FLINDERS QUARTET

Shane Chen (violin), Nicholas Waters (violin), Helen Ireland (viola) and Zoe Knighton (cello)

Flinders Quartet (FQ) is instantly recognisable as one of Australia’s most loved chamber music ensembles. A quartet for the twenty-first century, Flinders continues its second decade with acknowledged musical skill and maturity. Their dynamic and stirring performances of a full spectrum of repertoire have audiences and critics articulating their esteem, and the quartet is now a highly respected force in Australian chamber music.

FQ regularly commissions and premieres works by Australian composers. In 2016, the quartet premiered works by Stuart Greenbaum and Elena Kats-Chernin, while Calvin Bowman and Iain Grandage commissions and arrangements are slated for 2017. In their ongoing mission to further the Australian tradition of chamber music, FQ has previously commissioned and premiered works by Katy Abbott, Ross Edwards, Richard Mills, Paul Dean, Paul Grabowsky, Andrew Ford, Ian Munro, Tom Henry and Peter Sculthorpe. In 2016, FQ launched its inaugural composer workshop initiative, working with emerging Australian composers.

Vanguards of the Melbourne chamber music scene, FQ initiated their own annual subscription series in 2002. The series has gained momentum each year, and the quartet now enjoys programming and presenting their own season in four Melbourne venues.

The quartet is regularly invited to perform and tour for chamber music presenters such as Musica Viva, and is in demand at festivals throughout Australia often in association with some of the country’s finest talents, including Paul Dean, Kristian Chong, Ian Munro, Paul Dean, Karin Schaupp, Genevieve Lacey and Jayson Gillham. International engagements have taken them to the UK, Singapore, Canada, and most recently, Sweden and Finland, where they were invited to perform the complete string quartets by Sibelius.

Building on its 2006 Limelight Award and 2007 Melbourne Prize for Music nomination, FQ was nominated for a 2007 ARIA (Australian Recording Industry Association) award for its performance of Gillian Whitehead’s "Bright Forms Return" in collaboration with new music ensemble Halcyon. In 2010, Flinders was again nominated for the Melbourne Prize for Music, and in 2011 received an ARIA nomination for its CD release with Karin Schaupp (guitar), "Fandango".

FQ was Radio 3MBS FM’s inaugural Artists in Residence, a position they held until 2006. The quartet continues to receive regular airplay on that station, as well as on ABC Classic FM, Sydney’s Fine Music FM, various other Australian stations, and on Finland’s Radio Vega and the UK’s BBC Three.

FQ’s first commercial CD release, "Reinventions" with Genevieve Lacey, met with critical and popular acclaim and was re-released on the ABC Classics label in 2015, reaching #1 on the ARIA Core Classical album chart. Also on the ABC Classics label is its ARIA-nominated 2011 release, "Fandango" with Karin Schaupp, and 2015 release "Intimate Voices: Sibelius String Quartets". In 2017, FQ will record and release a CD of Australian works commissioned and/or premiered by the quartet.

The members of Flinders Quartet have a steadfast commitment to the development of Australian chamber music, musicians and audiences. As teachers and mentors they regularly work with the Australian Youth Orchestra and its developmental programs for young chamber groups.  They also work with the Victorian Amateur Chamber Music Society, and are regularly invited to tutor at secondary and tertiary institutions throughout Australia including the University of Melbourne.

I could hardly praise the playing of the Flinders Quartet more highly: accurate and perceptive with excellent timing and coordination.
— BACHTRACK, March 2016
... Flinders Quartet displayed seamless ensemble as well as profound understanding of the music they played.
— ARMIDALE EXPRESS, March 2016
Their shading, rhythmic pliability and tautness of ensemble are impeccable.
— LIMELIGHT MAGAZINE (reviewing "Intimate Voices"), December 2015
... intense clarity and fluid partnership ...
— COURIER MAIL (reviewing "Intimate Voices"), September 2015
... the quartet sounded as if they had been playing together for a lifetime: unity of interpretation, tight ensemble, fine balance, matched tone, and fluent dialogues between solo and collective lines.
— THE AUSTRALIAN, May 2014