Philip De Groote, the cellist of the Chilingirian Quartet, has retired after 40 years of performing with the group. The Johannesburg-born De Groote co-founded the ensemble with violinist Levon Chilingirian in 1971. Alongside his chamber music career, De Groote has been active as a soloist and as a teacher at both London’s Royal College of Music and the University of Cape Town.
De Groote’s replacement is British cellist Stephen Orton, who played in the Delmé Quartet for ten years, and has regularly performed quintets and sextets with the Chilingirians. Orton has served as principal cellist of the Academy of St Martin in the Fields since 1985. He has also been principal cellist with the Bournemouth Sinfonietta and the City of London Sinfonia, and has guested as principal with the London Symphony Orchestra and the Philharmonia Orchestra.