...The explanation, then second performance of the Tornyai made it much more approachable. Well done! And the Schubert! We came especially to hear it and you were splendid. Many thanks....
(Concertgoer, Palmerston North, 4/10/12)
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.

23 May 2024 - The tenth anniversary of the ASQ International Music Academy and the twentieth anniversary of the Aroha String Quartet itself will be celebrated with three marvellous concerts at St Andrew’s on The Terrace in the week of 8-14 July.

12 March 2024 - Applications are now open for the tenth Aroha String Quartet International Music Academy. The 2024 ASQ International Music Academy will take place at St Andrew’s on The Terrace, Wellington, and will begin on the morning of Monday 8 July at 9:30am, ending with a Gala Concert at St Andrew’s on the evening of Saturday 13 July.

Come along and be part of the 10th birthday celebrations!

Applications close on Sunday 31 March.

14 January 2024 - After a break due to the Covid pandemic we’re delighted to be able to resume our series of ASQ International Academies in China. From 22-27 January we’ll be in Zhongshan to join a team of local teachers headed by violinist Meijuan Chen to work with around 50 school aged children. The days will be filled with string orchestra rehearsals and chamber music coaching. The Academy includes concerts by the ASQ and local musicians and a final gala concert for participants.

15 November 2023 - On Sunday 3 December at 3 pm we will be joined by our friend and colleague NZSO bassist Sasha Gunchenko for a house concert in Kelburn. We present two richly varied pieces for string quintet.

French Romantic composer George Onslow’s String Quintet No 15 in C minor Op 29 is called ‘The Bullet’. In this exciting autobiographical piece Onslow depicts a hunting accident and his subsequent illness and recovery. Our second piece is a classic of the chamber music repertoire: Dvorak’s quirky and richly varied String Quintet No 2 in G Op 77.

26 July 2023 - Following a very successful and well-attended 2023 Academy we have pleasure in announcing that our 2024 Academy will take place at St Andrew's on The Terrace in Wellington from Monday 8 to Saturday 13 July 2024. This will be a particularly special event as we will be celebrating the tenth birthday of the Academy! The brochure and application form for the 2024 ASQ Academy will be available in late 2023 or early 2024.

26 June 2023 - Works by 13 composers can be heard in the two concerts at the 2023 ASQ International Music Academy taking place at St Andrew's on The Terrace in Wellington next week.

The first concert, at 12:15 on Wednesday 5 July, is part of the St Andrew's regular lunchtime recital series and features the members of the ASQ plus Academy guest tutors and players in works by Hoffmeister, Beethoven, Schubert and Mendelssohn.

21 May 2023 - Forty-four non-professional musicians are currently hard at work preparing for the ASQ International Music Academy 2023 which will take place from 3-8 July. Participants come from centres in Aotearoa as far apart as Invercargill and Whangarei. They're joined at St Andrew's on The Terrace in Wellington by fellow musicians from Australia and China for six full-on days of rehearsals, coaching and performances.

22 February 2023 - Applications are now open for the ninth ASQ International Music Academy to be held in St Andrew's on The Terrace in Wellington from 3-8 July. Applicants must apply for full six days.

Applications close on Sunday 19 March.

21 February 2023 - The date for our concert in Expressions Whirinaki in Upper Hutt was incorrect on our website until today due to confusion in correspondence with the venue. The concert is on Monday 3 April at 7:30, not Tuesday 4 April as originally advertised. We're sorry if this causes any problems!

20 January 2023 - Happy New Year to all our friends and supporters around Aotearoa and overseas! We're really happy to be playing our 'Serenade' programme of string trios several more times in the first half of 2023. We have shows in Motueka on 14 February, Waikanae on 26 February, Upper Hutt on 4 April and Lower Hutt on 5 April. We're hoping to present the programme in Auckland and Wellington also. See the Concerts tab on our website for more information.

30 November 2022 - We're very excited to be playing in St Andrew's in the City in Palmerston North on 7 December. This will be the first time we've played there for many years. The church has only recently been earthquake strengthened and refurbished and we can't wait to find out what it's like now. We're playing our 'Serenade' String Trio programme without a fee as a fundraiser for the church renovations. Suggested koha is $20.

