News & Reviews

Your voice, your choice

22 June 2017    /    News

As we mark our 30th anniversary this year, we thought we’d compile a list of the 30 most popular pieces in our repertoire. We’re keen to know which pieces you’ve most enjoyed hearing us play over the last 30 years and if there’s a reason behind your choice, we’d love...

May-June Madness

22 June 2017    /    News

Since arriving back from our European tour in April, the past two months have been ‘crazy busy’ but thoroughly stimulating and satisfying as well.

Celebrating Canada 150

22 June 2017    /    News

Our Canadian tour is fast approaching with just under a month until we take off for performances in Toronto and at Parry Sound in Ontario. Our first performance is at the Toronto Music Garden, as part of the annual ‘Summer Music in the Garden’ series held on the shores of...

Dangerous Liaisons in intimate settings

22 June 2017    /    News

Tickets went on sale last month for our Dangerous Liaisons tour and we’re thrilled to see the level of interest in the tour, with one concert 60% sold already! After the blood, sweat and tears that goes into preparing for our annual concert tour, there’s nothing better than playing to...

Bravo Brahms!

22 June 2017    /    News

We’re excited to announce that Naxos has recently released the next installment in our Brahms series – this one featuring the 3rd String Quartet alongside the Clarinet Quintet with internationally acclaimed clarinettist (and long-time friend) James Campbell.

Dangerous Liaisons explored on tour

20 April 2017    /    News

This year’s NZSQ national tour in August/September promises a passionate rollercoaster ride as it explores themes of forbidden love in two different programmes, with works by Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Bartók, Janáček, Schumann and Jack Body.

Cacti with the RNZ Ballet

20 April 2017    /    News

In mid-May we return to the stage with the Royal New Zealand Ballet for repeat performances of Cacti by Alexander Ekman. If you experienced this high-energy dance work last year in the RNZB’s Speed of Light tour you’ll want to catch this year’s tour featuring not one but three works...

On tour with Kathryn Stott

20 April 2017    /    News

In May we head off on a Chamber Music New Zealand tour to seven centres around the country with celebrated British pianist Kathryn Stott. We first performed with Kathryn at the Australian Festival of Chamber Music in Townsville in 2007 and were so enamoured of her playing that we invited...

Travel Woes and Concert Highs

20 April 2017    /    News

Best-laid plans… just before our punctual and well-packed departure for Wellington airport to embark upon our long-booked flight to Auckland-Houston-Frankfurt-Amsterdam, our phones buzz with the ominous news of a cancelled first flight.  Fog at Wellington Airport.

Celebrating Matariki

20 April 2017    /    News

This year’s Chamber Music New Zealand celebration of Matariki promises to be “a sensory feast that re-affirms our place in the universe”. We’re proud to be joining taonga pūoro artist Alistair Fraser, Te Reo Māori singer-songwriter Ariana Tikao, and talented young players from Porirua’s Virtuoso Strings Orchestra for a series...

A Festival of Riches to Remember

23 February 2017    /    News

The Adam Chamber Music Festival is a highlight of New Zealand musical life and this year’s superb programme and performances only strengthened that claim.

Intensive and rewarding Summer School

23 February 2017    /    News

The Adam Summer school is a special event; an intensive chamber music course where we eat, sleep, laugh, cry, learn and play music together. This year 27 of us were chosen from around the country and split into 7 chamber music ensembles, each assigned a different masterwork that would occupy...

European Spring tour

23 February 2017    /    News

In April we’re off to the Netherlands, Slovenia and Germany, packing 7 concerts into 11 days on our European Spring tour. While there, we’ll by playing quartets from the standard repertoire by Mozart, Mendelssohn and Janáček, joining violist Gil Sharon for a quintet by Brahms, returning to a work we...

Celebrating our 30th Anniversary in 2017

23 February 2017    /    News

2017 is our 30th anniversary year and throughout the coming months we’ll be sharing with you some of our highlights from the past three decades. We’d love to hear about some of your highlights too, so we're running an audience poll to compile a list of the 30 favourite pieces...

Brahms CD fundraising close to target

22 November 2016    /    News

We’re enormously grateful to everyone who has generously donated to our Brahms recording series. The support has been incredible and means so much to us, not just in covering our costs, but in the knowledge that so many people are right behind this project.

November Touring

22 November 2016    /    News

This month is absolutely jam-packed with international touring and recording sessions. We flew to the US at the start of the month for a series of concerts in the States and Canada, spent four days recording in Toronto last week, and have a few days at home to catch our...

Touring collaborations in 2017

22 November 2016    /    News

With 2016 almost behind us, we’re looking forward to a busy year in 2017, including national tours for Chamber Music New Zealand and the Royal New Zealand Ballet, in addition to our own NZSQ national tour.

