The New Zealand String Quartet is on tour, performing the complete Beethoven string quartets in venues ranging from churches to hotel conference centres.
This is the quartet’s 33rd year of existence. For its 30th anniversary, Peter Walls, then Chief Executive of Chamber Music New Zealand, wrote “The New Zealand String Quartet was born out of idealism. The Music Federation (now Chamber Music New Zealand), embraced the vision of having a resident first-class professional string quartet who would prioritise music by our own composers and who could take on projects of the kind that would be impracticable for visiting quartets. The NZSQ have more than fulfilled that vision and – thirty years on – are an established and vital part of the musical infrastructure in Aotearoa.”
For many other ensembles, praise like that could be seen as maybe a bit over the top, but in the case of the New Zealand String Quartet, it’s almost an understatement.
David Morriss caught up with the NZSQ's two inner voices: viola player Gillian Ansell and Monique Lapins, the quartet's second violin.