For programme details see the Concerts tab on this website.

21 September 2022 - How lucky we are to be able to give two further performances of the wonderful programme of clarinet quintets with our friend and colleague Rachel Vernon! These concerts will be in Oamaru on Thursday 13 October and in Dunedin on Sunday 16 October. You'll find more details of these shows via the Concerts tab on this website.

8 August 2022 - On Wednesday 14 September we will perform a wonderful programme of clarinet quintets in Palmerston North. We’re once again joined by our friend and colleague Rachel Vernon, Principal Bass Clarinet in the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. Join us at 7:30 pm at the Globe Theatre for an evening of amazing music. Please note this is a change of date and venue from our previously listed concert in Palmerston North.

26 July 2022 - Our 'Serenade' string trio concert for the Christopher's Classics series in Christchurch has been moved from 11 August to Tuesday 27 September due to NZSO scheduling changes. Our thanks to Christopher's Classics for being flexible about the date of this concert. We're very much looking forward to performing there.

We agreed to relinquish our 'Serenade' concert for Chamber Music Hutt Valley to allow CMHV to schedule a string quartet instead. We will now perform in their 2023 series.

11 July 2022 - Thirty-seven non-professional string players from Invercargill to Adelaide via Whangarei, whose ages span almost seven decades, have assembled in St Andrew's on the Terrace today for six days of intensive rehearsals and coaching as part of the eighth ASQ International Music Academy.

20 May 2022 - It has been such a privilege and pleasure to play our Clarinet Quintet programme around the country in the last couple of months. It’s wonderful to work with our friends and colleagues, the NZSO’s Principal Bass Clarinet Rachel Vernon and NZSO First Violinist Anne Loeser (playing instead of our usual second violinist Konstanze Artmann). We’ve also been lucky to be able to bring three amazing pieces of music to audiences. In many cases this has been the first live performance people have attended for many months. This has given the concerts a special atmosphere.

20 May 2022 - Our new programme for the second half of 2022 is for string trio. We’ve called it ‘Serenade’ after the two main works: Serenades by Dohnányi and Beethoven. They’re complemented by short trios from Franz Schubert, Jean Françaix and Kiwi composer Salina Fisher. We’re very much looking forward to sharing this wonderful music with the audience in Christchurch in August and Lower Hutt in September, followed by other centres around the country in 2023.

In the second half of 2023 we’re really looking forward to being reunited with our second violinist Konstanze Artmann.

2 May 2022 - The Waimakariri District Community Arts Council has postponed the clarinet quintet concert we were scheduled to play for them in Rangiora on 10 May. If a replacement date is found we will publicise this here on our website.

17 March 2020 - Applications are now open for the eighth Aroha String Quartet International Music Academy. The 2022 ASQ International Music Academy will take place at St Andrew’s on The Terrace, Wellington, and will begin on the morning of Monday 11 July at 9:30am.

The Academy is designed for student and adult non-professional string players with a minimum standard of Grade VI and pianists with a minimum standard of Grade VIII. Pre-formed chamber music groups are welcome to apply.

Applicants must attend the whole course from 11-16 July. There is no half-course option this year.

9 March 2022 - Due to the current Omicron outbreak our scheduled concert for Chamber Music Wanganui on Tue 22 March has been postponed, possibly to September. We'll publicise the new date on this website once it's confirmed.

5 March 2022 - There will be a change in personnel in the ASQ for 2022. Konstanze, our second violinist decided she did not wish to be vaccinated against Covid-19, which has unfortunately meant she is unable to perform in the group at present. We are pleased that NZSO First Violinist Anne Loeser is able to join us for the clarinet quintet concerts. For our second programme of the year we will play as a string trio. We hope to be reunited with Konstanze before too long.

5 March 2022 - We’re really sorry to have to postpone our Invercargill concert of clarinet quintets that was scheduled for 26 April. With no viable way for us to get back home to Wellington if we were forced to isolate while on tour it seemed prudent to wait until the Omicron peak has well and truly passed. We are looking to reschedule the concert for October and will post details on this website when they’re confirmed.

