The Australian String Quartet Showcases Innovative Excellence on the World Stage

Published by: Jeff Smith Creative Consulting | 25-Jan-2024
Anticipation is fast building ahead of the Australian String Quartet’s (ASQ) European engagements which will commence this month in Amsterdam before concluding in Rome in February. The University of Adelaide’s quartet-in-residence will appear by invitation alongside Dr Lou Bennett AM at the world’s largest celebration of the string quartet artform—the String Quartet Biennale Amsterdam (SQBA). Their European appearances conclude in Italy with a performance at the iconic Quirinale Palace alongside high-profile diplomatic engagements for the Australian Embassy in Rome and the Australian Embassy to the Holy See.
The Australian String Quartet Showcases Innovative Excellence on the World Stage
The ASQ’s performances at the prestigious SQBA will include three unique programs, featuring six works by Australian composers. Further engagements in Amsterdam include a private reception at the Australian Embassy in The Hague, Netherlands, and a national radio broadcast on Dutch radio. The program will also feature the World Premiere of nyilamum– song cycles, a First Nations-led work by Yorta Yorta Dja Dja Wurrung, Dr Lou Bennett AM, co-composed withPaul Stanhope.

To coincide with the ASQ’s time in Amsterdam, the SQBA will also showcase the cutting-edge virtual reality collaboration, Square Circles, in a special arrangement with the festival that will see it on display in the foyer of the main venue, the Muziekgebouw. Square Circles draws upon Kalkadunga man William Barton’s Country, culture and dreaming and has been recognised for its emergent storytelling and breathtaking computer-generated visuals set to Barton’s visceral music. This project was directed by Barton and Stephen King and produced by Adelaide-based Go Patterson Films and Jumpgate VR, and has just signed a global distribution deal with Paris-based Unframed-Collection. Square Circles is an example of the ASQ’s long-standing commitment to digital innovation and collaboration within the creative industries.

For ASQ violinist Francesca Hiew, the opportunity to showcase the rich and diverse evolution of string quartet music from Australia and the Quartet’s penchant for creative collaborations is a major coup.

“It will be an absolute honour to perform at the SQBA in Amsterdam. There is no bigger stage in the world for string quartets to showcase their craft, and we are especially excited to shine the light on Australian composers and the many sounds and stories of our wonderful country. The opportunity to launch the year at the largest celebration of our artform is truly inspirational,” Ms. Hiew said.

According to ASQ Chief Executive Angelina Zucco, the upcoming engagements in Amsterdam and Italy provide a major opportunity for the ASQ to build its international connections made possible through the generous support of Arts South Australia and the Australian Embassy in Rome.

“The invitation to perform in Amsterdam, The Hague and Rome is an exciting step in furthering the ASQ’s outstanding international reputation and Highlighting South Australia as a place for groundbreaking innovation and creative excellence”, Ms. Zucco said.

The ASQ will perform as part of the String Quartet Biennale Amsterdam from 31 January – 2 February 2024. For full program details and ticket information click here.

The ASQ will perform in Rome, Italy, from 4 – 6 February 2024, including a public performance at Quirinale Palace, which will be broadcast live on Radio Italia 3.

Bookings and enquiries can be made online or by phoning 1800 040 444 during business hours. You may also email at any time.

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