Australian String Quartet Premieres Westlake Piece

The Australian String Quartet

The Australian String Quartet (ASQ) will premiere Nigel Westlake’s new work Sacred Sky in an evocative program alongside works by Charles Ives and Claude Debussy.

Commissioned by the ASQ and written as an homage to the spirit of his late sister Kate, who passed away in early 2018, Westlake’s piece renders emotions related to life and loss in the special way that only music can truly accomplish.

“I have endeavoured to invoke Kate’s spirit, in the hope of imbuing the music with themes of beauty, energy, soulfulness, and transcendence. Inevitably the fingerprints of grief and sadness permeate the musical narrative at times,” Nigel Westlake said.

This will be Westlake’s third string quartet, and the first written for the ASQ. Among numerous compositions over his four-decade career, the highly praised and award-winning composer is also known for his film scores which include Ali’s Wedding, Paper Planes, Miss Potter, Babe, Babe II and IMAX films Antarctica, Imagine, Solarmax and The Edge.

Complementing Westlake’s work is Charles Ives’ ground-breaking String Quartet No 1, From the Salvation Army, and Claude Debussy’s monumental String Quartet op 10.

From its home base at the University of Adelaide, Elder Conservatorium of Music, the ASQ delivers outstanding concerts and workshops both nationally and internationally. The Quartet’s distinct sound is created by a matched set of 18th century Guadagnini instruments, handcrafted by Giovanni Battista Guadagnini between c.1743 and 1784 in Turin and Piacenza, Italy. Dale Barltrop plays a 1784 Guadagnini Violin, Turin,  Francesca Hiew plays a 1748-49 Guadagnini Violin, Piacenza, Stephen King plays a 1783 Guadagnini Viola, Turin and
Sharon Grigoryan plays a c.1743 Guadagnini Violoncello, Piacenza, ‘Ngeringa’


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