New Zealand String Quartet Trust

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Help us put New Zealand chamber artists and music on the world stage by supporting our tour to the USA, UK, Romania and Germany.

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Much-loved by audiences at home and around the world, the New Zealand String Quartet is acclaimed for its powerful communication, dramatic energy and beauty of sound. In everything we do we aspire to nurture the positive benefits of music in New Zealand society and to enrich our nation’s cultural life in a dynamic and contemporary way.

We are passionate about putting New Zealand music on the international stage and enhancing the reputation of New Zealand artists worldwide. In November 2018, we will take our music to the USA, England, Romania and Germany, performing concerts and masterclasses at universities, chamber music societies and festivals. Along the way, we'll collaborate with New Zealand pianist Nicola Melville and our violist, Gillian Ansell, will take a side trip to Rotterdam to play duets with New Zealander Alexa Sangbin Thompson at the 45th International Viola Congress.

Our commitment to touring internationally comes at a significant cost, especially when multiple international airfares are required to cover each leg of the itinerary, so we’re seeking your help to give this tour wings. We will be immensely grateful to you for supporting us in any way that you can.

After a full month away, we know we’ll be pleased to return to Aotearoa and will carry with us the riches gained from our international collaborations to pass onto our students and audiences at home.

Please help us continue to put world-class New Zealand music and performances on the international stage. You can read more about our November 2018 tour in this article:

More about us

The New Zealand String Quartet was formed in 1987 and has played an integral role in New Zealand music for nearly 30 years.

The groups tours regularly to the USA and Canada, the UK and Australia and has engagements booked in 2017 for the Netherlands, Germany and Slovenia.

The ensemble has been Quartet-in-Residence at the New Zealand School of Music at Victoria University since 1991 and violinist Helene Pohl and violist Gillian Ansell are co-artistic directors of the biennial Adam Chamber Music Festival in Nelson, regarded as one of the foremost festivals of its kind in the southern hemisphere.

Helene, Gillian and cellist Rolf Gjelsten have been with the Quartet for over 20 years and have each been awarded the MNZM honour for services to music in New Zealand. 2nd violinist Monique Lapins joined the ensemble in May 2016.

Helene Pohl (1st violin)

Monique Lapins (2nd violin)

Gillian Ansell (viola)

Rolf Gjelsten (cello)

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Latest update

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Thank you!  4 December 2018

Our 4-week US/Europe/UK tour has just ended with two all-Beethoven concerts in the UK: one in Luton, and the other in London at the historic Conway Hall.

We began the tour in the US, where we gave concerts, lessons and classes at three different universities. Two of them, Carleton College (Northfield, Minnesota) and Rice University (Houston, Texas), are exclusive liberal arts colleges and the third, University of New Orleans, is an ideal public university with one of the lowest tuition rates in the country. Founded in 1958, University of New Orleans was the first university in the Old South to be fully integrated from its inception. It was fascinating gaining an insight into the workings of each institution, and we were impressed by the openness of all the students. New Orleans is a place that - like our own Christchurch - thinks in terms of “before” and “after” the disaster, in their case, Hurricane Katrina. The university lost 2/3 of its students in the aftermath and is still rebuilding; however, the jazz scene is now as lively as ever and some of the university jazz tutors play 300+ gigs a year in the city! Many restaurants have live bands and the Preservation Hall has three shows of old-time jazz per night, every day of the year.

On the way to Romania we gave a concert in Göttingen, Germany, where plans for our Beethoven cycle in 2020 are coming into focus. The presenter there is the owner of one of the last remaining successful CD shops in the country and a remarkable music aficionado.

While in Romania, we explored ancient towns we’d never previously heard of such as Tirgu Mures, Reghin, Odorheiu, and Sighisoara (where the Count from the story of Dracula was supposedly born), each with gorgeous historic halls. The whole experience was incredibly interesting and fun, especially due to our wonderfully musical and inspired colleagues in the Tiberius Quartet, with whom we performed the Mendelssohn Octet and a Mozart quintet. Each night after the concerts there was a celebration with all the musicians in a traditional restaurant - complete with virtuoso Romani fiddler.

Thinking back to all the experiences we had in the month it seems like the trip has been much longer! As always, we have enjoyed seeing the music world in different places, sharing NZ music and music making, gaining and deepening musical friendships, and contributing in varied ways to the love, appreciation and understanding of music in each place we visit.

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Latest donations

  • Caroline May

    Caroline May on 29 Oct 2018


    Best wishes for your tour.


    • New Zealand String Quartet Trust

      Thanks so much for your support, Caroline! We've just arrived in the USA and are really looking forward to starting our tour this week.

  • Guest Donor

    Guest Donor on 25 Oct 2018



    • New Zealand String Quartet Trust

      Thanks so much for your support! We've just arrived in the USA and are really looking forward to starting our tour this week.

  • Guest Donor

    Guest Donor on 24 Oct 2018



    • New Zealand String Quartet Trust

      Thanks so much for your support! We've just arrived in the USA and are really looking forward to starting our tour this week.

  • Toko Kofoed

    Toko Kofoed on 24 Oct 2018



    • New Zealand String Quartet Trust

      Thanks so much for your support, Toko Kofoed! We've just arrived in the USA and are really looking forward to starting our tour this week.

  • Hanno Fairburn

    Hanno Fairburn on 23 Oct 2018



    • New Zealand String Quartet Trust

      Wow, thank you Hanno for another generous donation! We're so appreciative of your support. We fly out this weekend and are very much looking forward to starting our tour soon.

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