2017 Adam Chamber Music Festival Just Around the Corner

22 November 2016    /    News

The biennial Adam Chamber Music Festival is not far off now, bringing with it a feast of chamber music spread over ten glorious days in the delightful surrounds of sunny Nelson. The New Zealand String Quartet plays a major part in this festival both as performers and through the artistic...

Heartland Classics Revisited

09 September 2016    /    News

We’ve recently returned from our 11-centre tour around ‘heartland’ New Zealand and thoroughly enjoyed seeing old friends, meeting new ones and sharing some of our favourite music in some stunning locations.

New home for Christopher’s Classics in Christchurch

09 September 2016    /    News

“Quartet delivers in brilliant new venue” was the headline for the review of our Christopher’s Classics concert in Christchurch, performed last month in the brand new performance venue The Piano. Reviewer Christopher Moore went on to say: “The Piano exudes style and technical expertise, yet it’s still a warmly welcoming space...

Inspiring the next generation

09 September 2016    /    News

Being on the road with our Heartland Classics tour gave us the perfect opportunity to work with children in local communities while en route to our next concert. Giving children the opportunity to experience the joy of live music is vital to us and, for those who already play an...

Chamber Music New Zealand ‘QuintEssence’ tour

07 July 2016    /    News

In September, we’re very much looking forward to joining Grammy-nominated American violist James Dunham for the Chamber Music New Zealand QuintEssence tour. Travelling to 7 centres around New Zealand, the tour highlights masterpieces by Brahms and Mozart, plus a new commission for quartet by New Zealand composer Salina Fisher.

Composer Connections in Heartland Classics

07 July 2016    /    News

We’ve discovered some interesting links between many of the composers and works on our Heartland Classics programme. Read about them below, and scroll down further for Rolf’s personal insight into one of the works the NZSQ will be playing on the upcoming tour: Schubert’s beautiful Quartettsatz.

Hear three of the 19th century’s most important musical works at Pah Homestead

30 May 2016    /    News

The three works we have selected for our concert at Auckland's historic Pah Homestead on Tuesday 7 June at 6pm were some of the most significant in the lives of the composers who wrote them – masters of the 19th century Rachmaninov, Mendelssohn and Smetana.

Scary Music at Featherston Booktown

05 May 2016    /    News

From Friday May 20 to Sunday May 22, the Wairarapa town of Featherston will be the centre of attention for those who sell, buy and collect second-hand and antiquarian books. Featherston is the first New Zealand town to become a member of the International Organisation of Booktowns and their successful inaugural event...

Northern Summer Showcases

05 May 2016    /    News

We’ll soon be heading off on our annual mid-year tour to the UK and North America, with performances this year at seven different summer events in England, America and Canada. Although it will feel strange to be touring for the first time without Doug, we’re very much looking forward to...

Heartland Classics nationwide tour

05 May 2016    /    News

Our annual nationwide tour hits the road a month earlier than usual, with concerts from 31 July – 21 August in 11 centres from Waiheke Island down to Invercargill. As the title suggests, Heartland Classics will mostly take us to the smaller regional centres around the country and will also...

First Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch concerts with new NZSQ line-up

05 May 2016    /    News

Our new 2nd violinist Monique Lapins has arrived and we're excited to start rehearsing with her ahead of a very busy touring season. Wellington and Auckland audiences will have an opportunity to see the new line-up in June.

New second violinist appointed

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.

Youth, music and summer sun

25 February 2016    /    News

Our annual Adam Summer School for Chamber Music is always a hothouse for New Zealand’s young musical talent and, for many, it’s a seminal experience they will carry with them in their future music-making.  Earlier this month, 28 young performers from around the country spent an intense 9 days together...

Recording Requiem for the Fallen

25 February 2016    /    News

Audience members who experienced Requiem for the Fallen in concert described the work as “shattering”, “intensely moving” and “one of the most significant works of NZ composition”. After its premiere in the NZ Festival in 2014, critic John Button referred to it as: “An unforgettable occasion that I hope people...

NZSQ on stage with the Royal New Zealand Ballet

24 February 2016    /    News

It’s not often that members of a string quartet are asked to memorise their scores and become an integral part of a choreographed dance work, but that’s exactly what our quartet players have been preparing to do in advance of four special performances with the Royal New Zealand Ballet in...

Variations old and new with American jazz pianist Uri Caine

24 February 2016    /    News

In March, we’re very much looking forward to joining jazz pianist Uri Caine in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin as part of his ‘Reimagining the Classics’ tour for Chamber Music New Zealand.

Connecting with Children on NZ tour

29 October 2015    /    News

Making connections with children and local communities is one of our highest priorities. As part of this year’s Russian Icons national tour we presented a number of workshops, masterclasses and children’s concerts, including a workshop for Sistema Whangarei - Toi Akorangi with primary school-aged children, thanks to the support of...

