Spitalfields Music Festival 2023

Sir James MacMillan’s We Are Collective

Maxwell Quartet and Alasdair Beatson

Friday 7th July, 7:30pm (2023)

Shoreditch Church

Classical and Scottish folk music intertwine around a new work by Sir James MacMillan

PRICE: £32 / £15

“Take note of the Maxwell Quartet – they bring wit, charisma and a sense of adventure to their programmes” The New York Times

Shoreditch’s ancient church, mentioned in the nursery rhyme ‘Oranges and Lemons’, provides a very special backdrop for the English premiere of a new piano quintet – We Are Collective – by acclaimed composer Sir James MacMillan. Its tongue-in-cheek flavour is mixed with wisps and allusions of half-forgotten old Scottish songs – here performed by fellow Scots, the Maxwell Quartet – before a finale infused with jazz and blues references.

The spirit of folk music connects the Maxwell Quartet’s own re-workings of Scottish traditional music and Eleanor Alberga’s joyous and energetic String Quartet no 2, while the programme is completed by Cesar Franck’s ultra-expressive piano quintet.


James MacMillan We Are Collective (English premiere) *
Maxwell Quartet Gather (Folk music from Scotland)
Eleanor Alberga String Quartet No. 2
César Franck Piano Quintet in F minor 

*Co-commissioned by the Haddo Arts, Sound, Cheltenham and Spitalfields Music festivals

Alasdair Beatson  piano
Maxwell Quartet:
Colin Scobie violin
George Smith violin
Elliott Perks viola
Duncan Strachan cello

Duration: 75 minutes


With the friendly support of

and Brian Smith

Piano provided with the support of

Yamaha logo

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Venue information

Shoreditch Church

Shoreditch High Street
E1 6JN
United Kingdom

Underground, Overground & National Rail

Shoreditch High Street Overground (7 mins)
Liverpool Street (12 mins)
Old Street (12 mins)
Walking times are given in brackets.


All of our venues are easy to reach by bus. To plan your quickest route use TFL’s journey planner.


Explore more of the Spitalfields Music Festival Lineup