We are dedicated to bringing the music we play to as wide an audience as possible.


We've worked with some of the Scotland's top outreach programmes, including Music in the Round, Children's Classics Concerts and Live Music Now.



Lecture recitals

Children's workshops

Composition workshops

Storytelling Music

These workshops are aimed at young children between the ages of 5-13, but can be adapted to suit older audiences too.Workshops typically last 30-60 minutes and would involve the performance of several short pieces, and an ensuing discussion of the musical and technical details of the piece (or extract). Children are then invited to engage with their own ideas provoked by the music, to explore the connection between expression and execution, and to experience first-hand the 'conversational' aspect of string quartet playing.

examples of works used:

• Igor Stravinsky, 3 Short Pieces for String Quartet

• Joseph Haydn, extracts from String Quartet in E Flat Op. 64 No. 6

• Thomas Ades, extracts from Arcadiana for String Quartet

• Leo Delibes, Pizzicato Polka (arr. for String Quartet)

Composition workshops could be short in length (from 1 hour), or extend over a period of several days, and involve the quartet working very closely with composers to create new works. Composers are invited to bring material to these workshops, but are expected to be prepared to make detailed changes dependent on their work with the quartet. At the end of the workshop period there would be the opportunity to both hear the work performed by the Maxwell Quartet and/or make a recording of the new piece(s).

Aimed at our youngest age group (under 6 years), Storytelling Music workshops are designed to engage very young children with music-making in an exciting and memorable way. We work with both original material and extracts from our rich and broad string quartet repertoire to create a fun and accessible story, enabling young children to both hear and learn about the string quartet repertoire and instruments whilst being engaged with a clear programme.

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Our Lecture Recitals can be tailored to suit the occasion, but can typically last full recital length (around 1hr 45mins with interval). We perform one or more pieces for string quartet and discuss and explain, with close reference to the music, various key topics in the chosen repertoire. These are usually for an older audience from secondary school students upwards!

examples of lecture topics:

Joseph Haydn and the String Quartet

(includes performance of Quartets from Op. 20, Op. 64 and Op. 76; discussion of 18th century 'topics', structure and cultural context

 • The Amazing Twentieth Century

(includes discussion of the wide range of techniques and styles composers adopted in the second half of the twentieth century; features music by Gyorgy Ligeti, Thomas Ades, Steve Reich, and George Crumb)