Scottish cellist and composer Duncan Strachan enjoys a diverse, groundbreaking career as a chamber musician, primarily as cellist of the Maxwell Quartet, rapidly establishing itself as one of the leading ensembles of its generation.
Since their selection as Enterprise Music Scotland Residency artists in 2011, the quartet has gone on to perform widely across the UK and abroad with recent engagements in France, Denmark and Norway. With the quartet, Duncan has been a Park Lane Group artist, Tunnell Trust award winner, as well as a finalist in the Royal Overseas League Competition, and the Carl Nielsen Chamber music competition. The quartet tours regularly in the UK, with performances at many of the UK's major chamber music venues including Wigmore Hall, Purcell Room, Perth Concert Hall, and the Bridgewater Hall. The quartet has been responsible for commissions and performances of new music by Anna Meredith, Tom Harrold, and Gareth Williams in addition to collaborative projects with Architeq, Cryptic, the Royal Ballet School and cinematographer Herman Kolgen.
Outside of this work, Duncan is active as a soloist, chamber musician and is professor of cello studies at St Mary's Music School, Douglas Academy, and is regularly invited to give classes at institutions including the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Glasgow University, Sheffield's Music in the Round and more.
Duncan is artistic director of the Loch Shiel Festival, and performs regularly with a wide range of chamber ensembles including Red Note, the Kapten trio, and with pianist Simon Smith.
He trained at St Mary's Music School in Edinburgh, St Catherine's College, Oxford, where he studied with Colin Carr, and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, where he studied with Robert Irvine. With the Maxwell Quartet, Duncan studied with the Endellion Quartet through a Chamber Studio residency, and the quartet is currently studying privately in Hannover with Hatto Beyerle, founding member of the Alban Berg Quartet.
As a composer, Duncan's music has been commissioned and performed across the world by leading performers of contemporary music. He is featured on cellist Robert Irvine's 'Songs & Lullabies' 2016 disc on Delphian Records, and has composed music in a wide variety of settings, including his latest project, Concert in a Coire, with violinist George Smith, a site-specific project composed and performed in the Cuillin mountains, in Scotland's Isle of Skye, in 2017. His music has been performed at major festivals across the UK including the Edinburgh Festival, and St Magnus International Festival in Orkney.
Duncan currently plays on a fine modern cello made by Scottish luthier David Rattray in 2017.