Christopher Cartlidge is the ASQ’s new Violist

Australian String Quartet viola Christopher Cartlidge - photo by Polyphonic Pictures

We are thrilled to announce the appointment of our new Australian String Quartet Violist, Christopher Cartlidge. The engagement comes as our ASQ Violist Stephen King (2012 – 2021) steps into the new ASQ role of Director of Learning and Engagement.

Australian String Quartet, ASQ, 2021 - photo by Polyphonic Pictures
Photo: Polyphonic Pictures

Christopher studied on a full scholarship at the Tasmanian Conservatorium of Music and the Australian National Academy of Music, and was the recipient of several awards including the UTas Director’s Prize, and the UTas Dean’s Roll of Excellence. In 2011 he became a full-time member of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and in 2019 was appointed Associate Principal Viola. He has appeared as soloist with both the Melbourne and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras. Chris is a founding member of the Melbourne Ensemble and in 2015 Chris was a grand-finalist and multiple prize winner in the ABC Symphony Australia Young Performers Awards.

“I am thrilled to be joining the ASQ as its new violist. For me, this is a new frontier to be explored: to express myself new ways; to be a better musician; violist; and communicator. I can’t wait to see what the future holds.” Christopher Cartlidge, ASQ Viola

Australian String Quartet (ASQ) at Dunkeld Festival of Music 2021 - photo by Sam Jozeps
Photo: Sam Jozeps

No stranger to the ASQ, Christopher spent eight intensive weeks with the Quartet earlier this year, performing seasons of concerts as part of Adelaide Festival’s Chamber Landscapes series, the world-premiere season of Rafael Bonachela’s Impermanence with Sydney Dance Company, a four-day education residency on Kangaroo Island, and back-to-back ASQ regional festivals in Dunkeld, Victoria, with guest artists Andrea Lam and David Greco. 

“We are excited for Chris to be joining the prestigious ASQ in his new role. While we are sad that he is leaving the MSO family after 10 years with us, we continue to work closely with ASQ and know we will see Chris on our stage from time to time in the future. We wish Chris the very best for this exciting next chapter in his already successful career.” Sophie Galaise, Managing Director, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra

Australian String Quartet 2022 - photo by Polyphonic Pictures
Photo: Polyphonic Pictures

“Michael, Dale and I are extremely excited to welcome Christopher as our new violist! Chris is an exceptional musician and dear friend who we all have had the privilege of working alongside in various ensembles for over a decade. Chris’s time as guest violist with the ASQ at the beginning of the year revealed a natural musical affinity that we look forward to sharing with our audiences around the world.” Francesca Hiew, ASQ 2nd Violin 

This appointment bolsters the ASQ and ensures its perpetual evolution, as we continue to tour new programs, produce cutting-edge and cross art-form collaborations, and initiate new education and digital strategies, to create memorable musical experiences for people across Australia. 

“Christopher’s appointment to the role of ASQ Viola marks the beginning of an exciting new era for the quartet. We are absolutely delighted to welcome Chris to the ASQ family as we kick off an inspiring week of performances at home in South Australia for Illuminate Adelaide, UKARIA, and for our Major Partner the University of Adelaide.” Angelina Zucco, ASQ Chief Executive 

Christopher Cartlidge makes his official debut as Australian String Quartet Violist at the Adelaide Town Hall on Wednesday 21 July in Australian String Quartet with William Barton, as part of Illuminate Adelaide.

Top photo: Polyphonic Pictures