Home / Latest News / PROFILE 2/4 – JOHN MILLS


1. What was your personal motivation for joining the Tippett Quartet?

When Boz asked me to join the quartet I was still at college, though about to leave shortly. I was flattered to be invited to play with a group that was already going places.

I was a member of a couple of college quartets and felt as though we never got the personnel or approach right in those groups. I considered starting my own group before leaving college but when I went to play with the Tippetts it just seemed like a really good fit.

2. What do you see as the key to the Tippett Quartet’s artistic identity?

I think we’ve always gone our own way. We have never shied away from any areas of repertoire, and the breadth of what we have performed gives us experience of many styles of music. We try to approach each work in its own context historically and stylistically. I have always been dissatisfied with groups that develop a sound but have that one sound and approach for everything. I hope that we aspire to have both!

3. Looking at this upcoming season, which concerts are particularly excited about?

I’m thrilled that we are returning to the Janacek quartet No. 2 this autumn, which we’re performing a few times starting next week in Wales at the North Wales International Music Festival. It has always been one of my favourite quartet works and it has been too long since we performed it regularly!

4. This ‘Close To You’ project sounds very exciting! Could you tell us a little more about it, how it came about and how rehearsals and gigs have been going so far?

A few of us are associated with the John Wilson Orchestra and it’s no coincidence that Close To You features Matt Skelton on drums, Howard Mcgill on Sax/clarinet/flute and Matt Ford singing and fronting the show. We all met on JWO concerts and this was a pet project in waiting for Matt Skelton for a long time. He was waiting for a group that would be right for the project and suggested it to us. We got talking and from there, with a lot of work from Matt and Callum Au (who transcribed/arranged everything we’re playing) we finally made it happen last year. We have always admired the work of the Hollywood quartet, their beautiful and clean approach is something we have aspired to. It also fit so well with our ongoing work in the area of Hollwood composers; Herrmann, Rozsa and Korngold are composers we have recorded and performed a lot over the last few years so it’s a sound world that we love.

5. You have just released a new Panufnik / Lutowslaki CD, which has been extremely well reviewed! What do you personally like most about this CD and why?

The Panufnik quartets were such a discovery for me. I always love (re)discovering work by composers who wrote great music that has been neglected. Too often people use that phrase for music that is really second rate, but I believe this set is really of the highest quality writing.



John Mills – violin
Jeremy Isaac – violin
Lydia Lowndes-Northcott – Viola
Bozidar Vukotic – Cello


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