Sunday 8 October

New Zealand String Quartet
with Diedre Irons

“Diedre Irons’ magical lightness of touch in the coda of the Intermezzo was simply breathtaking”
– (Tony Ryan, Christchurch)


Helene Pohl (violin I), Monique Lapins (violin II), Rolf Gjelsten (cello), Gillian Ansell (viola).     Inset: Diedre Irons (piano)


String Quartet, Opus 76, No 3 (“Emperor”)


String Quartet No 5 in Bb

Amy Beach

Quintet for Strings and Piano

The New Zealand String Quartet is surely a national treasure. Celebrating their 35th year in 2022, they have built a world-wide reputation. Their contribution to the New Zealand music scene is immense. As well as performing they teach at the New Zealand School of Music, where they have been Quartet-in-Residence since 1991. Over the years they have promoted the music of New Zealand composers and have commissioned over 150 works. They mentor young chamber musicians through numerous events such as the annual Adam Chamber Music School.

Their wide-ranging programme opens with Haydn’s famous “Emperor Quartet” followed in total contrast by Shostakovich’s 5th Quartet. Frequently dark and dramatic, this work was written in 1952 but Shostakovich wisely held it back from publication until the darkest oppressive days of the Soviet regime had passed.

Members of the New Zealand String Quartet enjoy collaborating with other performers, one of whom is popular pianist Diedre Irons. Together they will perform a piano quintet by Amy Beach, a composer and pianist born in 1867 and considered to be one of the finest American composers of her time. Composed in 1907 this very attractive quintet is in late Romantic style.