tour  of a specially created programme for the leaders of Ireland’s main four orchestras.   Mia studied with renowned pedagogue Yossi Zivoni at the Royal Northern College of Music, and continued her training at the Paris Conservatoire.  She teaches violin at the Royal Irish Academy of Music.

Anna Cashell, violin

Chamber music is one of Anna’s passions outside of her work with the Esposito quartet she performs regularly with her husband Simon Watterton in the Cashell-Watterton duo and is also a member of the Irish Chamber Orchestra. This year she has been invited to perform at the Little Venice Chamber Music Festival London, the Highgate International Chamber Music Festival and the National Concert Hall chamber music Gathering.  She has also performed and recorded with the Crash ensemble in America and Dublin.

Anna holds a Masters degree from the Royal College of Music, London where she studied with Itzhak Rashkovsky;  whilst there she was awarded many prizes including the college’s prestigious Mills Williams Junior Fellowship and the Tagore Gold Medal which was presented to her by Prince Charles.  She also won the Raymond Fox Bursary from the UK’s ‘Making Music Society’ and the Serena Neville prize from the Concordia Foundation.  She has given concerts in venues such as the Wigmore Hall, the Forbidden City concert Hall in Beijing and at the Banff Institute of Music in Canada. Anna has performed as a soloist with many orchestras in Ireland and the UK, such as The National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland and Camerata Ireland conducted by Barry Douglas. 

As the 2006 winner of the Heineken Violin Competition Anna was loaned a 19th century violin made by George Chanot for four years.  Anna is very grateful for the generous support given to her from the Arts Council and Music Network through the Music Capital Scheme 2011which enabled her to purchase her violin made by Bernard Simon Fendt.

Joachim Roewer, viola

Born in East Germany, Joachim Roewer graduated from the Hochschule fuer Musik “Franz Liszt” Weimar and the Orchesterakademie of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra.   In 1994 he moved to Ireland to become principal viola with the Irish Chamber Orchestra, a position which he has held ever since.  He has also worked as principal viola with the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland and Camerata Ireland.  On numerous occasions he appeared as soloist with the Irish Chamber Orchestra, recently alongside Anthony Marwood in Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante and in Hector Berlioz’ “Harold in Italy” with the National Youth Orchestra of Ireland.

Since 2006 Joachim Roewer works as Course Director of the international ConCorda Chamber Music Course for Strings, held annually at Kilkenny College.   Joachim Roewer is a passionate teacher and a busy chamber music player, being a member of the recently founded Esposito String Quartet.   He was invited to perform with the Vogler Quartet, the Vanbrugh Quartet, the ConTempo Quartet and was soloist alongside Bruno Guiranna in a performance of Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No.6.    He is Artistic Director of the Killaloe Chamber Music Festival and was guest violist at the 2016 Westport Festival of Chamber Music.   Since 2012 he is a teacher for viola and chamber music at Cork School of Music and the MA course for classical string performance at the World Academy at the University of Limerick.

William Butt, cello

William Butt was born in London. His musical career started early, as a chorister in St.George’s Chapel, Windsor. Later he studied at the Royal Northern College of Music with Moray Welsh and after winning awards and scholarships such as the Royal Society of Arts, Martin Trust and first prize in the Muriel Taylor competition, he furthered his studies with Antonio Lysy in Montreal. He now enjoys a busy career as soloist, chamber musician and is professor of cello at the Royal Irish Academy of Music in Dublin. 

On the concert platform he has performed extensively throughout Ireland, the UK, Europe and the Far East. He is a much admired exponent of the solo repertoire, having performed and broadcast numerous works for this medium by contemporary composers, as well as the formidable solo sonatas by Kodaly and Ligeti and the suites of Bach and Britten. Of his recording of the Britten suites, the Observer wrote: ‘Warner have found a worthy successor to Rostropovich, for whom Britten wrote these three suites… Meticulously played, with the passion and commitment the composer discerned in their dedicatee, these elegant, eloquent pieces could not have been entrusted to a safer pair of hands’

He has performed and broadcast all the major concerti, in 1997 he gave the Irish premiere of the Walton concerto with the National Symphony Orchestra, in 2001 the Dvorak concerto with the NSO and 2003 a tour of the Schumann concerto with the NSO. As well as a performance of the Protecting Veil by John Tavener with the Hibernian Orchestra he undertook a series at the National Concert Hall in Dublin in 2004 with the orchestra of St Cecilia and Barry Douglas in which he played the Dvorak, Elgar, Shostakovich (No 1), Tchaikovsky Rococo variations, and both Haydn concerti in three concerts over a two week period. He has also performed and broadcast the cello concerto by Victor Herbert with the Ulster orchestra.

He plays on a fine cello made by Giovanni Grancino in Milan (1690).