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25 October 2017 / News
It was wonderful to connect with so many of our Q-notes readers while touring the country on this year’s Dangerous Liaisons tour. After all, the word liaisons is French for connections and, for us, the connections we make with our audiences – though usually not dangerous! - are fundamental to our whole raison d’etre (if you’ll pardon more French!).
The tour theme allowed us to weave together contrasting works that each projected an intensity of passion borne out of a personal love affair, requited or unrequited. For many, the less familiar works by Bartok, Janacek and Jack Body were the standouts, while for others it was the well-known voices of Beethoven, Schumann and Mendelssohn that spoke to them directly. Peter Mechen, writing for Middle C, had this to say in his review:
“…having heard and seen the ensemble perform many times over the years I've come to expect a kind of base-line intensity brought to whatever they play, which invariably makes for thrilling results - here, it seemed to me that Janacek's creative spirit had been spontaneously re-ignited in performance, engulfing us in a veritable tide of raw emotion, which was surely what the composer intended!"
For Rolf, an undoubted highlight was playing accordion in Jack Body’s Saetas:
"In Jack’s Saetas, religious fervor is the driving force - this highly dramatic music is essentially ‘opera for string quartet’, such is the depth and range of expression. Having the accordion on hand for Saetas inspired us to form a klezmer band for our encore, requiring more swapping of instruments, with Gillian on violin, Monique on viola, and Helene on cello, in a rousing version of Ross Harris’s Narish."
Touring gives us the opportunity to interact with children in schools and music programmes around the country and this year we played for a total of 1080 school children at Arrowtown Primary, Wakatipu High School (Queenstown), Ashburton Intermediate, Papatoetoe South School and St Teresa’s School in Featherston. We also performed with, and for, around 150 young string players, almost exclusively from Maori and Pacific Island backgrounds in Northland (Sistema Whangarei), South Auckland (Tironui Music Trust) and Taita, Lower Hutt (Arohanui Strings).
We can’t say thank you enough to all the sponsors and funders who made the tour possible – in particular the Turnovsky Endowment Trust, Nelson Pine, Cloudy Bay Vineyards, the Lion Foundation, Foundation North, the New Zealand Community Trust and, last but not least, Creative New Zealand.
20 December 2017 / NewsEarlier this month we collaborated with the Goethe-Institut in Wellington to present a concert of Beethoven quartets for their subscribers, students and supporters. The Goethe-Institut is Germany’s cultural institute, known worldwide for promoting the study of German language abroad and encouraging international cultural exchange. Read More
20 December 2017 / NewsIt was wonderful to return to China last month to re-connect with colleagues Shen Nalin and Gao Ping, as well as our friends from the Forbidden City Chamber Orchestra, and to perform in some state-of-the-art concerts halls in Hangzhou, Chengdu and Beijing. Gillian sums it up when she says: Read More
20 December 2017 / NewsFrom 10-18 February 2018, Nelson will once again host 30 of the country's top young chamber musicians for eight intensive days of rehearsals, coaching, masterclasses and performances at the Adam Summer School. We're delighted to announce two new tutors who will join the NZSQ this year: Stephen De Pledge and Elke Dunlop. Read More