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Exquisite chamber music...warm and expressive performances.

BBC Music Magazine

Divertimenti performed the varied programme with outstanding colour, verve and daring.

Music at Leamington Hastings

Quintet - Instrumental


  • Ralph de Souza - Violin
  • Rachel Isserlis - Violin
  • Matthew Jones - Viola
  • Sebastian Comberti - Cello
  • Jane Salmon - Cello


Programme 1

Luigi Boccherini – Quintet in C, G310

Niels Gade – Quintet in F Minor

Sally Beamish – Divertimenti (written for Divertimenti for their 40th Anniversary season, 2018-19)

Franz Schubert – String Quintet in C major, D 956

Programme 2

Luigi Cherubini - String Quintet in E Minor

Ethel Smyth – String Quintet in E major, Op 1

Johannes Brahms – String Quintet in F minor Op 34 – Reconstruction by Sebastian Brown (1941) of original instrumentation of Piano Quintet (1862)

Programme 3

Bohuslav Martinů – String Sextet (1932)

Antonín Dvořák – Terzetto

Johannes Brahms - String Sextet No 2 in G major, Op 36


Divertimenti has become widely acclaimed as one of the most exciting and innovative British chamber groups. Established in London in 1978, the core group is a quintet for two cellos. In addition, Divertimenti can expand to sextets and octets, and adapt to perform quintets for two violas and also quartets, trios, duos and solos. This unusual flexibility is supported by energetic and innovative programming.

Schubert's great C major quintet forms the backbone of many programmes, while other exciting and beautiful quintets have been discovered. Divertimenti has a long tradition of breaking new ground with adventurous repertoire, and championing the work of lesser known composers. A serious dedication to twentieth century compositions, together with a particular focus on the rich seam of works by British composers, has enabled the creation of attractive and challenging concerts.

The ensemble enjoyed a highly successful quintet tour of Scotland in 2012, resulting in several immediate re-invitations which formed the kernel of a second tour (this time as a sextet) which took place in March 2014. A further trip to Scotland followed in May 2022. Divertimenti is now offering a new composition composed especially for the ensemble by renowned Scottish composer Sally Beamish (a founder member of Divertimenti), written to celebrate their 40th Anniversary season in 2018-19.

In 2021 Divertimenti welcomed three new members.

Ralph de Souza, late of the Endellion Quartet, has taken over as leader, whilst Matthew Jones has taken the viola seat. Cellist Jane Salmon, from the Schubert Ensemble completes the new line-up to take the group forward to a new and exciting chapter.