The Spero Quartet was founded in 2020 and brings together three of Ireland’s finest young musicians with Canadian violinist Brigid Leman.
They return for their fourth tour for the National String Quartet Foundation with a programme including one of Haydn’s finest and most popular quartets, his ‘Fifths’ quartet from 1797. Deirdre Gribbin’s fascinating ‘Hearing your genes evolve’ is based on DNA patterns from the 1000 Genomes project and Dvořák’s E flat major quartet is one of his most gorgeous creations, full of melody and Bohemian folk spirit.
The Spero Quartet
Jennifer Murphy, violin
Brigid Leman, violin
Ali Comerford, viola
Yseult Cooper-Stockdale, cello
Haydn – Quartet in D minor Op.76 No.2 ‘Fifths’
Deirdre Gribbin – ‘Hearing your genes evolve’ 
Dvořák – Quartet in E flat Op.51 ‘Slavonic’ 
Jennifer Murphy has performed in the Barbican Centre, London, the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, Toronto, and the National Concert Hall, Ireland, and has had performances aired on BBC Radio (UK) and CBC (Canada). Recent solo engagements include a performance of the Korngold Violin Concerto conducted by Bramwell Tovey in Koerner Hall, Toronto, and Chausson’s Poeme with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, Ireland. Jennifer regularly performs in solo and chamber music recitals in Europe and North America, and has collaborated with David Geringas, Barry Shiffman, Ernst Kovacic, Steven Dann and Marc Ryser. Summer festival performances include the Music by the Sea Festival, the West Cork Chamber Music Festival, Domaine Forget Chamber Music Festival, and the Banff Centre Masterclasses.
Brigid Leman was born in Ottawa, Canada. She studied in San Francisco, Zurich and Weimar and from 2012 to 2019 held a contract position with the Hamburg State Opera in Germany under Simone Young and Kent Nagano. She has played as a regular guest in the Hamburg Symphony, the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra (Hamburg), the State Philharmonic Orchestra of Lübeck and the Århus Symphony in Denmark. In 2020 she moved to Ireland where she often plays in the RTÉ Concert Orchestra and the National Symphony Orchestra.
Ali Comerford is an Irish musician, born and raised in Kilkenny. She completed her Masters in Viola Performance at the Manhattan School of Music in New York after gaining a full scholarship to study with Patinka Kopec. During her time there, she won the Fuchs Chamber Music Prize, and the Hindemith Viola Competition, and also played as principal violist under the baton of Leonard Slatkin. After graduating in 2017, Ali performed as a freelance musician in New York and played as principal violist with The New York Chamber Music Players, The Handel Festival Orchestra and TENYC, with whom she premiered works at Carnegie Hall, all while holding a Fellowship at the International House NY. It was as a music fellow at I-House that Ali became the music advisor to the Rockefeller Family as well as performing for the president of Liberia. Ali then won a position with Lincoln Center Stage and spent time traveling the world as a chamber musician and soloist, most notably to Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Alaska.
Yseult Cooper Stockdale studied in Cork, Dublin and Leipzig and enjoys a versatile career between the UK and Ireland. She has worked with both RTE orchestras, the Irish Chamber Orchestra, Welsh National Opera, Southbank Sinfonia and Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. As chamber musician she has played in groups including the Vanbrugh, the Alberi Piano Trio, Musici Ireland, Crash Ensemble, Ficino Ensemble and London-based Scordatura Collective. She has a keen interest in exploring new music, and has performed over 50 premieres with Kirkos Ensemble.