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Musical and mystical worlds meet

Musical and mystical worlds meet in chamber music series

For immediate release / 9 August 2004 / 543 words

The mystical world of astrology meets the musical styles of Mozart and Brahms when the New Zealand String Quartet are joined by German violist Hariolf Schlichtig for a nationwide tour this month.

Fate dealt its hand when the quartet first met and performed with Hariolf in his native Germany a few years ago. They loved performing with him so much that Chamber Music New Zealand agreed to present his talents alongside the quartet to New Zealand audiences as part of the NZSQ's nine centre Celebrity Season tour.

The New Zealand String Quartet, (Helene Pohl, violin; Douglas Beilman, violin; Gillian Ansell, viola and Rolf Gjelsten, cello) are looking forward to joining Hariolf onstage again. "He is a truly great inspiring player and musician...we all value his musical ideas and great mana", says Gillian.

Coincidentally, the quartet and Hariolf share more than a love of music making together. Hariolf has a keen interest in astrology saying that it relates strongly to music. He says the NZSQ contain each of the four balancing astrological elements of Fire, Water, Earth and Air.

Helene's Sagittarius (fire) sign indicates energy and action, while Douglas' Cancer (water) sign signifies emotion and intuition. Gillian, a Taurean (earth), symbolises common sense and persistence and Rolf's air sign of Aquarius encompasses thinking and communication. Hariolf, who was born under Libra adds to the combination with his air element.

This well balanced and 'star studded' quintet will be performing the rich and rapturous string quintets by Mozart and Brahms during their New Zealand August tour.

Hariolf was a founding member of the Cherubini String Quartet. He currently teaches viola and chamber music at the Music Academy in Munich and has won prestigious music competitions. He regularly collaborates with world renowned musicians such as Emmanuel Pahud, Christoph Poppen and G‚rard Causs‚ and his recordings of Schubert, Schumann, Mendelssohn, Schoek and Matthus have received great reviews.

He is excited about performing the beautiful repertoire of Mozart and Brahms. They are he says, "wonderful pieces put together. Only highlights!"

The quartet agrees, "both these composers have written the greatest works for a viola quintet...both have gorgeous, unusual slow movements and are luscious and rich...the extra viola (Hariolf) adds a darkness and depth to the string quartet tonal palette", says Gillian.

Hariolf, who at the start of his musical career played the violin, says he loves the viola because of the warm, dark sound he creates that he likens to his voice.

The New Zealand String Quartet have impressed audiences all over the world with their energy and vitality on stage. Preferring to perform standing, the quartet "like the music to be brought to life as much as possible, with maximum freshness, energy, sincerity and personality...we are after a certain freedom, expansiveness, joy in communicating the music to our listeners," says Gillian.

They have been the Quartet-in-Residence at Victoria University of Wellington since 1991. They give regular masterclasses, including the annual Adam Summer School in Nelson for the most accomplished string students in the country. The quartet's Beethoven 'Rasumovsky' Quartets Opus 59 Nos 2 & 3 CD was a finalist for Best Classical Album at the 2003 New Zealand Music Awards.

In presenting the 2004 Celebrity Season, Chamber Music New Zealand acknowledges major funding from Creative New Zealand.

Programme 1 (Auckland, Napier, Palmerston North, Invercargill and Dunedin)

Mozart String Quintet in C K515 Mozart String Quintet in E flat K614 interval Brahms String Quintet No 2 in G Opus 111

Programme 2 (Wellington, New Plymouth, Nelson and Christchurch)

Mozart String Quintet in D K593 Mozart String Quintet in G minor K516 interval Brahms String Quintet No 1 in F Opus 88

Concert Dates

INVERCARGILL Saturday 14 August, Centrestage, 8pm. DUNEDIN Monday 16 August, Glenroy Auditorium, 8pm. CHRISTCHURCH Tuesday 17 August, James Hay Theatre, 8pm. NELSON Wednesday 18 August, Nelson School of Music, 8pm. PALMERSTON NORTH Thursday 19 August, Regent on Broadway, 8pm. NAPIER Saturday 21 August, Century Theatre, 8pm. AUCKLAND Monday 23 August, Auckland Town Hall, 8pm. NEW PLYMOUTH Wednesday 25 August, Theatre Royal, TSB Showplace, 8pm. WELLINGTON Thursday 26 August, Wellington Town Hall, 8pm.

ENDS

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