Skip to content

About us

World-class. Bijou.

Redefining chamber music for the 2020s

Paula and Rachel laughing. Paula is wearing blue-lensed sunglasses and concert blacks, her left hand resting on a red leather bag with a cup of coffee in front of it. Rachel is turned to face Paula, wearing concert blacks and a dark coat, with a light-coloured scarf with irregular coloured stripes. She is holding an open score.

Our story

Established in February 2020 by violinists Rachel Stroud and Paula Muldoon, our mission is to revive the essence of Chamber Music—intimate performances in intimate settings—with a strong community focus. Our primary goal is to cultivate a thriving string quartet scene in Cambridge, catering specifically to the local community.

We embarked on our journey by organising online concerts during the lockdowns of 2020-2021 in support of the Cambridge Green Party. The success of these virtual performances led us to our groundbreaking Notes of Beethoven event, marking the pinnacle of our inaugural season. Subsequently, we hosted a series of concerts at Paula's residence in Girton throughout 2021-2022, and building on this momentum, we proudly launched our first season of public concerts at the Round Church in 2022-23.

Our values

Chamber Music should be captivating, it should be bold. We fearlessly embrace risks in our performances, understanding that it is essential to achieve the highest levels of musicianship and artistry. Traditional string quartets have long been confined to a stage, striving for the flawless precision of a recording, detached from their audience and the intended atmosphere of the music.

Our concerts break that mould. We bring a sense of immediacy to our performances: anticipate being seated just metres away from the Quartet, or perhaps even at the heart of the ensemble! Interaction and participation are at the core of our concerts, whether through inviting you to share your reactions to the music we've played or allowing you to move around the venue and experience different sound balances!

Stephane, Rachel, and Joshua. Stephane is basking in the sunshine leaning against a brick wall, while Rachel and Joshua share a joke.

Our history

// Rachel to add notes about our roots in 18th-C salons, coffee culture (?), etc.

The Players

Each member of Cambridge String Quartet is internationally-recognised in their own right. We have played with world-class period music ensembles, symphony orchestras, pit bands, choirs, and rock bands, in dozens of countries across three continents.

Dr. Rachel Stroud, our Artistic & Creative Director and violin II, is a learned Beethoven authority and has pioneered a new Beethoven Quartet Society for the Friends of Cambridge String Quartet modelled on the groups of Beethoven’s contemporaries who would gather to listen to and discuss his chamber music.

Stephane Crayton

Stefane Crayton

Violin I

Stephane Crayton is a composer and violinist based in Cambridge, UK. His work reassesses various social dynamics of performance, staging dialogues between old traditions and new, invented traditions. He has composed for the CBSO, the Ligeti Quartet, and rites, a musical and theatrical collective he co-founded in 2016 alongside fellow CSQ violinist Rachel Stroud and Zephyr Brüggen, which questions and challenges rituals and conventions of the concert hall. Their most recent project, 3 Dreams, wove music for two violins with lectures and recitations of Dante.

Stephane is currently writing a PhD at King’s College, Cambridge, on the subject of disorder in music: its codification, expression, and relation to its social, physical, and notational histories. He is especially interested in the music and writings of Luciano Berio.

Stephane teaches at the Royal Academy of Music, junior department, as well as supervises for the university here in Cambridge.

In his spare time Stephane writes about William Hogarth, and can be found printing in the dark room.

Rachel Stroud (Violin II)

Rachel Stroud

Violin II

Rachel Stroud is a baroque violinist, and is currently undertaking a Ph.D. in Musicology at King’s College, Cambridge University. After graduating with a first-class degree from Cambridge in 2010, Rachel toured for a year with the European Union Baroque Orchestra before studying at the Royal Conservatory in the Hague with Walter Reiter and Kati Debretzeni.

She now works professionally as a freelance violinist alongside her academic studies, and has performed all over the world in countries ranging from Latvia to Argentina with orchestras such as Music For Awhile, OAE, Brecon Baroque, Ex Cathedra and Les Passions de l’Ame, amongst others. Her research interests include the roles of sociality, agency and objects in performance, and she is currently investigating the relationship between notation and performance in Beethoven’s late string quartets.

Rachel represents the voice of her generation of period performers on the Council of the Academy of Ancient Music, and plays on a baroque violin made by Jonathan Woolston which is on loan to her from Nigel Brown and the Stradivari Trust.

Sam Kennedy

Sam Kennedy


Sam Kennedy is a graduate of Cambridge University and the Royal Northern College of Music studying violin with Howard Davis, Arisa Fujita and the viola with Asdis Valdimarsdottir. After graduating joined the European Union Baroque Orchestra, followed by two years playing with the band Elbow both experiences have helped to form a varied and eclectic career. He has performed with orchestras such as the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, St. Paul's Sinfonia, The Academy of Ancient Music, Florilegium and Charivari Agreable.

He has also performed with the Borromini Quartet as part of York and Brighton’s respective Early Music Festivals and with the Netherlands based Eliot Quartet at the Van Wassanaer competition festival.

Sam’s love of theatre has also taken him into working for cabaret act Graffiti Classics as well as in the orchestra pits of Ghost, Les Miserables and Cinderella.

He owes particular gratitude to Margaret Faultless for her classes in baroque music at the university of Cambridge and to Walter Reiter and Kati Debrezeni’s shared baroque violin class at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague.

Joshua Lynch (Cello)

Joshua Lynch


Recipient of the Freda Dinn and Ida Marbett Award, St James Chamber Music Prize and Prix de musique de chambre Festival Ravel, Joshua Lynch is a passionate devotee of chamber music and has already enjoyed a diverse and creative career. Joshua studied with Emma Ferrand and Gillian Thoday at the Royal Northern College of Music and then continued his studies with Ursula Smith at The Guildhall School of Music and Drama. He also enjoyed mentoring by Peter Cropper, Oliver Wille and Simon Rowland-Jones.

Joshua is the cellist of the Cambridge String Quartet and the Vectis Duo with his duo partner, pianist Sally Birkett. He has enjoyed several European tours as part of the ‘Le Dimore del Quartetto’ and ‘Lincoln Center Stage’ networks alongside performing at the Wigmore Hall, The Crucible (MitR) and St Martin-in-the-Field. Joshua has also enjoyed performing with the LSO and Britten Sinfonia.

Away from performing Joshua is a passionate teacher and holds the position of cello tutor at the Stephen Perse Foundation and is a chamber music tutor at the Junior Guildhall School of Music and Drama. He is also a regular tutor at ProCorda, Aboyne Cello Festival, NLMS Summer School and Cambridge Chamber Academy.

Our culture

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit.

No video selected

Select a video type in the sidebar.

Company news

Read the latest news from our blog, Take a Bow.