As winners of the inaugural 2019 Queensland International Chamber Music Competition, 2018 ANAM Chamber Music Competition and recipient of the Musica Viva Chamber Music Prize (2017), the Partridge String Quartet has established itself as one of Australia’s emerging string quartets of its generation.
The Partridge String Quartet was formed in Melbourne at the Australian National Academy of Music with founding members William, Mana, Eunise and Daniel. Dedicated to their art, the quartet strives to personally connect with their audiences through imaginative and creative performances. They have collaborated with widely recognized Australian artists and are engaged in concert series and projects around Australia which have been featured in Cutcommon, Limelight and Music Makers magazines.
2019 was an exciting year for the quartet as they performed at the Melbourne Recital Centre for its 10th Anniversary Gala Concert, their own quartet recital in the ANAM Winners Concert Series and for Richard Mills’ 70th Celebration concert. As alumni of the Australian Youth Orchestra, they were actively involved at the Musica Viva Festival as participants on the Chamber Players Program, where their interview with Ed Ayres and performance was broadcasted on ABC Classic FM. They have performed alongside artists such as clarinettist Paul Dean and musicians from the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. As winners of the QICMC, the Partridge String Quartet was featured as part of Ensemble Q’s ‘Champions’ Concert performing at the Queensland Conservatorium Theatre.
Passionate advocates of Australian music, the Partridge String Quartet was honoured to perform a full cycle of String Quartets by highly esteemed Australian composer Richard Mills including a world-premiere of his fifth String Quartet at the Port Fairy Spring Music Festival in 2018 which was recorded by 3mbs. An avid fan of Paul Stanhope, they have performed his work ‘Sea Chronicles’ with soprano Merlyn Quaife at the inaugural Bendigo Chamber Music Festival and their performance of his String Quartet No. 2 has been developed into animation and featured at the Australian International Animation Festival and Melbourne International Animation Festival. The quartet has also performed at the National Gallery of Victoria and Ian Potter Centre for the opening of Australian Art and Music exhibitions. Additionally, the quartet has been involved in an exciting project using motion capture technology. Through a collaboration with the quartet, Deakin University’s motion.lab, Australian composer Paul Stanhope and ANAM, they aim to create a new visual representation of classical music performance through animation. In 2020, the quartet will also present an exciting collection of string quartets written by emerging and renowned Australian composers at the MPavilion.
Continually developing as an ensemble, the quartet has studied with a wide range of leading musicians. As graduates of ANAM, the quartet has been mentored by Caroline Henbest, Robin Wilson, Sophie Rowell, Howard Penny and Timothy Young. They have been mentored by members of the Dover Quartet, Australian String Quartet and performed in masterclasses with international artists such as Igor Naidin from the Borodin String Quartet, Gerhard Schultz from the Alban Berg Quartet, cellist Alban Gerdhart, violinist Andrew Haveron and Christian-Pierre La Marca from Trio Dali. In 2018, the quartet received the Husky Energy Artist Award after they were selected as one of 10 string quartets internationally for a 3-week string quartet program residency at the Banff Centre of Arts and Creativity in Canada. During the program, they were tutored by music faculty from Harvard and Julliard, the JACK Quartet, Eybler Quartet, Parker Quartet and prolific American composer Paul Wiancko. The program culminated with multiple performances at the Rolston Recital Hall and collaborations with other international artists for the world premiere of a String Octet by emerging American composer Isaac Blumfield.
A new experience for the quartet entails a tour to the Clarence Valley Conservatorium to kickstart the school’s 2020 Visiting Artists series before heading to Coffs Harbour Regional Conservatorium for a collaboration with the staff and local students. Having performed around Australia, the quartet’s curiosity of unique performance spaces has brought them to perform in unconventional concert settings. They are delighted to be invited to Brisbane for Ensemble Q’s new chamber music series ‘Musical Chairs’ and look forward to returning to the Australian National Academy of Music to perform as part of the Quartetthaus Project with current students, international musicians and Richard Tognetti.