File F-109-12-7-0-31 - Hampton, Ian: cellist with the Purcell String Quartet

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Hampton, Ian: cellist with the Purcell String Quartet

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  • 1968 (Creation)
    Purcell String Quartet

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The Purcell String Quartet was founded in 1968 by four members of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra: Norman Nelson (violin), Raymond Ovens (violin), Simon Streatfeild (viola), and Ian Hampton (cello). Membership changed over the years as follows:

Violin I
Norman Nelson, founder
Sydney Humphries, from 1979
Marc Destrube, from 1988

Violin II
Raymond Ovens, founder
Frederick Nelson, from 1970
Robert Growcott, from 1976
Joseph Peleg, from 1977
Bryan King, from 1979

Simon Streatfeild, founder
Philippe Etter, from 1969

Ian Hampton, founder
Heather Hay, from 1989

The Purcell String Quartet was the quartet-in-residence at Simon Fraser University from 1972 to 1982. The residency was the first of its kind in western Canada, and was notable for its community and outreach activities, which included workshops and summer schools, "peripatetic concerts" on campus, involvement in dance and theatre events, and contributions to experimental approaches to music in association with R. Murray Schafer. Nini Baird, with the School for the Contemporary Arts, was instrumental in recruiting them after overseeing a successful residency of the Lyric Arts Trio in 1971.

The Purcell String Quartet toured widely across British Columbia and helped to establish music camps in Naramata, Nelson, Courtenay, Vanderhoef, and Victoria. They also played a significant role in founding the Hornby Island Music Festival. Other tours included the USSR in 1980; Cuba, Mexico, and Florida in 1986; Japan in 1987; and France and Great Britain in 1989. Also in 1989, they recorded all of R. Murray Schafer's string quartets for Radio France, and in 1990 played them again with Beauty and the Beast and Theseus in the Seattle Spring Festival.

The Purcell String Quartet remained active as a group until 1991, with their final performance being given at the 1991 Hornby Island Music Festival. Their extensive discography, which helped popularize numerous Canadian string quartet repertoires, remains available and popular today.

Additional information on the Purcell String Quartet can be found on their Canadian Encyclopedia entry:

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  • Archival box - standard: 109-102