The Melbourne-based Flinders Quartet has announced its 2019 season, which will open in February with the world premiere of a new work by Matthew Laing, a participant in the quartet’s 2017 Composer Development Program. Laing’s work will feature alongside the third quartet from Haydn’s Opus 64 set, and Schumann’s String Quartet No 3. “This is one of my favourite string quartets of all time,” violinist Nicholas Water said. “So inspiring, so emphatic, Schumann heart on your sleeve sort of stuff.”

Flinders QuartetThe Flinders Quartet: Nicholas Waters, Helen Ireland, Zoe Knighton and Thibaud Pavlovic-Hobba. Photo © Pia Johnson

The Flinders Quartet’s Composer Development Program returns in June 2019 (submissions are open now). July and August sees the ensemble tour Shostakovich: Through the Lens of the String Quartet, which will include excerpts from Shostakovich’s Quartets in a concert curated by Flinders and dramaturg Richard Piper. “Collaboration has always been really important to the Flinders Quartet,” said violist Helen Ireland. “It’s something that gives us a new perspective on what we’re doing.”

The Quartet will also be collaborating with recorder player Genevieve Lacey and erhu player Hao Zheng in the final tour for the year, Translations, which will include Stuart Greenbaum’s piece of the same name for erhu, string quartet and recorder, which the Flinders Quartet premiered in March this year. “It’s a cross-cultural collaboration,” said cellist Zoe Knighton. “And that’s all centred around the Debussy Quartet.” The program will also feature Zhao Zhang’s First String Quartet, Peter Sculthorpe’s Song for Neilma, for recorder and string quartet, and Gang Chen’s Tashkurgan in the Sunshine, arranged for erhu and string quartet by composer Julian Yu.

“The exciting thing for me,” said Knighton, “is it all stems from the love of the repertoire. That’s what drives us to keep on rehearsing and to keep on walking on stage.”

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