The Butter Quartet consists of four musicians brought together by their mutual love of vibrant historically-informed performance of string quartets. The members are violinists Anna Jane Lester and Chloe Prendergast, violist Isabel Franenberg, and cellist Evan Buttar. They first formed as participants in a course at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague, but soon developed a passion and dynamic that extended beyond their studies. They have been featured in festivals and series internationally, such as the Beethoven Academy at the National Forum for Music in Poland in 2020. They have also appeared on BBC Radio 3 and the Dutch station Radio West.
After competing as finalists in the 2019 York Early Music International Young Artists Competition, they were awarded a place in the prestigious EEEMERGING+ professional development scheme for young European ensembles.
The Butter Quartet enjoys integrating their research on late 18th- and early 19th-century performance practice into powerful live performances. They value a strong connection with their audiences, playing in diverse spaces and speaking during concerts.
In addition to early quartet repertoire, the Butter Quartet is interested in contemporary music, bringing the same spirit of discovery to newly-composed works for historically-setup instruments. In the summer of 2018 they premiered a piece written for them by Rachel Walker entitled Mycelia Whisper Lines.
They have had coachings with renowned musicians and researchers such as Sigiswald Kuijken, Midori Seiler, Kati Debretzeni, Shunske Sato, Claire Holden, and Clive Brown. They have also worked with string quartets Eybler, JACK, and Parker at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity in Canada where they attended the Evolution of the String Quartet program.
The Butter Quartet is a recipient of grants from the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds and the Fonds Podiumkunsten, as well as scholarships from Early Music America and the Adriana Jacoba Fonds. They are a beneficiary of the EEEMERGING+ project supported by Creative Europe.