The Australian String Quartet presents ‘Debussy’


The Australian String Quartet (ASQ) presents a program  they have called Debussy, centred around Debussy’s String Quartet in G minor and featuring as well, the music of Mendelssohn, Andrew Ford and Arvo Pärt.

Mendelssohn’s String Quartet Op.44 No.2, a work of dazzling string writing completed on the composer’s honeymoon, negotiates the fine line between the elegiac and the spectacular. Intriguing similarities with the later violin concerto include the key of E minor and the opening theme.

Andrew Ford’s String Quartet No 5  is a new commission, his second for the Australian String Quartet following the folksong suite Tales of the Supernatural, which premiered at the 2004 Adelaide Festival.

Arvo Pärt’s Fratres, contains the Estonian composer’s distinctive and meditative style. It exists in numerous versions bearing testimony to the work’s enduring popularity. After a controversial reception in 1890s Paris,  it is now one of his best-loved works with its gamelan-inspired pizzicato passages, modal harmonies and rich undulating landscapes of the Andantino.

The four musicians in the ASQ – violinists Kristian Winther and Anne Horton, violist  Stephen King and cellist Rachel Johnston – perform on a matched set of instruments hand crafted by Giovanni Battista Guadagnini between c.1743-1784 in Turin and Piacenza, Italy, creating a uniquely blended sound.

Established in 1985 the ASQ is Quartet-in-Residence at the University of Adelaide and maintains a busy concert calendar, touring widely to capital centres and regional communities and commissioning many works by leading Australian composers.

The ASQ has appeared at international music festivals and toured in United Kingdom, Europe, New Zealand and Asia. In 2012, the ensemble’s international performance highlights included engagements at the Trasimeno Music Festival in Italy where they worked with leading musicians Angela Hewitt, Anne Sofie Von Otter and the Cremona String Quartet.

Kristian Winther plays a 1784 Guadagnini Violin, Turin

Anne Horton plays a 1748-49 Guadagnini Violin, Piacenza

Stephen King plays a 1783 Guadagnini Viola, Turin

Rachel Johnston plays a c.1743 Guadagnini Violoncello, Piacenza, ‘Ngeringa’.

Adult tickets start from $73.50. Concessions available (additional fees may apply).

Bookings: or call (02) 8256 2222, or visit the Box Office at 2, Angel Place, Sydney.



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