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FLINDERS QUARTET

Thibaud Pavlovic-Hobba (violin), Nicholas Waters (violin), Helen Ireland (viola) and Zoe Knighton (cello)

with Wilma Smith (violin) commencing 2020

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

Committed to industry development, FQ regularly commissions and premieres works by Australian composers. Their 2020 season includes the premieres of new works by Katy Abbott, Deborah Cheetham AO, and emerging composer Ella Macens (participant in FQ’s 2017 Composer Development Program). In their ongoing mission to further the Australian tradition of chamber music, FQ has previously commissioned and premiered works by Peter Sculthorpe, Ross Edwards, Elena Kats-Chernin, Stuart Greenbaum, Paul Dean, Paul Grabowsky, Ian Munro, Iain Grandage, Andrew Ford, Calvin Bowman, Tom Henry and Matt Laing. In 2016, FQ launched its Composer Development Program, working to further the career of emerging Australian composers.

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

The quartet is regularly invited to perform and tour for chamber music presenters such as Musica Viva Australia, and is in demand at festivals throughout Australia often in association with some of the country’s finest talents, including Slava Grigoryan, Kristian Chong, Ian Munro, Paul Dean, Karin Schaupp, Genevieve Lacey and Jayson Gillham. International engagements have taken FQ to the UK, Singapore, Canada, and most recently, Sweden and Finland, where its was 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 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 late 2018, FQ released “The Offering”, a 2-CD set of four Australian works commissioned and/or premiered by the quartet.

FQ 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. In 2018, Flinders Quartet were appointed Artistic Patrons of John Noble’s Quartet Program; an initiative that reaches student and amateur musicians in regional Victorian through mentoring and shared performances.

... exciting and effervescent ... had the audience sitting up in their seats paying close attention to the impeccable intonation, rhythmic unity and open communication of the four players...
— CLASSIC MELBOURNE, March 2019
... enjoyable and unpretentious night of high-class music. The program was a reminder of the Flinders Quartet’s unique and refreshing ability to present an exceptional standard of classical music in a way that feels warm and human.
— CLASSIC MELBOURNE, August 2018
... Flinders Quartet displays a tight ensemble with exemplary intonation ... We are indeed fortunate to have resident in Australia a quartet of this very high calibre.
— CLASSIKON, July 2017
The performances of the Flinders Quartet were simply exquisite - the expectations were high, but they were anyhow surpassed. To mention only two separate items: the big five-movement quartet ‘Voces Intimae’ sounded deep and expressive in our 5th century stone church, the Korpo Church, and eg. the final,long-strechted crescendo of the finale was played with commendable aplomb. The separate Adagio in D minor, Js 12, was rendered with lyrical intensity and atmosphere, showing the high professional culture of the ensemble.
— Folke Grasbek, Artistic Director Sibelius Festival, Korpo, April 2016
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

quartet members

Flinders Quartet is

Thibaud Pavlovic-Hobba (violin)
Nicholas Waters (violin)
Helen Ireland (viola)
Zoe Knighton (cello)

with Wilma Smith (violin) commencing 2020


THIBAUD PAVLOVIC-HOBBA

Thibaud, an Australian-French violinist, was born in Tasmania. He began playing the violin after receiving it as his fifth birthday present. He studied in Tasmania under Peter Tanfield and he also attended the Australian National Academy of Music where he studied with Paul Wright and Bill Hennessy.

He has performed with the Tasmanian and Sydney symphony orchestras, Melbourne Chamber Orchestra and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra. In 2012 he was an Emerging Artist with the Australian Chamber Orchestra under Zoë Black and Helena Rathbone’s mentorship. He continued to tour with the ACO for the next years and joined the Orchestra as a part-time musician in 2016.

Thibaud won the audience choice prize at the ANAM Chamber Music Competition with his piano trio in 2014. He has played with members of the Brodsky Quartet, Nicolas Altstaedt, Alban Gerhardt and Anthony Marwood. He has also performed at many festivals around Australia as well as touring nationally with the Sydney Dance Company.


