The Duke Quartet is an English string quartet that specializes in contemporary and British music. Founded in the late '80s, it made its recording debut on the pop label Factory Records of Manchester. The first Collins Classics release, a collection of works by Samuel Barber, Antonin Dvorák, and Philip Glass, was recognized with a special mention in the Cannes Classical Music Awards. The Duke Quartet continued to record for Collins until it folded; since then the group has recorded for Naxos, Black Box, and Sony BMG. The Duke Quartet works closely with several composers, in particular enjoying a long association with South African composer Kevin Volans. But it has also premiered works by John Tavener, Michael Nyman, Emily Hall, Rolf Hind, Graham Fitkin, and Marc Mellits. The Duke Quartet records extensively backing up musicians in the pop and rock fields, beginning with Morrissey on the album Viva Hate in 1988, but also with the Pretenders (with whom they've toured), the Cranberries, the Corrs, and Blur.
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