Music Durham is delighted to announce the appointment of the Frankland Quartet as the University’s first Quartet-in-Residence.

The Frankland Quartet (Sophie Appleton, Sarah Roberts violin, James Slater viola, Daniel Hammersley cello) is formed of four of the UK’s most experienced chamber musicians now living in the North East. Recent appearances together have included Haydn and Beethoven quartets on BBC Radio 3’s Music Matters and concerts at Sage Gateshead.

The Quartet will coach Durham University students in solo, chamber and orchestral music as well as giving regular performances.

The Frankland Quartet was formed In 2017 by four of the North East’s leading chamber musicians. Their Beethoven concerts last year were widely acclaimed and they performed Haydn and Beethoven on BBC Radio 3 as part of the ‘free thinking’ festival in 2018. They were also wired up and had their heart beats and pulses monitored as part of an international study connected to Durham University’s ‘Interpersonal Entrainment in music performance’. The findings were presented on BBC Radio 3’s Music Matters last year. They also played as part of the main series concerts in Sage Gateshead.

Sophie Appleton, the Frankland’s first violin, said, ‘It’s a privilege to be invited to take on such a wide-ranging and exciting role across the University. Durham has a fantastic range of student music-making and we are really looking forward to working with these talented young musicians and enhancing what they are able to achieve.’


The Frankland Quartet are coaching sectionals for our Classical Ensemble, DUOS Symphony and Chamber Orchestra on Wednesday 13th November!

Sophie Appleton, Violin

A prolific chamber musician who has spent some of her career working in contemporary music as part of the successful group Kurbis, and some as an orchestral musician playing in London in orchestras such as the Philharmonia, Academy of St Martins in the Field and the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House amongst many others. She is now a member of the Royal Northern Sinfonia and lives in Durham with husband and her two children.

Sarah Roberts, Violin

Sarah is an in-demand and celebrated chamber musician who’s career has taken her around the world. Sarah is a long time member of the first violin section of the Royal Northern Sinfonia. She lives in Allendale with her husband and family.

James Slater, Viola

James hails from the West Country and now lives in Gateshead with his family. He is much sought after as a chamber musician and as a principal viola orchestrally.

Daniel Hammersley, Cello

Is formerly a member of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London and now lives in Tynemouth where he enjoys surfing and practising his cello. He is in great demand as a cellist and balances his position at Royal Northern Sinfonia as principal cello, with guest principal of Oslo Philharmonic and many other exciting musical projects nationally.