Thibaud Pavlovic-Hobba, violin (FQ member 2019-present, guest 2018)

Thibaud Pavlovic-Hobba, violin (FQ member 2019-present, guest 2018)


Nicholas Water, violin (FQ member 2015-2019)

Nicholas Water, violin (FQ member 2015-2019)

NICHOLAS WATERS 

Melbourne-born, Nicholas graduated from ANAM’s Professional Performance Program in 2016 whilst also an Emerging Artist with the Australian Chamber Orchestra (ACO). He received the E. V. Llewellyn Memorial Award for Overseas Study in 2016, taking lessons with Prof. David Takeno in London and Prof. Oliver Wille in Hanover. He won the Bach Prize in the 2015 Kendall National Violin Competition, and toured China with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra as a 2014 Fellow.

Nicholas is a founding member of Affinity Collective and also performs with Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Melbourne Chamber Orchestra, ACO Collective and Momentum Ensemble.


Wilma Smith, violin (FQ member 2000, guest 2018)

Wilma Smith, violin (FQ member 2000, guest 2018)

WILMA SMITH

Wilma Smith is Artistic Director and violinist of Wilma & Friends, a chamber music series based in Melbourne and presenting concerts throughout Australia and New Zealand. She is also Musica Viva’s Artistic Director of the Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition and the new National Chamber Music Championship. Wilma teaches violin and chamber music at the University of Melbourne, Scotch College and Korowa Anglican Girls’ School.

Wilma was born in Fiji and raised in New Zealand. She studied in Boston at the New England Conservatory with the legendary Dorothy DeLay and Louis Krasner then was founding First Violinist of the Lydian String Quartet, winners of the Naumburg Award for Chamber Music and multiple prizes at the Evian, Banff and Portsmouth International String Quartet Competitions. She was Concertmaster of the Harvard Chamber Orchestra and Handel and Haydn Society, and performed regularly with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Boston Pops Orchestra.  

Invited to return home to form the New Zealand String Quartet, Wilma was First Violinist until she was appointed Concertmaster of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, a position she held for nine years before moving to Melbourne to be Concertmaster of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra from 2003 to 2014. Wilma has also appeared as Guest Concertmaster with Sydney, Adelaide, West Australian, and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras, Queensland Festival Philharmonic, Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra and Orchestra Wellington.  


HELEN IRELAND

Originally from Adelaide, Helen has made Melbourne her home since moving in 2000 to attend the Australian National Academy of Music. Helen is also a core member of the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra and teaches viola at Melbourne University. A graduate of the Canberra School of Music, Helen was awarded the Erica Haas prize for chamber music. She participated in several Australian Youth Orchestra tours, becoming principal viola of the Camerata in 1998. In 1996, Helen was a finalist in the viola competition at the International Winter School for Strings.  Helen has worked with many leading Australian orchestras, including the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra and the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra. She plays regularly with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and Orchestra Victoria where she has been guest principal and associate principal.  Helen is qualified as a Feldenkrais practitioner and looks forward to helping other musicians with this work.

Helen is a founding member of Flinders Quartet.

Helen Ireland, viola (founding FQ member, 2000-present)

Helen Ireland, viola (founding FQ member, 2000-present)


Zoe Knighton, cello (founding FQ member, 2000-present)

Zoe Knighton, cello (founding FQ member, 2000-present)

ZOE KNIGHTON

After starting cello at the age of nine with Jill Kahans, and graduating from the University of Melbourne with the highest mark of her year, Zoe went on to establish herself as one of the country’s most sought after cellists. Having studied with Christian Wojtowicz, Michel Strauss (Paris) Nelson Cooke, and Angela Seargeant, she is now in demand as chamber coach and teacher at various institutions. A regular panelist for major competitions, Zoe combines many facets of her career with performing.

Zoe has played numerous concertos with Melbourne Orchestras and with pianist Amir Farid, made an impressive debut at the Melbourne Recital Centre to great critical acclaim in 2009. Their partnership has resulted in recordings for ABC, concerts throughout Australia and the release of five CDs on the MOVE label. Zoe and Amir will reunite in 2020 with performances in New York and throughout Australia.

Zoe has been praised for her “thrilling tenor sound” (Limelight Magazine), “sublime phrasing” and “many great technical demands carried off with ease.” She has released three other titles on the MOVE label, including the complete suites for solo cello by J.S Bach.

Zoe is a founding member of Flinders Quartet.

“Knighton has produced a reading of great artistic integrity.” Gordon Kerry  

“She radiates confidence in her work and participates with personality and no little finesse … Well worth hearing for the pleasure given through this player’s familiar warmth and honesty of musical character.” Clive O’Connell