top of page



Winners of the prestigious Guitar Foundation of America International Ensemble Competition 2023, the Mela guitar quartet are known for their imaginative, engaging programming, ingenious arrangements and commissioning celebrated original works.


Hailed for their “collective technical brilliance and preternatural ensemble making” - Gramophone, the quartet have released three albums, the complete guitar quartets of composer/author Anthony Burgess, the complete guitar chamber works of Stephen Dodgson, both with Naxos, and the self-released album Pluck, Strum, and Hammer!


Notable performances 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, Soest Germany, 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 will tour America as part of their GFA winners prize in 2025.


The quartet formed in 2015 as graduates of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the Royal Academy of Music. They 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 members Michael Butten and Zahrah Hutton joined founding members Matthew Robinson and George Tarlton in 2023.


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. Laura Snowden, My Clock is Broken! (2019), The Emperor’s New Clothes (2023), Michael Finnissy, Albion on the Road to Hell (2019), Stephen Goss, Venezuela (2019) are pieces commissioned and premiered by the quartet.


“An exalted level of perfection” -

"A Stunning Display of Virtuosity." "Wizardy". "Revelatory music making" - Soundboard 2023 

The Quartet

Matthew Robinson
zahrah headshot2small_edited.jpg
Zahrah Hutton
george headshot small_edited_edited.jpg
George Tarlton
Michael Butten headshot small.jpg
Michael Butten

"The Mela Guitar Quartet play my work 'Opals' with brilliance and poetry . 'Black Opal' and 'White Opal' are electrifying , scintillating , while 'Water Opal' is simply ravishing . Mela play with great spirit , colour , rhythm , articulation and attention to detail . The music shines and shimmers with sparkling clarity ... what's more , they play it from memory and make the piece their own : wonderful music making . Thankyou Mela ! " - Phillip Houghton composer


"Performances throughout evince a real affection and enthusiasm for this distinctive music, the Mela Guitar Quartet’s collective technical brilliance and preternatural ensemble making for a thoroughly enjoyable listening experience." - Gramophone 2023

"I am sure Dodgson would have lavished praise on the performances captured in a recording of an exalted level of perfection.", David’s Review Corner 2017

"I can't help but celebrate one of the most amazing performances of the whole week, that of the winners of the International Ensemble Competition, England's Mela guitar quartet. Their program opened with an impressive performance of Saint-Saen's Bacchanale from Samson and Delilah (who saw that coming?). The last piece listed was the overture from Mikhail Glinka's Opera Ruslan and Lyudmila. When I first saw it, I thought it was sure to be either very slow, or a train wreck. It was neither but instead what one judge described to me later as 'wizardry'. Indeed. A stunning display of virtuosity. I will add that their performance of the first Arabesque by Debussy may have included the most ravishingly beautiful sounds of the entire convention. This was revelatory music making."  Soundboard Magazine Vol. 49 issue 3, Al Kunze 2023

"If one guitar is not enough, try Anthony Burgess: Complete Guitar Quartets (Naxos), played by the Mela Guitar Quartet: novel adventures in sound, with world premiere recordings, by the composer-novelist."

- The Guardian, Fiona Maddocks 2023

bottom of page