26 February 2022 - We will be playing our lovely clarinet quintet programme with Rachel Vernon in the Cedarwood Home Auditorium in Waikanae at 10:30 am on Tuesday 15 March. This is a new venue for us and a weekday morning concert is a new venture for the Waikanae Music Society. We're really looking forward to this first concert of the 2022 season!

Many thanks to the Waikanae Music Society for working so hard to find a replacement date and venue for our postponed 2021 concert.

13 January 2022 - Happy New Year to you all! After so many of our concerts were cancelled or postponed in 2021 we're so looking forward to being able to return to our wonderful programme of clarinet quintets in the first half of 2022. We've got around ten concerts scheduled, from Kerikeri down to Invercargill - just click on the Concerts tab on this website for more details.

21 September 2021 - Our concert for the Waikanae Chamber Music Society scheduled for 26 September is being moved to another date (probably Sunday 17 October) and venue (still to be confirmed) in order to allow another of their groups to use our original date. We'll post up the new concert details here as soon as they're confirmed.

Our own concert in St Matthew's-in-the-City in Auckland, originally scheduled for Sunday 7 November, has had to be postponed. Once we have a new date we will include details here on our website.

30 August 2021 - With the uncertainty around the timing of changes to Covid-19 alert levels we've made the decision to cancel our concert that we were to perform in Hanover Hall, Dunedin on Tuesday 14 September. We're really disappointed not to be able to play in Dunedin this year. However, we'll be looking at a date to schedule our clarinet quintet programme for performance in Dunedin in 2022.

5 July 2021 - In just one week we'll welcome the participants arriving in St Andrew's on The Terrace in Wellington for our annual ASQ International Music Academy. Covid-19 level changes and a lack of international visitors certainly haven't meant reduced numbers this year, with 55 non-professional string players and pianists attending from around New Zealand. Ages range over seven decades, but everyone will come with a shared enthusiasm for playing ensemble music.

10 May 2021 - We're really pleased to welcome Imogen Granwal to the Quartet for our Flight concerts in the first half of this year. Imogen is replacing Robert who is recovering from a tendon injury he sustained at the end of 2020. While Robert is recovering well and will be back with the Quartet for the second half of this year, he has not been able to rehearse with the group so far. You can read about Imogen here.

16 February 2021 - ASQ cellist Robert Ibell and the Academy administrator Cathie McCallum were interviewed today by David Morriss on RNZ Concert’s ‘Upbeat’ programme about this year’s ASQ International Music Academy.

1 February - We have great pleasure in announcing that this year's ASQ Academy will take place in St Andrew's on The Terrace in Wellington from the 12th to the 17th of July. Further information, including the flyer, brochure and application form, can be found on the Academy page of this website.

The Academy will operate within Government guidelines for Covid-19. If the official Covid alert levels mean that the Academy must be cancelled, a full refund of any fees paid (including the deposit) will be made. Applications close on Sunday 28 March.

14 September 2020 - audiences and critics have responded enthusiastically to our Phantasy programme in the three concerts we've performed in our tour to date.

Tim Jones, reviewing our Christchurch concert said of the Beethoven 'Rasumovsky' No 1 "The Aroha Quartet made the most of all the effects and beauties of the four movements, with many telling contrasts of dynamics and articulation impressively communicated."

26 August 2020 - Three more of our planned 'Phantasy' concerts have had to be cancelled due to the latest outbreak of Covid-19. We're really sad not to be able to perform in some locations, but it has become too uncertain and risky to continue with these concerts, unfortunately.
Our concerts in Oamaru on 31 August, Napier on 10 September and Auckland on 13 September are not going ahead. At this stage all other concerts are proceeding.
Stay safe and well!

29 June 2020 - Despite (or maybe because of!) the restrictions imposed under the recent Covid-19 lockdown, 34 keen musicians from all around New Zealand will assemble at Chilton St James School in Lower Hutt next month for the sixth ASQ International Music Academy.

25 June 2020 - We're sorry to announce that we have had to cancel the Dunedin concert in our 'Phantasy' series scheduled for Sunday 30 August. We hope to be able to reschedule this concert to another date.

