“Vida sparkled with vitality and spontaneity, weaving a rich tapestry of colour and breathtaking range of dynamics and percussive effects that held the audience spellbound . . . the visual interplay between them enhancing an already superb performance. These are outstanding musicians, if you can, go hear them play.” —Acoustic Magazine
“Vida conjure up an orchestral palette of colour and effects . . .they play with technical brilliance and precise ensemble, creating alternately smoky and glittering colours in Fallaʼs El amor brujo that suit the gypsy heart of the music so well.” —Classic FM
“Their range of timbres and colouration is so broad that one really does forget that there are four identical instruments. Their dynamic control, which ranges from an almost inaudible pianissimo to ranging fortissimos, is impressive.The Vida Guitar Quartetʼs ensemble throughout is exemplary and seemingly achieved with ease . . . their blending of tone is remarkably unified. The recording is well balanced and natural, with a warm tone quality and intimate clarity. This is a thoroughly enjoyable disc.” —International Record Review
“A crossover Fab Four . . . the Vida Guitar Quartet played Sunday’s concert in Miami Shores 50 years to the day from when the Beatles were unveiled to the American public on The Ed Sullivan Show . . . the electrifying Vida Quartet gave them a run for their money . . . The capacity audience took every opportunity to praise the quartet—standing, shouting, and clapping with gusto.”
—The South Florida Classical Review
Founded in 2007, the VIDA Guitar Quartet brings together four of the UK’s most exceptional guitarists: Christopher Stell, Mark Eden (the renowned Eden Stell Duo), Amanda Cook, and Mark Ashford. The VIDA Guitar Quartet has appeared on some of North America’s and Europe's most prestigious stages for classical guitar, including, in the USA, the 2015 Guitar Federation of America (GFA) Annual Conference, the 92nd Street Y in New York City, Cornell University Concert Series, Atlanta’s Spivey Hall, Washington DC's Dumbarton Concerts, the Winter Park (FL) Bach Festival, University of New Orleans, the Long Island Guitar Festival and the Allegro Guitar Series in Dallas, Fort Worth, and Las Vegas. In the UK they have appeared at London's Purcell Room and Kingʼs Place, The Sage (Gateshead), Turner Sims (Southampton), and St Georgeʼs (Bristol). 2015-16 tours brought VIDA to over 20 U.S. cities.
Renowned as educators and for their innovative outreach, VIDA is closely involved with the world’s largest youth guitar education program (200+ students each summer) in the UK, and were Artists-in-Residence at Cal State University Monterey Bay’s Summer Arts program in 2012.
They have given masterclasses, workshops, school concerts, and other outreach activities in connection with nearly every public concert they have performed, and have multi-day residencies coming up in Tallahassee, FL and Hobbs, NM, among other U.S. cities and towns.
Following on from their acclaimed début CD, “Love, the Magician,” VIDA released their second CD, “Rhapsody,” in 2013, featuring works by George Gershwin, Malcolm Arnold and Adam Gorb. Their latest CD, released in 2015, is "The Leaves be Green," with works by British composers including Benjamin Britten, Vaughan Williams, Elgar and more.
Christopher Stell, Mark Eden and Mark Ashford play guitars made by Christopher Dean. Amanda Cook’s guitar was made by Bert Kwakkel. VIDA are D’Addario Strings classical artists.
PRAISE FROM PRESENTERS
"It went absolutely wonderfully – Vida is such a joy to work with. Super professional, really top notch. They were fabulous giving feedback at our small masterclass, were lovely and chatty with the meet and greet, and then performed a beautiful concert. The audience leapt to its feet at the end! Many audience members thanked me for programming it!
A wonderful evening,"
Deborah Justice, Manager, Cornell University Concert Series
“The Vida Guitar Quartet musicians . . . worked quite hard with their tight travel schedule and unusually cold Texas weather with the KAMU-FM interview, music class at TAMU, lunch, a second music class with presentations for close to 200 students, rehearsal at the church venue, concert, and following reception to meet people at the concert.
The musicians individually and together as an ensemble were magnificent throughout their visit and exceptional in many ways, such as, for example, calling me in advance to check on updated information, calling after arrival, and thanking the KAMU-FM recording engineer, Rick Howard, for recording their concerts.
The Vida musicians are fine people, fun, affable, and they demonstrated in many ways their dedication to outreach as people and as musicians, such as their engaging remarks to the audience about the music and their demeanor and their subtle but telling gestures during the concert.
Their concert also was magnificent and highly enjoyable by all ages with a generous audience in size and spirit, especially considering the inclement weather and the co-occurring ‘Ten Tenors’ concert at Texas A&M University. A major contribution to our large audience was a majority of the 200 students who enjoyed the musicians' presentations from the two music classes (Music in the Human Experience) and came to the concert in spite of the cold weather. Professor Issac Bustos, the instructor of the two classes and also a professional guitarist, highly lauded, as did many others, the Vida concert and the Vida musicians’ performance.
One of the persons in the audience, a professor of French at Texas A&M University, thought the entire concert was delightful, and he enjoyed also the touch of British farcical humor as part of their encores that reached all in the audience including the youngest members with their parents. Their methods of interaction with the audience was designed to engage the audience in the music, and their methods were demonstrated in this concert to be quite effective. Bravo!”
—William J. Rogers, Community Concerts of Bryan, Texas
“We were all completely taken with VIDA. They are perfectly delightful, both as individuals and as a group. As a presenter I can endorse them unequivocally. They are wonderful to work with on every level, and their performance was fabulous. The music was technically flawless and beautiful to listen to. I would not hesitate to recommend them to any presenter and any venue.
The outreach at East Aiken Elementary was the best one I've seen since I've been with APAG. They had hundreds of kids eating out of their hands. The outreach at N. Augusta High was equally rewarding. They have a natural affinity for young people and get a tremendous response from them.”
Thanks so much.
—Jody Duggan, Aiken (SC) Performing Arts Group
“VIDA did two outreaches while they were here. The first outreach was at North Augusta High School. There were about 110 students present with about 30 of them being guitar students. VIDA did an outstanding job performing, talking and answering questions. The second outreach was at East Aiken School for the Arts. There were about 460 grade school students at the outreach. As you can see from the picture, VIDA involved all of the students. It was a fantastic outreach. VIDA's performance was magnificent. The interaction between VIDA and the students was incredible. After the presentation to the whole school, VIDA spent 45 minutes with 15 guitar students and their guitar teacher. The teacher said that he learned some new approaches to teaching his students.
—Bill Hillan, Educational Outreach Manager, Aiken Performing Arts Group
“I have had great feedback about VIDA. They all think Vida played beautifully but every one comments on how personable, humorous and engaging they are—really drawing in the audience. They were a hit.”
—Connie Zimmer, Director, Dumbarton Concerts, Washington, DC