NEW ZEALAND STRING QUARTET
Sunday 15 November 4 pm
Warkworth Town Hall
Helene Pohl - First violin
Monique Lapin - Second violin
Gillian Ansell - viola
Rolf Gjelsten - cello
Beethoven's string quartets
Since 1987 the New Zealand String Quartet has been New Zealand’s leading chamber ensemble, with a distinguished record of international touring success and a body of acclaimed recordings. Much-loved by audiences at home and around the world, the Quartet performs over eighty concerts to popular and critical acclaim each year.
Career highlights have included highly-praised performances at London’s Wigmore Hall, the prestigious Frick Collection in New York and in Washington’s Library of Congress. The Quartet’s extensive discography includes Brahms, Mendelssohn, Bartók, Ravel, Debussy, Beethoven, Schubert, Dvorák, Wolf, Berg, Takemitsu, Tan Dun and numerous New Zealand composers including the complete chamber works for strings by Douglas Lilburn. In February 2019 they released the final volume in a three-CD Brahms set for Naxos.
The ensemble has been Quartet-in-Residence at the New Zealand School of Music at Victoria University since 1991, where three of the members are Associate Professors. Violinist Helene Pohl and violist Gillian Ansell are co-artistic directors of the biennial Adam Chamber Music Festival in Nelson and the longest-serving Quartet members have been awarded the MNZM honour for services to music in New Zealand.
Helene Pohl - First violin
Helene studied at the Musikhochschule in Cologne, with members of the Cleveland Quartet at the Eastman School of Music and at Indiana University with Josef Gingold. She was first violinist of the prize-winning San Francisco-based Fidelio String Quartet before joining the NZSQ in 1994. In 2001 she became Artistic Director, with Gillian Ansell, of the Adam Chamber Music Festival.
Helene plays a 1730 violin made by Pietro Guarneri in Venice.
Monique Lapins – Second violin
Monique studied at the Australian National Academy of Music and at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music in Singapore. She has twice been a finalist in the Asia Pacific Chamber Music Competition and has participated in chamber music programmes and festivals in Europe, Asia and Australia.
Monique plays a 1784 Lorenzo Storioni violin kindly on loan from David Duncan Craig and the Lily Duncan Trust.
Gillian Ansell – Viola
Following studies at the Royal College of Music in London and at the Musikhochschule in Cologne, Gillian worked as a professional player in London before becoming a founder member of the New Zealand String Quartet in 1987. She was second violinist for two years before taking up the position of violist with the group. In 2001 she became Artistic Director, with Helene Pohl, of the Adam Chamber Music Festival.
Gillian plays a 1619 Nicolò Amati viola kindly loaned by The Adam Foundation.
Rolf Gjelsten – Cello
Rolf studied cello in North America with James Hunter and Janos Starker, as well as chamber music with the LaSalle, Hungarian, Vermeer, Cleveland and Emerson string quartets. He played professionally with the Berlin Symphony, the Laurentian Quartet and New York Trio before coming to New Zealand. He has a doctorate from Rutgers University and has played with the New Zealand String Quartet from 1994.
Rolf plays a 1705 Francesco Gofriller cello made in Venice.