Acacia Quartet’s ‘Testament’ Ranges From The Classical To The Contemporary

Acacia Quartet

Acacia Quartet

Acacia Quartet presents Testament, a spectacular concert that ranges from the classical to the contemporary via the impressionistic.  Testament features a searing work of the same name by Lebanese-Armenian composer Tigran Mansurian as well as string quartet by Mozart, Debussy and celebrated young Australian composer Alice Chance.

Mansurian’s piece is a five-minute Lento, written in 2004 as a tribute to ECM Records founder and producer Manfred Eicher. Mansurian’s music has a mystically suggestive power built on a combination of ancient and modern elements and this piece has the quality of a medieval lament.

Twenty-five-year-old Alice Chance is one of Australia’s fastest-emerging composers and her work has been featured – often commissioned – by Australia’s major orchestras and ensembles. Describing herself as synaesthesic  – possessing the rare ability to conceptualise music in colours and textures – her Sundried String Quartet presents the intriguing idea of music gradually drying, burning, fermenting and wrinkling in the sun.

Debussy’s String Quartet, written in 1893, has become one of the most beloved pieces in the string quartet repertoire. With its wide palette of textures and timbres, it presented a new music of colour, sensation, rhythmic vitality and nuanced sonorities, giving rise to a new and influential school of modern French music.

Finally Mozart’s String Quartet in C Major, K465, nicknamed ‘Dissonance’ (1782 and 1785) is the triumphant climax of a set of six quartets, dedicated to Joseph Haydn and which takes its name from the unusual opening of its first movement.

In eight years Acacia Quartet (Lisa Stewart & Myee Clohessy, violins; Stefan Duwe, viola; Anna Martin-Scrase, cello) has won great respect for their versatile and inventive programs. Acacia has recorded six albums, with ‘Blue Silence’ earning a nomination for an APRA-AMCOS Art Music ‘Award for Excellence’. Acacia is passionate about supporting Australian composers and working with young musicians. In 2017 they performed concerts in Berlin and recorded a CD with three string quartets by Günter Raphael. Two further CDs were released in 2018 in collaboration with recorder player Alicia Crossley, and guitarist Matt Withers. Acacia Quartet is proud to be Ensemble in Residence at the Australian Institute of Music.


The programme: Mozart: String Quartet K465 ‘Dissonance’ | Mansurian: Testament |Chance: Sundried String Quartet | Debussy: String Quartet

Tickets: $48 adult, $30 conc/under 30, $25 student, $17 child

Bookings (02) 9955 3000 or


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