November 2019

Celebrate 400

400 years ago – before the birth of Bach, Vivaldi, or Handel – the renowned instrument-maker Nicolò Amati crafted an exquisite viola in his Italian workshop. Is this marvellous Amati viola now the oldest string instrument in New Zealand? We believe so!

Now played by our violist, Gillian Ansell, we'll give two concerts in Wellington and Paekākāriki in November and December to celebrate this astonishingly rare instrument’s 400 years. Performing works by Mozart, Brahms, Beethoven, Vieuxtemps, and New Zealand composers Jack Body and Salina Fisher, join the NZSQ to experience history in action. After the concert, join us for tea and cake to celebrate this unique occasion.

With a gloriously sweet sound, the Amati viola is a joy for Gillian to play. She explains

"I would love to know everything about its history, who has played it and where, in which European court orchestras – maybe it was involved in the first performance of a Bach cantata, Mozart opera or a Beethoven symphony!"

The Amati viola arrived in New Zealand in 2017 and is generously loaned to Gillian by the Adam Foundation.

“I would love to know everything about its history, who has played it and where, in which European court orchestras... ”

Gillian Ansell, violist


Sat 16 Nov Wellington Philosophy House School of Philosophy, 33 Aro Street, Aro Valley 3:00pm Celebrate 400
Sun 1 Dec Paekākāriki Paekākāriki Memorial Hall, 98 The Parade, Paekākāriki 3:00pm Celebrate 400


Celebrate 400

Mozart String Quartet No. 23 in F Major, K 590, i. Allegro Moderato

Henri Vieuxtemps Capriccio for solo viola

Beethoven String Quartet No. 16 in F Major, Op. 135, i. Allegretto

Salina Fisher, Reflect for solo viola

Brahms String Quartet No. 3, Op. 67, iii. Agitato

Beethoven String Quartet No. 10 in E-flat Major, Op. 74 “Harp”, ii. Adagio ma non troppo

Jack Body Three Transcriptions

Beethoven String Quartet No. 9 in C Major, Op. 59/3, iv. Allegro molto

The New Zealand String Quartet gratefully acknowledges its sponsors and funders