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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.


Sat 16 Nov, 3pm | Philosophy House School of Philosophy, 33 Aro Street, Wellington

Sun 1 Dec, 3pm| Paekākāriki Memorial Hall, 98 The Parade, Paekākāriki


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

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