The Sydney Camerata Quartet are fortunate to be one of Musica Viva’s “Rising Stars” ensembles this year. Along with our friends in the Enigma Quartet and Streeton Trio, we’re receiving masterclasses with both local and international artists and presenting concerts with the assistance of Musica Viva. It’s an exciting opportunity that we’re thrilled to be a part of and we hope you’ll join us for some of our performances throughout the year as we showcase what we’ve been working on. A number of our events will take place in unusual spaces, such as the pop-up concert the Enigma Quartet performed last week as part of the Vivid Festival at an intimate heritage venue in The Rocks. 

This past week we made our Rising Stars debut at two masterclasses, one with Aiko Goto of the Australian Chamber Orchestra and another with Julian Smiles of the Goldner Quartet. Both players brought a wealth of experience to contribute to our rehearsals. We worked on Prokofiev’s String Quartet No 1 and Haydn’s Op 33/3 The Bird. As any chamber musician would know, one can work in such incredible detail and we spent time particularly on the Haydn, working bar by bar to focus on intonation and achieve a unified interpretation. One of my favourite pearls of wisdom from Julian was his emphasis on the connection of notes in a phrase to support expression. Although seemingly a straightforward point, it’s one that is easily overlooked and that made me rethink a lot of my fingerings and the way in which I was using vibrato to colour the sound.


As a culmination of the week, we presented an informal concert at the Sydney Philharmonia Choirs rehearsal space at Millers Point: not only a beautiful space in which to present an informal concert, but we had the pleasure of spending time post-concert exploring the nooks and crannies of Sydney’s Vivid Festival right outside. 

We’re looking forward to our next Rising Stars program, in which we’ll be receiving mentoring from the Kuss Quartet (Germany). In the meantime you can follow the Musica Viva Facebook page to see when our friends the Enigma Quartet and Streeton Trio will be presenting open masterclasses and concerts.