BLOCK4 is passionate about sharing the recorder's diverse repertoire with a wide audience, and performs in all types of venues - in recent years the ensemble has been spotted in concert halls, museums, churches, schools, pubs, clubs, and libraries, among many others. In addition to concerts, BLOCK4 leads outreach work throughout the UK and frequently gives workshops for young recorder players, for those new to the instrument, and for both mainstream and SEND schools.
A key part of the quartet's work is collaborating with composers to expand the available repertoire for recorder ensemble. BLOCK4 has worked with numerous composers to date, including Composers-in-Residence at Handel & Hendrix in London, Edwin Hillier and Hunter Coblentz, and the London-based new music collective, 840 - a project which included the UK premiere of Christopher Fox's The Feeling of Remembering in 2015. Last year, BLOCK4 commissioned four new works for children, by Verena Barié, Andrea Guterres, Lillie Harris and Sílvia Lanao Aregay, as part of an online participatory project, Recorder Minis, introducing contemporary recorder music through stories about the jungle.
Alongside a love of contemporary repertoire, BLOCK4 takes an inquisitive approach to Renaissance music, frequently performing little-known works and creating arrangements for recorder quartet. The ensemble uses the full range of renaissance recorders, from soprano to contra-bass, in order to capture the vast number of timbral and dynamic possibilities in consort playing. BLOCK4 plays on a consort made by Adriana Breuknik, as well as a quartet of Paetzold bass recorders made by Kunath.
The quartet's innovative style resulted in them being the 2014 winner of the Royal Overseas League ensemble competition - the first recorder consort to receive this accolade in the competition’s 65 year history - and propelled them to success at the Chesapeake Chamber Music Competition (USA), where they were awarded first prize in 2016. BLOCK4 was a Live Music Now ensemble from 2015 - 2019, as well as the Ensemble-in-Residence for Handel & Hendrix in London between 2016 and 2018.
To date, BLOCK4’s performances have included concerts at prestigious venues including the National Gallery, the Queen Elizabeth Hall, the Wigmore Hall, St. Martin-in-the-Fields, the Brighton Early Music Festival, and the Greenwich International Early Music Festival. International appearances have included the Styriarte festival in Graz in 2014 and 2016, a concert series in Chesapeake, USA, and performances of world premieres at the Is Arti Festival, Lithuania, and Les Goûts Réunis series, Netherlands, in 2018.
Formed in 2012, BLOCK4 is a British-European professional recorder quartet, presenting a dynamic approach to contemporary consort music as well as offering a captivating interpretation of music from the Renaissance and Baroque periods.