5 June 2020 - Applications have continued to come in for our sixth ASQ Academy and we have enough enrolments now to be able to confirm that the course will run, unless the Covid-19 alert level rises again. If that happens, and we have to cancel the course, applicants will receive a full refund.

The Academy will take place at Chilton St James School in Lower Hutt from 13 to 18 July. Participants can apply for a short course (13-15 July or 15-18 July) or for the full six days.

27 April 2020 - The first of our two newsletters for 2020 is available for download from the link below. Enjoy reading it! If you want to subscribe to our mailing list to receive our email newsletters and occasional concert notices, use the link on the top left of the home page or click here.


6 April 2020 - As most of us settle in to isolation to deal as best we can with COVID-19 it’s hard to plan ahead. How long will we be stuck at home? How will we and our families be affected?

In the Aroha Quartet we've already seen all our concerts for the first half of the year disappear, so we thought the 2020 Wellington Academy would inevitably go the same way.

30 March 2020 - We’re sorry to have to announce that all our remaining concerts for the first half of 2020 have had to be cancelled due to COVID-19. We’d been rehearsing our ‘Flight’ programme for performance in half a dozen centres. We will now perform this programme in the first half of 2021. We are planning to present our ‘Phantasy’ concerts in the second half of the year as scheduled, coronavirus permitting!

14 March 2020 - Applications are now open for our sixth ASQ International Music Academy, to be held in the welcoming environs of Chilton St James School in Lower Hutt. This is the first year we have held our Academy during the school holidays, and the first time it will take place outside Wellington City.

The 2020 ASQ International Music Academy will begin on Monday 13 July at 9:30am. Each day, participants will be busy with chamber music coaching and rehearsals taken by members of the Aroha String Quartet. Guest tutors will direct ensembles and classes in technique and musicianship.

5 January 2020 - Following the success of the previous two events, we are looking forward to returning shortly to the Zhongshan People's Culture Centre for a week-long chamber music course. Our third ASQ International Music Academy in Asia will take place in Zhongshan, China, from 13 to 18 January. Over the six days we will be working with the team of dedicated local musicians and tutors and the young participants ranging in age from 6 to 20 years from China, Hong Kong, Macau, and New Zealand. The aim is to foster team work and a love of ensemble playing.

14 November 2019 - We are excited about our two programmes for 2020. In the first half of the year, our Flight programme takes wing with one of Haydn's most popular works, his 'Lark' Quartet in D Op 64 No 5. The second piece is String Quartet No 4 by Polish composer Grazyna Bacewicz. This passionate music won her first prize at an international competition for string quartets in 1951. We mark the 75th anniversary of the death of Anton Webern with his brief but exquisite Six Bagatelles Op 9.

13 July 2019 - We're really excited that our fifth ASQ International Music Academy is coming up soon in Wellington. Forty-two string players and pianists from China, Hong Kong, Australia and around Aotearoa will converge on St Andrew's on The Terrace for six days of chamber music, string ensemble, masterclasses, concerts and social activities. We always have such a blast at the Academy.

See our concerts listings for information about the three Academy concerts.

13 April 2019 - All concerts in our 2019 season are in place. We'll be playing three exciting programmes in ten centres around New Zealand between May and December.

21 December 2018 - We were really sad to say goodbye to our second violinist Ursula Evans at the end of the 2018 season. Ursula joined us at the end of 2017 and fitted in incredibly well. Unfortunately the recurrence of an old injury meant she was unable to play in some of our 2018 concerts and led to her leaving the Quartet later in the year. We loved working with Ursula in the Quartet and are sorry to see her go - but we’re really glad we still have her as a friend and NZSO colleague.

21 November 2018 - We head back to Zhongshan in Guangdong Province, China in late January next year for our second ASQ International Music Academy in Asia. It'll be great to catch up with the local music teachers who were part of the coaching team last year. We'll be interested to find out, too, how well the young students have progressed in the intervening 12 months!

During the week we will be giving a public concert in the Zhongshan Culture and Art Centre.

