News Items ---
"fluid and energetic... uncommon eloquence"
New York Times
" ...the Kiwis rivaled the excellence of leading international string
quartets...they let the lyrical music ebb and flow with warm tone and
beautiful balance. The ensemble was cohesive, the energy positive."
Cleveland Plain Dealer
"This concert opened with Mendelssohn’s Capriccio, given a performance both
stern and exhilarating, with clearly delineated contrapuntal lines."
"Jack Body’s Three Transcriptions for string quartet were tremendous fun... the
third a manic Bulgarian dance, complete with foot stamping, all played with
terrific verve and precision."
[Beethoven’s F major Quartet op.18 no.1] "there was firm direction, with passion
in the slow movement and a finale full of flair."
"... the New Zealanders’ confidence as ensemble players permits a flexible
approach; the rhythmic momentum is never destroyed, but bends a little so that
the characters of the different motifs can be enhanced."
"impressive...the New Zealanders played Bartok's wartime
2nd String Quartet, staking out a respectable stylistic middle ground
that acknowledged the music's astringency
but also it's unlikely lyricism."
"Each New Zealander played with a gorgeous, warm string tone,
crystal-clear intonation, precise attacks, and a wide dynamic range. They
brought out all the good-natured humor in the piece.... a truly inspired
Classical Voice of North Carolina
"Detailed and confident readings from the impressive New Zealand
String Quartet... their strong sense of internal balance allows them to bring
out many telling details that often go unnoticed" Gramophone Magazine
"String lovers might be
forgiven these days if they think they've died and gone to Quartet
Heaven after yesterday's concert by the New Zealand String Quartet…. The concert ended with a
superb account of Schubert's finest quartet, the No. 15 in G major.
There was scarcely a misstep in the entire performance and the slow
movement was profoundly beautiful."
"The quartet had the virtuosity to handle the passionate outbursts
in the first and fifth movements and the wit to exploit the playful
dance parodies of the second and fourth."
"The luscious, velvet sound of this group was apparent from the
opening phrases of its first selections..."
Worcester Telegram & Gazette
"Gossamer without being merely glossy, the string quartet’s intricate
sonic patterns explored the depths of human emotions crisply, tenderly
and, always with great subtlety."
News Journal, Daytona Beach
"The absolutely perfect ensemble, the outstanding technical skills and
the passionate playing ... made the concert an extraordinary
Rheinische Post, Germany
Quartet in A Minor Opus 41 No 1 Scherzo: Presto; Intermezzo
Harris: Variation 25
Video: Shostakovich Qt #7
the recording studio
Body, 3 Transcriptions (New Zealand composition)
New Zealand String Quartet
The New Zealand String Quartet has enjoyed almost three decades of acclaim for its programming vision and it's exciting performances on stage and
CD. Based in Wellington, the quartet is committed to bringing the works of
exceptional New Zealand composers to major centers throughout Europe, Asia, Australia and North America.
Of the group's recent festival appearance in London, The Strad noted the
New Zealand Quartet "played with terrific verve and precision" a good
example of the critical acclaim earned by this remarkable ensemble for its
anniversary Beethoven cycle and its newest commissions of works by its
The quartet has a long
relationship with the Naxos recording label, which has released it's complete set of Mendelssohn Quartets
in honor of the recent Mendelssohn anniversary, and has just started a
three-year Brahms recording project for the Naxos label. ; and with the Atoll label, on
which works of New Zealand composers Psathas, Harris, Body, Norris have been
recorded, along with the works of Bartok and Dvorak.
The 2013 year is off to an energetic start with the Adam Chamber Music Festival
and the Adam Summer School and will then include residencies in Australia, a
Homage to Britten tour, a debut tour to Sweden and an exciting new collaborative
project in Beijing.
Sought-after for their imaginative and varied programming, the quartet is known
for its revelatory performances of the standard classical quartet repertoire
and their exciting realizations of newer works from contemporary composers, many
from New Zealand. The quartet's tour programs include the
Schubert two cello quintet, with Naumburg Award Winning cellist
Clancy Newman, and the clarinet
quintets of Gilliland, Mozart and Brahms with renowned clarinetist James
The Quartet has recently toured through Korea, Mexico, and returned to London's
Wigmore Hall as part of a tour of England and Europe. Recent U.S. tours have
spanned the distance from Hawaii to New Hampshire, and featured engagements in
Los Angeles, San Antonio, New York, Cleveland, Buffalo and Washington, DC, where
the quartet has appeared at the National Gallery of Art, the Corcoran Gallery of
Art, the National Academy of Sciences and the Library of Congress in successive
While at the Library of Congress in 2009 the quartet was joined by Richard Nunns
in performance of New Zealand composer Gillian Whitehead's composition
Hine-pu-te-hue. Written for the quartet and taonga puoro performed by Nunns, the
work is named for the Maori Goddess of peace. Hine-pu-te-hue features
several of the taonga puoro which are made of gourds -- the poi awhiowhio, which
opens the piece, is swung around the head, the large hue puru hau is blown
across the open neck, while the koauau ponga ihu (a nose flute) closes the
In addition to their unique status in the performance of original New Zealand
compositions, this remarkable quartet has been hailed for their performances of
the Beethoven Quartet cycle. They offered the Bartok cycle (which they have
recorded) in the 2005-2006 season, as part of the observance of the fiftieth
anniversary of Bartok's death. Their repertoire is wide and varied, and features
the standard classical literature and the works of our time, including
compositions by New Zealand composers. The quartet has premiered more than 20
works by New Zealand composers and continue to explore and enhance that
repertoire. The Quartet has been awarded three years sole performing rights to
Zoltán Székely's recently discovered 1937 string quartet. Székely, a composition
student of Kodály, was Bartók's long-time sonata partner and leader of the
Hungarian String Quartet. Their recording of Székely's quartet is available on
the Atoll label, paired with the Dvorak Quartet in E flat, opus 51.
The group has been featured on North America's popular public radio program St
Paul Sunday, and has recorded for Deutsche Welle, CBC in Canada, and Australia's
ABC, as well as regularly appearing on Radio New Zealand's Concert FM.
As dedicated teachers, the New Zealand String Quartet is in residence at
Victoria University of Wellington and have established the highly regarded Adam
Summer Chamber Music School for the country's most accomplished string and piano
students. In North America, the quartet has been guest faculty at the Banff
Centre, Quartet Fest West, and the Quartet Program at Bucknell University.