The Australian String Quartet (ASQ) will not continue in its current configuration beyond 2014 due to artistic differences. Along with performing an annual national concert series, the quartet is also Quartet-in-Residence at the University of Adelaide.
After careful consideration, the Board of the ASQ has appointed violist Stephen King and cellist Sharon Draper to lead the quartet into the future. Chairman of the board Paul Clitheroe said “the ASQ’s most recent performances have been truly exceptional and despite the board’s best efforts to maintain the current line-up, it was advised that the artistic differences within the Quartet were irreconcilable”.
“The ASQ by its nature will see transitions in players from time to time. In managing these, the priority of the Board is to be faithful to the commitment to the many supporters of the organisation over the last 30 years to bring the best of Australian chamber music performance to the country and to the world,” Mr Clitheroe said.
Departing quartet members Kristian Winther and Ioana Tache will continue to perform with the ASQ for the remainder of the year, ahead of exploring their own artistic pursuits in 2015. ASQ Executive Director Angelina Zucco said “over the past three years first violinist Kristian Winther has captivated audiences with his virtuosic performances and his fresh and dynamic approach to string quartet repertoire”, adding “Ioana Tache joined the ASQ a year ago and has flourished in the role of second violin.”
“Kristian and Ioana’s outstanding musicianship and passion will be missed by our audiences and we wish them the best for their futures,” said Mr Clitheroe.
Audiences across the country will have the opportunity to farewell Winther and Tache during the ASQ’s fourth National Season tour from November 9-‐ 9, 2014. Meanwhile, it is business as usual as the ASQ prepares for a busy season of performances in China, the Margaret River and for the Melbourne Festival during September and October.
King and Draper will commence a national search to recruit two new members to the quartet as the ASQ heads into an exciting program of activity for its 30th Anniversary Year in 2015.