Ensō String Quartet Tour Opens With A World Premiere

The Ensō String Quartet
The Ensō String Quartet

Following its performances at the Huntington Estate Music Festival in 2012, the Ensō String Quartet returns to Australia, this time, on a debut national tour for Musica Viva.

Founded at Yale University in 1999, the Grammy nominated Ensō String Quartet comprises violinists Maureen Nelson and Ken Hamao, viola player Melissa Reardon and cellist Richard Belcher. The ensemble has, in a decade and a half, made several recordings and won numerous awards, including top prizes at the Concert Artists Guild Competition and the Banff International String Quartet Competition.

The Ensō String Quartet will tour with two programmes, opening with a new work written especially for the quartet by Brenton Broadstock AM, inspired by the journey of a child refugee to find safe haven in Australia.

Alongside this, the Ensō String Quartet will perform the Beethoven ‘Harp’ Quartet, Op. 74.  The second half of the first programme features music by Spanish composer Turina and a quartet by the 20th century Argentinian composer, Alberto Ginastera.

The second half of the second programme contains an arrangement by violinist Maureen Nelson featuring music from the Renaissance era and Ravel’s String Quartet in F major which is significant to the group because it is one of the first pieces they played together at Yale.

The ensemble’s unusual name is derived from the Zen circle. Richard Belcher says “We loved what it represented…..the idea of it being a continuous circle we felt was a wonderful representation for music, and for what we’re trying to do…..The fullness of the circle, stability, perfection and imperfection: we love that as an image for music in general, but also specifically for a quartet.”

The four members of the Ensō String Quartet have family roots from many corners of the globe; Belcher is from Christchurch, New Zealand, while Hamao is Japanese-American; Reardon’s mother is from the Philippines and Nelson is half Korean.

Bookings:  1800 688 482  or visit musicaviva.com.au/Enso

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