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The Albion Quartet - Musical friendships

Hear great classical music performed by outstanding musicians of international repute.

Listen to pre-concert talks by critic and musicologist, Richard Wigmore.

Mingle with the musicians as well as like-minded fellow music lovers.

Stay in The Castle Hotel, an award-winning, family-run hotel in Taunton. 

Martin Randall Festival staff are in attendance to help these events run smoothly and enjoyably.

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  • The Albion Quartet ©Steve Gullick.
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The Albion Quartet brings together four of the UK’s exceptional young string players: Tamsin Waley-Cohen and Emma Parker (violin), Ann Beilby (viola), and Nathaniel Boyd (cello).

Since forming in 2016, the Albion Quartet has enjoyed numerous competition successes including awards from the Borletti-Buitoni Trust and ECHO Rising Stars. Recent debuts have included the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, the Auditorium du Louvre in Paris, and London’s Wigmore Hall. The Quartet’s thirst for exploring the repertoire of the chamber string quartet genre expresses itself through innovative and eclectic programming. 

The programme is based largely around the theme of friendships. It is well-known that Mozart and Haydn admired each other’s work (Mozart dedicated a number of works to Haydn), and that Haydn was one of Beethoven’s most influential teachers. Beethoven’s work was in turn greatly admired by Schubert even though it is unknown whether the two ever met. Brahms was an early champion of Dvořák’s early work, and was instrumental in the younger composer’s success. All of the above are represented. On Sunday morning, we also hear a short contemporary work by Freya Waley-Cohen – sister of violinist Tamsin.

A central highlight will be a performance of Schubert’s String Quintet, performed on Saturday evening, for which the Quartet will be joined by cellist Hannah Roberts.

Rooms are available for occupancy from 3.00pm on Friday 4th March.


Concert 1

Friday 4th March 2022, 5.30pm

Talk at 5.00pm

Mozart, String Quartet No. 18 in A, K.464
Dvořák, String Quartet No.13 in G, Op.106


Concert 2

Saturday 5th March 2022, 11.00am

Talk at 10.30am

Beethoven, String Quartet No.16 in F, Op.135
Haydn, String Quartet in D, Op.20 No.4, The Sun


Concert 3

Saturday 5th March 2022, 5.30pm

Talk at 5.00pm

Jāzeps Vītols, Intermezzo
Schubert, String Quintet in C, D956 – with Hannah Roberts (cello)


Concert 4

Sunday 6th March 2022, 11.00am

Talk at 10.30am

Freya Waley-Cohen, Snap Dragon
Haydn, String Quartet in F minor, Op.20 No.5
Brahms, String Quartet No.3 in B flat, Op.67


The final concert ends at c. 12.30pm.



Rooms for two sharing, per person:

Double or twin room: £880
Garden or Castle Room: £1,070 

Single occupancy:

Single-bedded: £880
Double for sole use: £990



Four concerts and pre-concert talks, accommodation for two nights, breakfasts, two afternoon teas, two dinners, interval drinks, programme, tips for hotel staff.


Extra nights

Please contact us for a quote to book nights immediately before or at the end of the weekend.


Group size

Maximum 68 resident participants. Tickets to individual concerts (without accommodation or meals) are limited to a further 15 seats per concert. (Total capacity: 83 people per concert.)


Concerts only

A limited amount of tickets to individual concerts are available to purchase for £25 (mornings) and £30 (evenings) directly from The Castle Hotel. Please visit their website to book these or call their Events team on 01823 273 671.



The Castle Hotel, Taunton is renowned for its excellent service, for comforts traditional and modern, and for its superb catering. It has been owned and run by the Chapman family for over 60 years. Chamber music events have been held here since 1977, and Martin Randall Travel took over the running of them in 2003. 

The hotel’s bedrooms are individually and charmingly decorated. Doubles and twins are mainly of a good size, and the largest – the Garden Rooms – overlook the garden. There is no single-occupancy supplement for the rooms with single beds. The majority of rooms have a bath with a shower fitment.

The hotel has a lift, though some bedrooms are then accessed via stairs. The Music Room is on a mezzanine level, up a flight of stairs from the lobby.

Taunton lies on the doorstep of Exmoor and the Quantocks, areas with some of the loveliest countryside in England.

Map for Taunton.

'The Castle Hotel was, as ever, most welcoming and comfortable. The Covid health and safety rules for the hotel were sensible and easy to follow and we felt at ease and relaxed for the whole of our stay.'

'Charming, helpful, cheerful staff. Afternoon tea was, as ever, a highlight!'

'A good diverse programme of chamber music brilliantly performed, with some very familiar and favourite pieces as well as some that were new to us.'