Winners of the inaugural 2019 Queensland International Chamber Music Competition and ANAM Chamber Music Competition, the Partridge String Quartet has established itself as one of the new emerging Australian string quartets of its generation.
Founded in 2017, the Partridge String Quartet strives to contribute to the Australian classical music scene with vibrance and creativity.
Based in Melbourne, the Partridge String Quartet is an emerging ensemble that has recieved national recognition through its sucess as recipients of the Musica Viva Chamber Music Prize (2017) performing Stanhope's String Quartet No. 2, first prize in the Australian National Academy of Music Chamber Music Competition (2018) and Queensland International Chamber Music Competition (2019) for their performance of Ligeti's String Quartet No. 1.
Comprised of members William Huxtable (violin), Mana Ohashi (violin), Eunise Cheng (viola) and Daniel Smith (cello), the quartet has performed around Australia and given concerts at performance venues including the Melbourne Recital Centre, Queensland Conservatorium Theatre, Sydney Conservatorium of Music (Music Workshop) and Malthouse Theatre. Highlights for the Partridge String Quartet recently include performing as part of Ensemble Q’s ‘Champions’ Concert in Brisbane and being invited to perform alongside Australian clarinettist Paul Dean at the 10th Anniversary Gala Melbourne Recital Centre Concert broadcasted live on ABC Classic Radio. They have conducted interviews and performed at the studios live on 3MBS Fine Music and ABC Classic where they were interviewed by Ed Ayres and featured in the Cutcommon and Music Makers Magazine.
Dedicated to continually exploring and developing, the quartet has studied with a wide range of leading musicians. As students of the Australian National Academy of Music, the Partridge String Quartet were mentored by Caroline Henbest, Robin Wilson, Sophie Rowell, Howard Penny and Timothy Young. They have been mentored by members of the 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 world-wide 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, 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 collaborating with other artists for the world premiere of emerging American composer Isaac Blumfield’s String Octet. Earlier in 2019, the quartet performed at the Musica Viva Chamber Music Festival 2019 in Sydney as part of the Australian Youth Orchestra Chamber Players Program where they were mentored by the Dover String Quartet for multiple performances held in Sydney.
Advocates of Australian music, the ensemble was invited in 2017 to perform at the National Gallery of Victoria for the Australian Art and Music exhibition and in 2018, returned for the opening of their Frontier Wars exhibition performing Australian composer Peter Sculthorpe’s String Quartet No. 14 at the Ian Potter Centre in Federation Square. The quartet’s rendition of the Stanhope String Quartet No. 2 was performed in Banff and also used in an animation created by Sylvie Le Couteur which was selected to be premiered and featured at the Australian International Animation Festival and Melbourne International Animation in 2019. Since then, the quartet has been involved in an exciting project of connecting Australian chamber music with audiences 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 October, the quartet has been invited as artists for the Port Fairy Spring Festival 2019 where they will present a full cycle of Australian composer Richard Mills’ four string quartets and world-premiering his fifth string quartet at the festival. As prize winners of the ANAM Chamber Competition (2018), they will also be hosting a concert at the Melbourne Recital Centre Primrose Potter Salon performing Ravel’s String Quartet.