...The audience showed the visitors their deep-felt appreciation for an evening of exquisite music. The Aroha String Quartet made the evening unforgettable. (16 April 2013)...
(Audience Member, Palmerston North)
Aroha String Quartet

Acclaimed as demonstrating "accomplished brilliance, soulfulness and sublime intensity in perfect balance and tonal unity" (The Dominion Post), the Aroha String Quartet is firmly established as one of New Zealand's finest chamber music ensembles.




4 May - We join acclaimed New Zealand author Patricia Grace, nga taonga pūoro artists Warren Warbrick and Alistair Fraser, and Te Rau Taiohi Kapa Haka in two performances of 'Te Reo o te Marama - The Voice of the Moon' on 16 June.

Organised by Wellington Museum and Chamber Music New Zealand, this celebration of Matariki will be an homage to the moon and her many voices.

There are two performances (6 and 8pm) of this one-hour family-friendly event in the wonderful ambience of Wellington Museum; entry by koha.




3 May 2016 - We take part in an exciting series of five concerts celebrating Franz Schubert at St Andrew's on the Terrace in Wellington during Queen's Birthday Weekend. Our concert consists of his lively String Quartet No 10 in E flat major Op. 125 No 1 and the great String Quintet in C major D956. For the Quintet we're delighted to be joined by Ken Ichinose, the NZSO's Associate Principal Cello.




3 May 2016 - Auckland-based composer Alex Taylor has written two new miniatures, 'a coincidence of surface I and II' for the Ensō String Quartet tour with Chamber Music NZ. The two pieces can be performed on their own, or simultaneously as an octet.




26 February 2016 - Applications are now open for the 2016 ASQ International Music Academy, to be held in Wellington from 9-14 August.

Join fellow musicians from around New Zealand and overseas for a week of enjoyable music-making in the extensive, modern facilities of St Andrew's on the Terrace in central Wellington, New Zealand's cultural capital.




17 February 2016 - The Tango Ballet Suite, a musical street drama in six scenes for string quartet by Argentinian tango master Astor Piazzolla, is at the centre of a colourful and varied programme we're presenting in six centres in the first half of 2016: Palmerston North (23 March), New Plymouth (24 March), Waikanae (10 April), Wellington 17 April), Christchurch (17 May) and Auckland 22 May).




17 February 2016 - We're really happy to be able to play on the Living Wage Stage at the Newtown Fair on Sunday 6 March. We're members of Aotearoa Artists for the Living Wage and big supporters of the Living Wage Movement.

The Newtown Fair is always a great day out for the 80,000 or so people who come along, and it's an ideal chance to get the Living Wage message across. New Zealanders deserve to get a wage that allows them live with dignity and play a full part in society.




11 December 2015 - Tonight at 8pm the live recording of the concert from the Aroha Quartet/SOUNZ/Radio NZ Concert recordings at Labour Weekend will be broadcast on Radio NZ Concert as part of Sound Lounge hosted by Kate Mead. For this project we were joined by guest second violinist Anne Loeser.

If you're unable to tune in on your radio you can listen online here

The seven works we perform are:
Anthony Ritchie - Whakatipua
Jeroen Speak - Auxetos
Ross Carey - Toccatina (Elegy)
Alex Taylor - refrain
Blas Gonzalez - SPASMS




15 September 2015 - Following on from the success of our inaugural ASQ International Music Academy in July 2015 we're already making plans for the next one!

The 2016 Academy will all take place on 8-14 August in St Andrew's on the Terrace in central Wellington.

At the 2015 course, 33 participants converged on Wellington from all over New Zealand and as far afield as China for a week of wonderful music making. You can watch a video of the string ensemble performing at the gala concert in St Andrew's here.




16 July 2015 - Participants in the inaugural ASQ International Music Academy will play in a gala concert in St Andrew's on the Terrace in Wellington at 6:30pm on Sunday 26 July.

The concert will showcase chamber music and string ensemble music that has been prepared during a week of intensive rehearsals, lessons, masterclasses and informal concerts held at the Newtown Community & Cultural Centre.




8 April 2015 - In an interview on Upbeat on Radio NZ Concert today Haihong and Robert announced the pieces that have been selected to be performed by the Aroha Quartet and recorded by Radio NZ Concert in Wellington at Labour Weekend.




6 April 2015 - We're thrilled to announce that applications for the inaugural ASQ International Music Academy are now open, closing on 15 May. The ASQ Academy will bring together musicians from around New Zealand and overseas for a week of enjoyable music-making in Wellington from 20-26 July 2015.

The focus of the Academy in 2015 is on strings and piano, with a busy schedule offering chamber music rehearsals and coaching, string ensembles and string classes, individual lessons and masterclasses. Evenings are dedicated to informal and public concerts and social events.




