On 8th July a Blue Plaque was unveiled at St John’s ARC in Old Harlow to celebrate the Alberni String Quartet.
The Alberni became the resident quartet in Harlow in 1963 following an invitation from the Harlow Music Association and with funding from the then Harlow Urban District Council. They had a huge impact on Harlow as part of a vibrant musical scene.
They and their partners taught many people, several of whom became professional musicians and others teachers and performers. Their performances gave inspiration and pleasure to many. They performed and received acclaim all over the world, enhancing Harlow’s reputation and musical prestige.
The unveiling was attended by over 60 guests, including five members of the Alberni and many involved with music in Harlow.
The plaque is the tenth in our programme of plaques celebrating the achievements of Harlow people – it is the first for a group rather than an individual. The plaque was first suggested by our committee member Barbara Burge who has shown great determination to see the project through to its successful conclusion. Many thanks to all those who made donations to fund the plaque.
The ARC is a perfect site for the plaque, where the Alberni performed many times over nearly thirty years.
The ARC organised the special celebration event that followed the unveiling; this was concluded with a concert by the ASAKA string quartet from the Royal Academy of Music. Special thanks go to Marlies Heinecke and the ARC for all their preparation work, including an excellent exhibition about the Alberni and other musical activities in Harlow. A hugely successful celebration of a wonderful group of musicians who have given so much to Harlow.
You can see the report on Your Harlow with videos of the unveiling and an interview with Alberni members Peter Pople and Gregory Baron here: