Element Quartet

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The Element Quartet was a string quartet prominent in British musical life in the 1950s and 1960s. The members were Ernest Element and Sylvia Cleaver (violins), Dorothy Hemming (viola), and Norman Jones (cello). The quartet were the first to perform Schubert's String Quartet No. 2 in C major following restoration of its previously lost score. The performance was broadcast on BBC Radio on 23 December, one of the many broadcasts they made for the BBC from the 1950s to the early 1960s.[1][2]

The Element Quartet was particularly associated with the early string quartets of Robert Simpson. The quartet gave the premières of his first three string quartets; Quartet No.2 is dedicated to the Element Quartet, and Quartet No.3 is dedicated to their violist, Dorothy Hemming.[3]


  • Robert Simpson: String Quartets Nos 1, 2 and 3 (from tapes and acetates in the collection of Robert Simpson, recorded ca. 1953/4). Label: Pearl 0023 (1998).[4]


  1. ^ Brown, Maurice J.E. (1958). Schubert: A Critical Biography, p. 20. MacMillan.
  2. ^ e. g. BBC. Radio Times 1923 - 2009: Reger. (extract from Issue 1650, 24 June 1955, Page 43). Retrieved 26 June 2015.
  3. ^ MacDonald, Malcolm. "Robert Simpson Lecture , Wigmore Hall, 15 March 2000 (reprinted with permission on Music-Web International). Retrieved 26 June 2015.
  4. ^ Moore, David W. (January 1999). "Review: Simpson: Quartets Nos. 1-3 (Element Quartet)". American Record Guide. Retrieved 26 June 2015 (subscription required).

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