Mervyn Burtch was born in Ystrad Mynach, South Wales, in 1929 and taught for many years in various schools. In 1979 he was appointed to the staff of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, becoming Head of the Performance Course in 1985. He retired from full-time teaching at the college in 1990 but continued there, on a part-time basis, until 2000. His output is extensive and varied, ranging from brass band and orchestral music to songs and choral music, with particular interest in opera and chamber music, which includes a series of 16 string quartets. Whilst at the RWCMD, he started a schools’ opera project which involved writing and performing operas, to be performed to audiences of junior school children by students of the college. A series of a dozen or so operas was performed over the years to an estimated audience of over 80,000 schoolchildren. In 1997 he founded Kid’s Op with his librettist Mark Morris, to write and perform full-scale operas to involve adult professional singers alongside children, as both soloists and chorus. This resulted in six operas which have been performed in many venues, from Mexico to the Wexford Festival in Ireland.
Submitted for publication at the suggestion of Sarah Francis, this delightful quartet presents the player with some rhythmic challenges, whilst remaining accessible to younger players.
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