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06 April 2016 / News
We are delighted to announce that Australian violinist Monique Lapins has been appointed as our new second violinist, replacing Douglas Beilman whom we farewelled at the end of 2015 after 26 years with the New Zealand String Quartet.
Monique will take up her position in May, ahead of a concert tour to England, the United States and Canada in June and July.
Monique was one of three exceptional players invited to trial in February and March of this year, following an audition process in 2015. We received a total of 55 applications from around the world, a clear indication of the NZSQ’s strong reputation and high standing in the international chamber music community. Of the 55 applicants, 25 went on to audition in Wellington, Los Angeles or London, and the shortlist of three was drawn from those auditions.
NZSQ Manager Christine Argyle, says it’s not just a question of talent and experience: “All three trialists were of an extremely high calibre. In the end, it comes down to fit. A string quartet is like a family, the relationship is close and can be intense at times, so it’s crucial that the chemistry between the players is right.”
Although still in her 20s, Monique has already gained considerable experience as a professional violinist, having performed extensively in Asia and Europe following her studies at the Australian National Academy of Music under William Hennessy (former member of the Australian String Quartet), and at the Singapore Conservatory of Music under the tutelage of Professor Qian Zhou.
Monique’s love of chamber music began as a teenager and led to her forming her own quartet at the age of 16. She went on to become a finalist with the Duomo Quartet in the 2013 Asia Pacific Chamber Music Competition and in recent years has had multiple invitations from cellist Stephen Isserlis to take part in the Open Chamber Music Seminars in Prussia Cove in the UK. She currently plays in the contemporary music group Ensemble Gô with her partner, marimba player Naoto Segawa.
A former Emerging Artist with the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Monique has toured extensively in collaboration with the Australian Chamber Orchestra Collective, the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra and the Singapore Symphony Orchestra. Most notable recent performances include Bach's Double Violin Concerto as soloist with Olivier Charlier at the "La Folle Journée au Japon" in Tokyo and at HPAC concert hall in Hyogo.
Monique currently plays an 1883 Gand, on loan from the Rin Collection in Singapore. As a member of the New Zealand String Quartet, she will have the use of a Storioni violin kindly loaned by Mr David Craig.
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