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The New Zealand String Quartet Farewells Monique Lapins, Welcomes Violinist Peter Clark

We have some bittersweet news to share with you. Our wonderful second violinist, Monique Lapins, will leave the NZSQ in June of this year. After eight years with us, she is heading off to pursue other artistic endeavors in this next stage of her career.

Monique is heading off on the next leg of her musical journey.

Monique has brought boundless energy, skill, and pizzazz to the Quartet, and she has made a significant contribution to the musical landscape of Aotearoa and beyond. We are grateful for her dedication to the NZSQ, and to her role as a teacher at the New Zealand School of Music – Te Kōkī. We will miss her dearly.

Monique Lapins, violinist
“The New Zealand String Quartet has been my musical family for the past eight years, and I reflect on this time with a true sense of pride and gratitude. I want to thank you sincerely Helene, Gillian and Rolf, for the exciting performances, musical inspiration, friendship, and the truly genuine and heartfelt music-making together. Our many exciting concerts and enthusiastic audience responses have left an indelible mark that I won’t forget.
I have been rewarded and feel privileged having played a part in mentoring and teaching music students at the New Zealand School of Music - Te Kōkī, and at the Adam Summer School. I leave with many wonderful memories of witnessing young musicians growing in strength and confidence. 
While I’m very excited for the next phase of my musical life, I feel a true sense of appreciation to have been a part of the NZSQ and will be cheering on the quartet in their next chapter.” - Monique Lapins

A warm welcome to Peter Clark.

As this chapter draws to a close, another one begins with the newest addition to the NZSQ whānau: Peter Clark. Peter brings a wealth of experience to the Quartet, having previously held the role of Principal Violin of Australia’s Omega Ensemble, and first violinist of the Australian Chamber Orchestra’s Inspire Quartet. He has performed on prestigious stages worldwide including Los Angeles’ Walt Disney Hall, the Sydney Opera House, and New York’s Carnegie Hall. Peter has held the role of Concertmaster with renowned companies including New Zealand Opera, Victorian Opera, and Sydney Chamber Opera, and has garnered international acclaim for his leadership and virtuosity.

Peter is a committed advocate for the importance of music in society. This dedication has led him to perform in more than 130 regional towns and cities across Australia, as well as to develop a beloved music program at Melbourne’s Royal Children’s Hospital. His research on social innovation and cohesion through music is generously supported by Judith Neilson AM, the General Sir John Monash Foundation, and the American Australian Association.

Peter has recently permanently relocated to Wellington to join his fiancée, NZSO Assistant Principal Second Violin, Jessica Oddie.

Peter Clark, violinist
"My appointment to the New Zealand String Quartet is, for me, a dream come true. The world of chamber music is something truly special and unique, and to join such an esteemed and beloved ensemble as the NZSQ is something I truly value and cherish.
To Monique: we’ve known each other our whole adult lives, and it is an honour to continue the legacy of your incredible energy and deep passion for music.
To my fiancée, Jessica Oddie: we have lived in so many different places around the world for our entire relationship, and to join you in Wellington is something that brings me the deepest happiness.
To Helene, Gillian, and Rolf: when we rehearse together, I feel like we’re already lifelong friends. There is a musical spark in each of your eyes, which to me is what makes the NZSQ so truly exciting. I cannot wait to continue our musical conversations on stages all across the world.
To the people of Aotearoa New Zealand: I absolutely cannot wait to start meeting you all, engaging in dialogue about what music means to each of us, and what it can mean for our world, and our collective future.
I am thrilled to be part of the New Zealand String Quartet’s exciting next chapter - it is an honour and a privilege." - Peter Clark

Join us to witness the passing of the baton (or violin)

Audiences will have several opportunities to see the Quartet perform live before Monique’s departure, with a South Island tour and a final concert in Wellington showcasing the current quartet line up in May. This will be followed up on 7 June with a very special event in Wellington to mark the passing of the baton between the two players, celebrating Monique's legacy while welcoming Peter to the Quartet. More information about this final event is to be announced shortly.

“While we are very sad to see Monique go, we are delighted to welcome Peter Clark to the NZSQ,” says General Manager of the New Zealand String Quartet Trust, Aislinn Ryan. “His artistic vision and commitment to community engagement will be an asset to our organisation. We expect the transition between Monique and Peter to be seamless and we look forward to introducing the NZSQ’s new line up to audiences in Aotearoa and abroad later this year.”

The New Zealand String Quartet. From L to R: Rolf Gjelsten (cello), Peter Clark (incoming violin ii), Gillian Ansell (viola), Monique Lapins (outgoing violin ii), Helene Pohl (violin i)

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