Our Fling in Beijing

Published On: Mon 04 June



We are very much enjoying our blossoming partnership with the students and lecturers of the Central Conservatory of Music (CCoM) in Beijing. We have just returned from an intensive week-long residency at the prestigious institution, where we connected with friends and colleagues old and new to teach, perform and discuss all things music.

Our masterclass program formed a vital part of the visit. We tutored 18 separate string quartets consisting of some 72 students across our four-day program on behalf of the University of Adelaide’s Elder Conservatorium of Music.

Australian String Quartet takes masterclasses in Beijing
Australian String Quartet takes masterclasses in Beijing
ASQ members Dale Barltrop, Francesca Hiew, guest cellist Rachael Tobin and Stephen King with a CCoM String Quartet_Fotor
ASQ members Dale Barltrop, Francesca Hiew, guest cellist Rachael Tobin and Stephen King with a CCoM String Quartet

We were also invited to perform a recital at the Beijing Modern Music Festival as part of the International Society for Contemporary Music’s World New Music Days 2018. Our program included contemporary works by Australian composers Stephen Whittington and the late Peter Sculthorpe as well as Gryörgy Ligeti, Philip Glass and two new works by Chinese composers Jianping Tang and Ping Gao.

ASQ performs at the Beijing Modern Music Festival 2018
ASQ performs at the Beijing Modern Music Festival 2018

“It was a delight to discover and hear the Australian String Quartet at the Beijing Modern Music Festival/World New Music Days Festival in Beijing. Its cohered ensemble playing defined a gutsy and infinitely sensitive group of performers, touching beyond music to Asian-Pacific cultural identity and spirit.” Bruce Crossman, First Delegate, ISCM Australia Section and Associate Professor Music, School of Humanities and Communication Arts, University of Western Sydney.

We are forging strong relationships with the CCoM in Beijing through our association with the University of Adelaide’s Elder Conservatorium of Music, where we are Quartet-in-Residence. The invitation courtesy of Adelaide University lecturer Stephen Whittington’s relationship with the Central Conservatory of Music which was strengthened following the Orient Quartet residency that we jointly hosted with the Elder Conservatorium of Music, last year. This is a wonderful coup for both the University of Adelaide and the ASQ.

Australian String Quartet dines in Beijing
Dining with friends new and old in Beijing