9 February 2015 - The inaugural SOUNZ - Aroha Quartet - Radio NZ Concert Recordings Project calls for scores for string quartet (2 violins, viola and cello) by New Zealand composers. The project is being run in association with the Composers Association of NZ and Chamber Music NZ.




10 December 2014 - Our programme for the first half of 2015 celebrates the 100th anniversary of the birth of one of New Zealand's best known and most influential composers, Douglas Lilburn. Lilburn's String Quartet in E minor sits between Haydn's 'Joke' Quartet (Opus 22 No 2), and the third of Beethoven's Opus 59 'Rasumovsky' quartets in what we know will be a varied and satisfying programme.




1 December 2014 - NZSO violinist Simeon Broom is to join the Aroha Quartet for concerts in the first half of its 2015 season.

Simeon has recently returned to NZ to join the NZSO after 10 years in Europe. Read more about him here.

Welcome, Simeon!




1 December 2014 - We're sad to announce that Blythe Press is upping sticks and heading overseas to further his career. Blythe joined us in 2012 and quickly established himself in the Quartet. He has contributed so much to the rehearsals and performances. The rest of the group will really miss him.

Photo sessions won't have the same challenges in future without Blythe's tall frame to fit in!

We wish Blythe, Kuan Miao and Isobel the best of luck with their new endeavours.




Review of the Aroha Quartet's first concert in Wellington, Old St Paul's, Sunday 5 December 2014.
Reviewed by Lindis Taylor, Dominion Post, 7 December 2014




17 November 2014 - Yes, it was a long time ago, but I vividly remember every little detail surrounding the first public appearance of the Aroha String Quartet. I am David, the Slav, a devoted follower of Symphonic and Chamber Music. I had this great privilege, pleasure and fortune to have been in the circle of close friends to Haihong, Beiyi, Zhongxian and Jiaxin, wonderfully talented musicians who created the Quartet ten years ago.




28 October 2014 - Hard on the heels of a successful and enjoyable Kaleidoscope series tour for Chamber Music NZ, we're closing our 2014 season with two final 10th anniversary concerts.

Ravel's tuneful and atmospheric String Quartet is coupled with early masterworks by two giants of the string quartet repertoire: Beethoven's Quartet Opus 18 No 5 and Shostakovich's First String Quartet. Two traditional Chinese pieces add spice to the programme.




5 May 2014 - We're very happy to announce the release in NZ of our first live CD. The recording was made available by Radio NZ concert from a concert in Christchurch on 2 October 2012 in the church of St Michael & All Angels.

The CD, selling for $25 (free postage within NZ), contains Haydn's 'Sunrise' Quartet, and the great Quintet in C major by Schubert (with Andrew Joyce, cello).

If you'd like to buy a copy of the CD, you can send us a cheque for $25 (please put your name and address on the back) to Aroha Quartet, 82 Woodland Rd, Johnsonville, Wellington




15 April 2014 - The Aroha String Quartet began with the meeting of four musician friends to read string quartets over the Easter break in Johnsonville, Wellington, in 2004.

Join us at our concerts during 2014 to help us celebrate our tenth birthday. As well as special anniversary concerts in Te Aroha on 25 May and Wellington on 7 December, we will be performing in centres from Invercargill to Auckland.

For more details of our 2014 season see the Concerts listing on this website.

See you soon!




11 October 2013 - We're really looking forward to play five concerts in 2014 as part of Chamber Music New Zealand's Kaleidoscope series. The concerts in October will be in Nelson, Invercargill, Palmerston North, New Plymouth and Hamilton. Our programme for CMNZ will be: Beethoven - String Quartet in A Op 18 № 5 Shostakovich - String Quartet № 1 Traditional Chinese works Ravel - String Quartet in F




11 October 2013 - On Monday 14 October Radio NZ Concert will broadcast our Schubert Quintet programme from 2012. The concert, recorded in Christchurch on 2 October 2012, features the great C major String Quintet by Schubert, in which we had the pleasure of working with NZSO Principal Cellist Andrew Joyce. Andrew also joined us in a quintet by young Hungarian composer Peter Tornyai, a work we gave the first performance of at the International Summer Academy in Austria in 2010. The other work in the programme is Haydn's wonderful 'Sunrise' Quartet.




11 September 2013 - We finish 2013 with nine concerts based on our Near & Far(r) programme, containing sparkling and entertaining works from three continents, including the funky 'Mondo Rondo' from New Zealand's own Gareth Farr.