21 November 2019 - We've put together two varied and exciting programmes for our 2019 concert series: one for string quartet only, to be performed throughout the year; the other for string quartet and piano in the second half of the year only.

Both programmes start with Mozart's String Quartet No 17 in B-flat K458. Nicknamed 'The Hunt', this is a high-spirited, joyful work, both rustic and sophisticated.

7 August 2018 - On Sunday 16 September we're teaming up with the Wellington Community Choir (conducted by Julian Raphael) and Oriental Voices & the Lyrica Choir from Kelburn Normal School (conducted by Haibo Li) to perform a free and fun family concert of festive songs and tunes from China & Aotearoa in celebration of Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival 2018.

The concert starts at 3pm in Soundings Theatre, Te Papa. It is supported by the China Cultural Centre in NZ and Wellington City Council.

7 August 2018 - Due to a change in the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra schedule that affects three Quartet members we have had to yet again change the date of the Wellington concert in our Light & Dark series. The concert will now be on Wednesday 26 September at 7:30 in St Andrew's on The Terrace.

We're very sorry to have had to make this date change, and hope it doesn't cause you any inconvenience.

24 July 2018 - There are three concerts at St Andrew’s this week for your enjoyment: two to be given by Academy participants and one by some of the tutors. Details are on this website under the Concerts tab or on the left of the home page. Entry is by koha/donation.

26 May 2018 - Thirty-eight non-professional musicians aged 10 to 70+ from New Zealand, China, Australia and the UK will join us in Wellington in the last week of July for our fifth ASQ International Music Academy. We're expecting a full-on week as we help the participants prepare their string orchestra and chamber group pieces for the informal and public concerts. See our Concerts schedule for the concert dates.

11 May 2018 - We have had to reschedule our 'Light & Dark' concert in Wellington. It was originally scheduled for 17 June and will now take place at St Andrew's on The Terrace at 3pm on Sunday 30 September. We hope the new date is still convenient for you.

11 May 2018 - Ursula, our second violinist, is experiencing the recurrence of the effects of an old injury and is having to reduce her playing workload. She won’t be able to take part in many of our concerts this year, unfortunately. Her place in these concerts will be taken by NZSO first violnist Anne Loeser. We’re really grateful to Anne for being able to join us. We hope you recover soon, Ursula!

22 March 2018 - We're very much looking forward to playing our joyful and moody 'Light & Dark' programme in thirteen centres around New Zealand this year: Cambridge, Auckland, Thames, Palmerston North, Christchurch, Wellington, Taupo, Tauranga, Hastings, Rangiora, New Plymouth, Dunedin and Wanaka.

Come along to hear four fantastic and contrasting pieces by Haydn, Ross Carey, Shostakovich and Dvorak. Details of dates, times, venues and ticketing under the Concerts tab on this website.

6 March 2018 - Whilst New Zealand was enjoying a sizzling summer in January, the ASQ team embarked on a special trip to the northern hemisphere winter to run the Inaugural ASQ International Chamber Music Academy in Asia from 28 January to 3 February 2018 in Zhongshan, Canton, China. 

3 March 2018 - Applications are now open for our 2018 ASQ International Music Academy, which will take place from 23-28 July at St Andrew's on The Terrace in Wellington. Participants can enrol for either the full six-day course, or a shorter version running Thursday to Saturday.

The e-flyer, brochure and application form for the 2018 Academy can be downloaded from this website.

10 December 2017 - In 2018 we tour with a programme containing four contrasting but complementary works. Two of them must be amongst the best known string quartets of all: Haydn’s “Emperor” Quartet Op 76 No 3, with its famous variations on an anthem he wrote for Kaiser Franz II, and Dvorak’s “American” Quartet Op 96. Dvorak wrote of this quartet in 1893 “I wanted to write something for once that was very melodious and straightforward, and dear ‘Papa’ Haydn kept appearing before my eyes, and that is why it all turned out so simply.”

6 November 2017 - On Wednesday 6 December we play two of the best-loved works for string quartet, Haydn's 'Emperor' Quartet and the 'American' Quartet by Dvořák at 12:15pm in the St Andrew's on The Terrace lunchtime concert series.

