Right now, we’re in Vienna, where we’re performing TONIGHT with fellow NZ-based cellist Martin Rummel. It’s our first time performing in this chamber music haven, and the ideal opportunity to pay homage to Viennese composer Franz Schubert with his String Quintet in C Major - not to mention place music by New Zealand composers Jack Body and Ross Harris under the limelight.
While we’re in Vienna, we’ve been meeting with string developers at Thomastik-Infeld, our newest patron, to test some of their strings. Finding a balance of sweetness, brilliance, articulation is all part of the never-ending quest to create the perfect sound palette – from the transcendental notes of Beethoven and the wild dances of Bartok, to the bird calls and mountainous landscapes of New Zealand music – and bring out the best qualities of our instruments. Keep your ears peeled for the results!
Monique tests strings with Thomastik-Infeld's string scientist and Head of String Development, Franz Klanner
We arrived in Europe via the USA, where we performed earlier this month in Oregon as part of the Ashland Series, before workshops and concerts as visiting artists at the University of North Texas. What a great bunch of students we coached!
Workshops at the University of North Texas
In Oregon, we appeared on Jefferson Public Radio to perform live and chat about why we find making music in New Zealand incredibly rewarding. You can still catch our slot online here.
Performing live for Jefferson Public Radio
Our first concert on the European leg of our tour took place in the German city of Göttingen. We performed a programme of Haydn, Jack Body, Bartók and Smetana. In fact, many of you told us this particular Haydn quartet – subtitled ‘How do you do’ – was your favourite work on our National Tour this year.
Rolf chats to the audience about the music in Göttingen
Next week, we'll join pianist Michael Endres in Bavaria for the 100th year of the Sonnealp Festival. Along with the autumnal alpine air, audiences can breathe in wonderful works by Salina Fisher and Ross Harris alongside Beethoven, Mozart, Mendelssohn, Smetana, and more. Gillian will perform Schumann's Märchenbilder on her 400-year-old Amati viola, generously loaned to her from the Adam Foundation. This Romantic work – which translates as Fairy Tales – fits the Festival’s idyllic landscape and historic instrument perfectly.