Seven concerts are in NZ: Invercargill, Queenstown, Greytown, Wellington, Whanganui, Palmerston North and Auckland. Our last two shows take us offshore, to China.

You'll find more details on the concerts listing on this website.




26 July 2013 - We're excited to be travelling to China later this year for the second time as a quartet. We'll be performing pieces from six countries, including China and New Zealand, in GuangZhou and Zhongshan on 14 and 15 December. The concert in GuangZhou will be in the amazing new Xinghai Concert Hall. We'll be making the most of the local cuisine too, of course.




29 March 2013 - We were very sad to learn of the death on 19 March of John Nixon, the patron of the Aroha Quartet, after a long battle with cancer. John was very supportive of the Quartet right from the beginning - he gave us our name, and helped organise our first concert in Te Aroha in July 2004, and we have kept in touch ever since.

We were looking forward to celebrating our tenth anniversary with John next year. Sadly, he won't be here to be part of that. We will really miss him.




11 March 2013 - The Aroha Quartet is joined by well-known pianist Catherine McKay for Schumann's famous and fabulous Piano Quintet in three performances in Palmerston North, Wellington and Auckland in April and May 2013. This concert also celebrates the hundredth anniversary of the birth of British composer Benjamin Britten with his superb String Quartet No 3, written shortly before his death.




19 September 2012 - The Aroha Quartet will take part in a concert at St Andrew's on the Terrace in Wellington on 11 October to raise funds to complete the renovation of the church. The other groups performing are the the Dominion and New Zealand String Quartets and the Poneke Trio.

St Andrew's is a popular venue for concerts, including its long-standing series of free Wednesday lunchtime recitals.




31 August 2012 - What's better than the sound of a cello? Audiences in Hamilton, Greytown, Auckland, Lower Hutt, Christchurch and Palmerston North will have the opportunity to experience the sound of TWO cellos in one of the greatest chamber music works ever written. The Wellington-based Aroha String Quartet, together with New Zealand Symphony Orchestra Principal Cellist Andrew Joyce, will perform Schubert's String Quintet in C in a six-centre tour in September and October.




The Quartet is thrilled to be able to offer its Cello Quintets programme to audiences in Auckland and Palmerston North, adding to the list of concerts already scheduled in Hamilton, Greytown, Lower Hutt and Christchurch.

The programme begins with Haydn's "Sunrise" Quartet, and ends with one of the most loved works in the chamber music repertoire: the great String Quintet in C major by Franz Schubert. In the middle is a short quintet by a young Hungarian composer Peter Tornyai, written in 2010 in homage to Schubert.

The six performances of this programme are:




Members of the Aroha Quartet are donating their services to perform a concert in Auckland on 10 June to raise funds for Autism NZ.

The programme for the concert, to be held at All Saints Church in Howick at 3pm, contains three wonderful works: Haydn's "Sunrise" Quartet, a dramatic arrangement of a traditional Chinese work "The White Haired Girl", and Debussy's sublime Quartet.




Recently the Aroha String Quartet marked the end of an era with the departure of Beiyi Xue, who has been the quartet's second violin since its inception in 2004. The rest of the quartet thank her for her amazing contribution in both a musical and a personal sense and wish her all the very best for her future chamber music-making activities.




The Aroha Quartet's 2012 programme continues with a return to the Mulled Wine Concerts in Paekakariki on Sunday 24 June. The concert begins with Haydn's beautiful "Sunrise" Quartet, followed by "The White Haired Girl", a stirring piece based on a classic tale from revolutionary China. The concert is rounded off by Debussy's marvellous Quartet, celebrating the 150th year since the composer's birth.




2011 ends on a high note! On Sunday 20 November we head off to Mudgee, New South Wales to prepare for performances in the prestigious Huntington Estate Winery Music Festival (http://www.huntingtonestate.com.au). The festival programme is created by Musica Viva Australia and is held in the beautiful Huntington Estate Vineyard. In addition to the music there is gourmet food and great wines.




Due to unforeseen circumstances this concert has had to be cancelled. The quartet had been looking forward to performing in Auckland and is disappointed that it will not be possible on this occasion. We will re-schedule the concert for sometime in 2012, so keep an eye on the website for details and we hope to see you there.




The Aroha String Quartet are champions of new music and are always ready to try something new, but performing a world premiere in a steam railway museum was adventurous even by their standards! When the quartet was in Austria for the International Summer Academy last August they gave the first performance of a work especially written for them by the young Hungarian composer Peter Tornyai.




A very tired, but thoroughly exhilarated Aroha String Quartet has recently returned from three weeks of study and performances in Austria and China.




The Aroha Quartet is off in August and early September, to take place in a festival in Reichenau, in Austria, and then to a residency in a Chinese University.




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