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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.
17 August 2018 / NewsIt is with great sadness that we record the passing of NZSQ Trust board member Kitty Hilton in June this year. Kitty was appointed to the board in 2016 but her connection to chamber music and the NZSQ went right back to the music she was surrounded by in her childhood. Read More
17 August 2018 / NewsOne of the great joys of international touring is the opportunity to re-connect and collaborate with colleagues around the world, be they ex-pat New Zealanders or other international artists we’ve met at home or abroad. Read More
17 August 2018 / NewsSchubert’s ‘Trout’ Quintet is, without a doubt, one of the most popular chamber music works of all time – a favourite with performers and audiences alike – but because of its rather unusual instrumentation (piano, violin, viola, cello and double bass) it’s not performed as often as one might expect. Read More