BIOGRAPHY

The Mēla guitar quartet takes their name from the Sanskrit word for ‘Festival’. Their programs celebrate an engaging and imaginatively wide-ranging program of original pieces for guitar quartet and their own ingenuitive arrangements.

The quartet formed in 2015 as graduates of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the Royal Academy of Music. They quickly became International Guitar Festival Young Artists 2015/16, then Park Lane Group young artists 2018/19 and Royal Over-Seas League chamber music finalists 2019.

The first project for the quartet was a collaborative recording of the guitar chamber works of Stephen Dodgson. Sponsored by the Dodgson Trust, the CD was released with NAXOS in 2017 and features the quartet with soprano Antonia Gentile, flautist Octavia Lamb, violinist Hartmut Richter, cellist Eva Mizerska and the Eden-Stell guitar-duo.

Pluck, Strum, and Hammer the quartet’s second CD, was released in December 2018 and includes an eclectic mix of repertoire showing their versatility with music by Saint-Saëns, Bizet and Milhaud, and more modern offerings from Brubeck/Desmond, Gismonti, Johanson and Assad. The CD takes its name from the work based on music of G.F. Handel and Jimi Hendrix and the cover photograph was taken in Hendrix’s bedroom where Mēla performed the work filmed by the videographers ‘A Fly on the Wall’.

The next project to be released is another CD with NAXOS (date tbc), of the Anthony Burgess Guitar Quartets. The CD includes a premiere recording of his Trois Morceaux Irlandais and his arrangements of Weber’s Oberon Overture and Holst’s Mercury from The Planets.

Notable performances for the quartet have included the Southbank Centre’s Purcell Room, Kings Place Hall One, St. James’ Church Piccadilly, Barbican Centre’s Milton Court, St. George’s Bristol, Westminster Abbey and of course Jimi Hendrix’s bedroom.

In 2019 the quartet embarked on an 8 concert tour of China, including Shanghai Oriental Arts Centre, Changsha concert hall and Tianjin Grand Theatre.

The quartet are enthusiastically adding to the guitar quartet repertoire through their adventurous arrangements of much loved orchestral works and their commissions of new music. My Clock is Broken! by Laura Snowden, Albion on the Road to Hell by Michael Finnissy and Venezuela by Stephen Goss were premiered by the quartet in the Southbank Centre’s Purcell Room in 2019.

During the coronavirus pandemic the quartet gave their first online concert, presented by Hennessy Brown Music. The concert was filmed by specialists PixAudio and the quartet hopes to follow the success of this format with more online concerts of new programs.

Meet The Quartet

Matthew Robinson

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Matthew Robinson performs frequently as a chamber musician and soloist. Since 2008 Matthew has performed in duo with virtuoso Spanish guitarist Eduardo Niebla and has toured throughout  the UK and Europe including the Purcell room and Kings Place, London, and has appeared several times on BBC Radio 3, Radio 6 and RTE television.

In 2011 Matthew performed the Richard Rodney Bennet guitar concerto at the Purcell Room, London, conducted by Ben Gernon. 

As an established Pedagogue Matthew teaches at the Junior Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and is one of the directors of the National Youth Guitar Ensembles. 

George Tarlton

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George Tarlton performs regularly as a soloist, half of the Housden-Tarlton Duo and ¼ of the Mela Guitar Quartet. Most recently George won first prize in the London International Guitar Competition and was a 2019/2020 Eurostrings Artist. Both ensembles have been recipients of multiple awards and prizes including IGF Young Artist Platform, Park Lane Group, Royal Over-Seas League’s String Prize Finalists and 1st Prize winners at the Accera Guitar Festival Ensemble Competition. George has performed multiple times live on BBC Radio 3 and given recitals at Cadogan Hall and Kings Place which he will be returning to in Summer 2021 to support David Russell.

Daniel Bovey

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Daniel Bovey is a member of both the Vickers Bovey Guitar Duo and the Mēla Guitar Quartet. The Vickers Bovey Guitar Duo are the recipients of numerous awards and prizes, including 2nd place in the Guitar Foundation of America's International Chamber Music Competition, Braga Guitar Festival's Chamber Music competition, The Maisie Lewis Young Artists Fund, The Tillett Trust, Park Lane, and the Royal Academy of Music's Club Prize. The duo have performed at Wigmore Hall, The Sage Gateshead, St Martin in the Fields, St James's Piccadilly and St John's Smith Square as well as playing live on BBC Radio 3.

Jiva Housden

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Jiva graduated from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in 2014 and has had a busy freelance career since, including performing with George as the Housden-Tarlton duo, receiving a commission from Errollyn Wallen called "Two Guitars" in 2018, playing mandolin in Operas with soloists such as Marcin Bronikowski (Poland) and Elena Xan (Australia) and performing in many of the top concert halls around the UK. Jiva is also a freelance videographer and has an extensive showreel of classical music projects at Pixaudio.

WHAT PEOPLE SAY

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NAXOS.com

...an exalted level of perfection.

I am sure Dodgson would have lavished praise on the performances.

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Phillip Houghton, Composer

The Mēla quartet play my work Opals with brilliance and  poetry. The music shines and shimmers with sparkling clarity...wonderful music making!

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Sofar Sounds, London

A guitar quartet for the millenial generation.