Jack Body Cross-Cultural Music Conference

29 October 2015    /    News

The Zhejiang Conservatory of Music will host the Body Music 2015 - Jack Body Cross-Cultural Music Conference from 15th to 17th December 2015 in Hangzhou, China.  As well as celebrating Jack’s considerable contribution to music in both New Zealand and Asia, the conference will explore themes of transcription, cross-culturalism and...

“Top class” response to Russian Icons concerts

25 August 2015    /    News

Well-received Nelson and Blenheim concerts at the weekend have successfully launched our Russian Icons tour. Amongst all the wonderful comments, this is our favourite so far: "My first time to see and hear a Quartet. AWESOME - I could hear every instrument.

Russian Icons concert to support Wanganui gallery effort

25 August 2015    /    News

Our Russian Icons concert in Wanganui tomorrow will be presented as part of the Musicians for the Sarjeant series in support of the fundraising efforts for the iconic Sarjeant Gallery.

Northern summer touring stories

25 August 2015    /    News

Touring brings multiple rewards and our recent journey to the Northern Hemisphere in July was no exception. In the following four accounts, we each take one leg of the journey and share the personal experiences of our concerts in the UK and Canada, as well as our Brahms recording session...

Gareth Farr & Joy Cowley – a 'Scary' combination

25 August 2015    /    News

For composer and percussionist Gareth Farr, collaborating with children’s author Joy Cowley on the new commission Scary Music is a “lifelong dream” fulfilled. “I always wanted to meet her,” he says. “And now I not only get to meet her, but I get to collaborate with her on a great...

Doug Beilman to step down after 26 years

12 August 2015    /    News

After 26 years Doug Beilman, will be stepping down as 2nd violinist at the end of 2015. Doug has contributed to a record 21 years without any change in the ensemble, something few string quartets can match.

All-star alumni celebrate Contest’s 50 years

01 July 2015    /    News

Some of the most successful alumni of Chamber Music New Zealand’s iconic Chamber Music Contest formed the Turnovsky Jubilee Ensemble to perform throughout New Zealand between 2 and 25 June 2015 in celebration of the Contest’s 50th Jubilee.

Extended family of musicians and dancers for Rolf

01 July 2015    /    News

Cellist Rolf Gjelsten spent June touring the country with the Royal New Zealand Ballet and the New Zealand Army band for the season of Salute, and managed to fit in a performance of Dvořák’s Cello Concerto in Auckland with the St. Matthew's Chamber Orchestra.

Adjudicating “true gift” for Helene and Doug

01 July 2015    /    News

For our violinists Helene Pohl and Doug Beilman, June brought some wonderful moments adjudicating for two prestigious music competitions – the 2015 Michael Hill International Violin Competition (Helene) and the 2015 New Zealand Community Trust Chamber Music Contest run by Chamber Music New Zealand (Doug).

Tour of Northern Summer Festivals

01 July 2015    /    News

As you read this, we’ll be in transit to the UK for performances at two of England’s most prestigious arts festivals. First stop is the Cheltenham Festival, where we’ll be performing in the charming Pittville Pump Room, the largest of Cheltenham’s spa buildings, built in the 1820s as part of...

Farewell Jack

12 May 2015    /    News

We were deeply saddened to return from the Canberra Festival on Sunday to the news of the passing of our dear friend Jack Body. The news was all the more poignant as, only the day before, we had given the Australian premiere of his final composition, Cries from the Border,...

Requiem a “triumph”

14 April 2015    /    News

Last month, as part of the 2015 Auckland Arts Festival, we were honoured to perform Ross Harris’s Requiem for the Fallen a third time. We’re delighted that audiences in Wellington, Dunedin and now Auckland have been able to experience this powerful reflection on World War I and the incredible sacrifice...

Science Meets Music

14 April 2015    /    News

Typically we don’t connect Einstein with music. Yet as well as being one of the greatest physicists of all time, Einstein was also a fine amateur pianist and violinist. He maintained that music contributed greatly to his understanding of time and space.

On The Road Again

14 April 2015    /    News

Even before the Composer Connections tour commences, we’ll be back on the road with Chamber Music New Zealand this week. This time it’s to four of our favourite centres - Motueka, Blenheim, Waikanae and Rotorua as part of the 2015 Encompass Season, presented in conjunction with the local chamber music...

Unique Connection Celebrated

14 April 2015    /    News

The connection between composer and performer is unique. We’re excited to be taking part in a Chamber Music New Zealand and SOUNZ initiative during NZ Music Month that celebrates this relationship. In Wellington, Hamilton, Invercargill and Dunedin, with pianist Stephen de Pledge, we'll perform a programme curated by Ross Harris...

