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Festival Artists

Festival Artists

Flinders Quartet

Flinders Quartet

Caring for tradition. Daring to be different.

Flinders Quartet (FQ) is instantly recognisable as one of Australia’s most loved chamber music ensembles. They are a quartet for the 21st century and a highly respected force in Australian chamber music, entering their third decade with acknowledged musical skill and maturity.

Over twenty years, FQ has followed a unique path and continues to live up to its motto of “caring for tradition, daring to be different” through its busy schedule of activities.

Vanguards of the Melbourne chamber music scene, FQ initiated its own annual subscription series in 2002. The series has gained momentum each year, and the quartet now enjoys programming and presenting its own season in Victorian venues and around Australia, delivering dynamic and stirring performances of a full spectrum repertoire of classical and contemporary Australian compositions. Their creative programming often incorporates other art forms; from inviting audience members to pen Haiku poems to accompany Webern, to intertwining Shakespeare monologues with Mendelssohn’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

FQ has a steadfast commitment to the accessibility of the art-form and the growth of Australian chamber music, championing contemporary relevance and art-form regeneration. They offer an annual Composer Development Program working with composers selected nationwide, while regularly investing in commissioning and premiering works by both esteemed and emerging Australian composers.

FQ’s 2020 season included the premieres of new works by Katy Abbott, Deborah Cheetham AO, and Ella Macens (participant in FQ’s 2017 Composer Development Program and FQ’s 2020-21 Emerging Composer in Residence). In their ongoing mission to further the Australian tradition of chamber music, FQ has previously commissioned and premiered works by Peter Sculthorpe, Ross Edwards, Elena Kats-Chernin, Stuart Greenbaum, Paul Dean, Paul Grabowsky, Ian Munro, Iain Grandage, Andrew Ford, Calvin Bowman, Tom Henry, and Matt Laing.

FQ has a mission to comprehensively document and promote new works through professional recordings. Their first commercial CD release, "Reinventions" with Genevieve Lacey, met with critical and popular acclaim and was re-released on the ABC Classic label in 2015, reaching #1 on the ARIA Core Classical album chart. Also on the ABC Classic label is its ARIA-nominated 2011 release, "Fandango" with Karin Schaupp, and 2015 release "Intimate Voices: Sibelius String Quartets". In late 2018, FQ released “The Offering”, a 2-CD set of four Australian works commissioned and/or premiered by the quartet.

FQ enjoys regular airplay on ABC Classic, 3MBS Fine Music Melbourne, Sydney’s Fine Music FM, and have been heard on Finland’s Radio Vega and the UK’s BBC Three.

FQ are dedicated to the development of Australian chamber music musicians and audiences. As teachers and mentors, they regularly work with young chamber groups. They also work with the Victorian Amateur Chamber Music Society and are regularly invited to tutor at secondary and tertiary institutions throughout Australia. In 2020, they were “ensemble in residence” at Monash University.

The quartet has a strong touring presence across regional Victoria, nationally and internationally. They are regularly invited to perform and tour for chamber music presenters such as Musica Viva Australia and are in demand at festivals throughout Australia often in association with some of the country’s finest talents, including Slava Grigoryan, Kristian Chong, Ian Munro, Paul Dean, Karin Schaupp, Genevieve Lacey and Jayson Gillham. International engagements have taken FQ to the UK, Singapore, Canada, and more recently, Sweden and Finland, where they were invited to perform the complete string quartets by Sibelius.

FQ is passionate about investing in isolated and socially disadvantaged communities with a focus on developing meaningful ongoing relationships that yield long lasting results.

In 2018, FQ was appointed Artistic Patrons of John Noble’s Quartet Program, an initiative that reaches student and amateur musicians in regional Victorian through mentoring and shared performances.

In 2019 FQ launched an arts and wellbeing residency program in collaboration with Footscray High School (FHS) with students responding in their chosen art form to the string quartets of Shostakovich. Based on its extraordinary success, FQ were invited to remain in residence at FHS until 2021.

Building on its 2006 Limelight Award and 2007 Melbourne Prize for Music nomination, FQ was nominated for a 2007 ARIA (Australian Recording Industry Association) award for its performance of Gillian Whitehead’s "Bright Forms Return" in collaboration with new music ensemble Halcyon. In 2010, Flinders was again nominated for the Melbourne Prize for Music, and in 2011 received an ARIA nomination for its CD release with Karin Schaupp (guitar), "Fandango".