Te Whanganui-a-Tara – The New Zealand String Quartet is heading out this month to perform in 12 centres around the country on their 2022 national tour, entitled First Light.
Reflecting on life, loss and rebirth, the programme is a celebratory embrace of Aotearoa’s newest public holiday, Matariki.
NZSQ will kick off the tour on June 12 in Martinborough. This is the first of 12 stops traversing the depth and breadth of Aotearoa in a triumphant return to some well-loved concert venues, wineries, churches and galleries.
This year marks 35 years since the New Zealand String Quartet was founded as Aotearoa’s first full-time, home-grown string quartet, enabling all New Zealanders to experience world class chamber music at home.
The quartet’s violist, Gillian Ansell, says she is looking ahead to a new beginning, but always encompasses the past.
“Our Matariki First Light programme reflects Aotearoa’s forward looking musical culture alongside its European musical roots.”
Taking inspiration from Matariki, the First Light programme will take audiences on a musical journey celebrating those who have come before while looking forward to those yet to come.
First Light is made up of three remarkable and thoughtfully curated programmes: reflection, regeneration and release.
Familiar favourites by Schumann, Mozart and the father of the string quartet, Haydn, are given fresh perspectives when paired with introspective works by people such as Natalie Hunt, Lyell Cresswell, and Grażyna Bacewicz.
The quartet have brought their signature boundary-pushing flair to this programme to ensure that absolutely everybody, from chamber music pros to wide-eyed newcomers, will find something to connect with.
The tour opens in Martinborough on June 12, then they perform in Auckland, Dunedin, Timaru, Akaroa, Christchurch, Tauranga, Napier, Wellington, Nelson, Blenheim and finishing in Hamilton on July 22.