Requiem for the Fallen at Auckland Festival

25 February 2015    /    News

Auckland audiences have an opportunity to see the Ross Harris’s acclaimed work Requiem for the Fallen at the upcoming Auckland Arts Festival 2015. This semi-staged, highly dramatic piece was commissioned by the New Zealand String Quartet Trust and Choirs Aotearoa New Zealand Trust with funding from Creative New Zealand to...

Adam Summer School inspires young chamber musicians

25 February 2015    /    News

After a hectic week of performances at the Adam Chamber Music Festival there was no putting our feet up as we plunged immediately into the week-long Adam Summer School for Chamber Music. This was our 21st summer school and over the years 282 students have attended the School, with over...

A grand finale to a grand festival

25 February 2015    /    News

Once again, Gillian and Helene pulled off an outstanding festival of fine music in Nelson, with Adam Chamber Music Festival manager Bob Bickerton calling it the “best ever”.  As artistic directors, NZSQ members Gillian Ansell and Helene Pohl are responsible for choosing the artists and shaping each of the programmes,...

Donald Armstrong to replace Douglas Beilman at Adam Festival

26 January 2015    /    News

Due to an injury to his finger, Second Violinist Douglas Beilman will be unable to play at the upcoming Adam Chamber Music Festival in Nelson. His replacement will be Donald Armstrong, Associate Concertmaster of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, who filled in for First Violinist Helene Pohl when she too...

Requiem returns to the stage

16 December 2014    /    News

Described by critics as “a never-to-be-forgotten experience for all who attended" and “powerfully moving”, the powerful Requiem for the Fallen will feature in the Auckland Arts Festival 2015 programme on 13 March following highly acclaimed performances in the New Zealand Festival and Arts Festival Dunedin this year.

Summer of music in Nelson

16 December 2014    /    News

Now back in New Zealand, attention is turning south to our summer engagements in Nelson at the Adam Chamber Music Festival (29 January – 7 February) and Adam Summer School (7 – 15 February). The Adam Chamber Music Festival is a performance-based international chamber music festival produced in Nelson every...

Special people & places on UK tour

16 December 2014    /    News

It is the people we work with and meet along the way and the concert venues we discover that make touring special. Our recent visit to Sheffield, Leicester, Manchester and Oldham in the UK was no exception.

Leading NZ composers receive awards

16 December 2014    /    News

Our sincere congratulations go to two leading New Zealand composers who have recently received significant recognition for their work. Ross Harris (above left) was made an Arts Foundation Laureate in November and John Psathas (above right) has been awarded a Higher Doctorate from Te Kōkī New Zealand School of Music...

Michael Norris wins SOUNZ Contemporary Award

04 November 2014    /    News

The New Zealand String Quartet warmly congratulates NZ composer Michael Norris on receiving the SOUNZ Contemporary Award at last week’s APRA Silver Scroll Awards. Michael’s winning composition, Inner Phases, was premiered by the New Zealand String Quartet and the Forbidden City Orchestra at the New Zealand Festival in February this year.

World-class chamber music coaching in mid-summer Nelson

16 October 2014    /    News

Music students wanting to participate in the 21st Annual Adam Summer School for Chamber Music from 7 - 15 February, 2015 have until 24 October to apply. The annual Adam Summer School is presented by the New Zealand String Quartet and held in Nelson each February.

New Zealand String Quartet to feature at Arts Festival Dunedin

08 October 2014    /    News

The New Zealand String Quartet is playing a key role at this month’s Arts Festival Dunedin, which takes place 10 – 19 October, 2014. As part of the St Paul’s at One lunchtime concert series we will perform Mendelssohn's popular String Quartet No 1 Op.12 and then the extraordinary Piano...

Salon Series Tour 2014

05 August 2014    /    News

Whether you’re a long-time chamber music lover or just discovering this beautiful form of music, you’ll love our August/September tour Salon Series 2014.

Close connection with audience in the round

22 July 2014    /    News

We’re really looking forward to our Salon Series 2014 tour. The idea behind this is to create an environment along the lines of a musical soiree of old. We’ve chosen a range of venues around New Zealand that we think will help us to connect with our audiences and create...

NZSQ Trust seeks a new manager

17 July 2014    /    News

The New Zealand String Quartet is looking for a new manager to continue to build our reputation and profile in New Zealand and internationally. This is an exciting opportunity to play a critical role in the ongoing success of one of New Zealand’s foremost performing arts groups.

Pupils to perform with New Zealand String Quartet

16 May 2014    /    News

Pupils from two Hawkes Bay schools – Kowhai Special School and Hohepa School – will join forces with New Zealand String Quartet and clarinettist James Campbell on Friday 16 May to perform a special mixed-ability event in Hawkes Bay Opera House in Hastings.

The New Zealand String Quartet Gratefully Acknowledges its sponsors and funders