You're welcome to eat your lunch during the concert. Entry by gold coin donation.

6 November 2017 - From 29 January to 3 February next year we're running our first ASQ International Music Academy in Asia. The 2018 event will take place in Zhongshan, China. The format will be similar to our annual Academy in Wellington, though the participants will all be school-aged children. We'll give a concert for participants on the evening before the Academy begins. The week of string ensemble rehearsals, sectionals and chamber music will culminate in a participants' concert, followed by a concert by the Zhongshan Chamber Orchestra.

28 August 2017 - Haihong, Zhongxian & Robert are joining well-known community musician Julian Raphael for a 50-minute IHC Accessible Concert presented by Chamber Music New Zealand at Te Whaea (NZ National Dance & Drama Centre, 11 Hutchison Rd, Wellington) at 11am on Wednesday 6 September.

26 August 2017 - We're really thrilled to be putting on a free concert of music from China & New Zealand to celebrate Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival at St Andrew's on the Terrace in Wellington on Sunday 1 October at 7pm.

The programme includes arrangements of well-known Chinese folk songs and two tuneful works by New Zealand composers Anthony Ritchie & David Farquhar.

This concert is organised and sponsored by the China Cultural Centre in New Zealand.

12 May 2017 - Simeon Broom, the Aroha Quartet’s second violinist, has stepped down. Simeon, who joined the quartet in 2015 when Blythe Press left for overseas, had already taken this year off Aroha duties after the birth of his second child. The difficulty of juggling family, NZSO and Aroha Quartet commitments has led to him making the decision to leave the Quartet.

24 February 2017 - Our brochure is now out for our 2017 ASQ International Music Academy, which will take place from 1-6 August at St Andrew's on the Terrace in Wellington. It can be downloaded, along with an e-flyer, the application form and a draft timetable, from this website. Participants who are unable to attend the full six-day course may apply for the short course 4-6 August.

20 January 2017 - Join the Aroha Quartet and MC Steve Carlin for a magical musical journey across China, bringing together traditional folk tunes through to Tan Dun. This free concert, at 8pm on Thursday 26 January in the beautiful surrounds of the Soundshell in Wellington's Botanic Gardens, is part of the WCC Summer City Meridian Garden Magic series.
A large LED screen projects video images by Jon He and Ed Davis to accompany many of the pieces. Rain day is Mon 30 Jan, 8pm. See the WCC FaceBook page for updates.

25 October 2016 - We are now able to announce that the 2017 Aroha String Quartet International String Academy will take place on 1-6 August. We are delighted that we'll be back at St Andrew’s on the Terrace which was such an ideal venue in 2016. We had a fantastic stock of cellists this year, and will work to building our ranks of violinists, violists and possibly a bass or two to even up the balance. Spread the word to all amateur and student musicians to look out for the call for applications next year.

25 October 2016 - Simeon is taking a year off the second violin quartet role next year to spend time with his family. He and his wife Rachel are expecting their second child later this year, so the demands of having a job in a touring orchestra as well as a quartet concert schedule would make life with a newborn difficult!

Meanwhile, Haihong, Zhongxian and Robert will perform as the Aroha Ensemble to explore some of the masterpieces of the string trio repertoire, such as Beethoven’s String Trio Op. 9. No 1, a work that the composer considered his best composition to that that point.

14 September 2016 - Our China Impressions concert in Wellington on Sunday 9 October presents a musical journey across China. In an exciting new venture for us, we've been working with video artist Jon He. His dynamic video images will accompany our performance of Eight Colours by Tan Dun (composer of the score for 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon').

4 August 2016 - Next week we welcome 42 student and adult amateur musicians from Australia, China and around New Zealand to St Andrew's on the Terrace in Wellington for our second ASQ International Music Academy.

Do join us for one of the concerts listed below to get a taste of the ASQ Academy 2016!

ASQ International Music Academy 2016 Concerts

St Andrew's on the Terrace is hosting the second ASQ International Music Academy from 9-14 August. There are two public concerts at the church associated with the Academy during the week.

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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