September 28, 2024

Venue TBC

Nowhere to Hide

Young musician with his violin in the shoulder with a cloudy background
Photo by Lisa Maree Williams

Welcome to the sometimes brutal but always exhilarating experience of chamber music!

Stepping outside the worlds of orchestral company, each musician has a greater musical responsibility and agency within the chamber ensemble. The connection with the audience is more intimate, and immediate and the ability to respond, listen and co-create in the moment is a powerful learning experience for our musicians. In 2024, AYO is delighted to welcome back esteemed mentors The Orava Quartet, which has been hailed by Limelight magazine as “the most exciting young quartet on the block” and predicted by The Australian to become “one of Australia’s proudest cultural exports.”

Orava Quartet

The Orava Quartet has been hailed by Limelight magazine as “the most exciting young quartet on the block” and predicted by The Australian to become “one of Australia’s proudest cultural exports.” Known for their genuinely thrilling performances, the Quartet – brothers Daniel and Karol Kowalik (violin and cello), violinist David Dalseno and violist Thomas Chawner – have been bringing their unique sound and breathtaking intensity to both the classics, and lesser-known jewels of the string quartet canon since 2011. Orava Quartet also regularly performs new works by contemporary and Australian composers including Elena Kats-Chernin, Paul Dean, Ross Edwards, and more.

Selected by Deutsche Grammophon for its historic, first Australian recording release in 2018, received with widespread critical acclaim, Orava Quartet has performed throughout North America, the UAE, and Asia, as well as playing for Queen Sofia of Spain and Pope Benedict XVI. As graduate Quartet-in-Residence at the University of Colorado (USA), they worked closely with the world-renowned Takács Quartet from 2012-2014, and toured in the US including at the National Gallery in Washington, D.C. The Quartet made their debut at the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall for VIVID Festival with Sufjan Stevens and won major awards at the 2013 Asia Pacific Chamber Music Competition, including the Musica Viva Australia Tony Berg Award for ‘Most Outstanding Australian Ensemble’.

Orava Quartet has held residencies at Canada’s Banff Arts Centre, and Australia’s Bundanon Trust. Since returning to Australia as Quartet-in-Residence with Camerata – Queensland’s Chamber Orchestra in 2014, the Orava Quartet has performed for New Zealand Festival, Australian Festival of Chamber Music and Huntington Estate Music Festival; Melbourne Festival and BBC Proms Melbourne (for which they were named one of the ‘2016 Arts Highlights of the Year’ by arts luminary, Robyn Archer); Queensland Music Festival, Melbourne Festival (where they were again one of the ‘Top 10 Picks’ of the Festival, in the Herald Sun); Canberra International Music Festival, for Sydney Opera House’ Utzon Music Series, Melbourne Recital Centre, and Musica Viva Australia.

Touring to Canada in 2019, most recent engagements include Canberra International Music Festival, the North Australian Festival of Arts, Tasmanian Chamber Music Festival, Sunshine Coast Chamber Music Festival; concerts at UKARIA Cultural Centre, Melbourne Recital Centre, City Recital Hall (Sydney), and at HOTA Gold Coast with guitarist Karin Schaupp. In 2022 the Quartet also gave the world premiere of a new string quartet by Elena Kats-Chernin, and began a three-year residency with Bangalow Music Festival (NSW).

In 2023, Orava Quartet continues in its ninth year as ‘Quartet-in-Residence’ with Camerata, and in a similar ‘in-residence’ role at Bangalow Music Festival and Orange Chamber Music Festival. Highlights include an invited return tour to Canada to festivals in Québec and Ottawa, and the highly anticipated release of their second album for UMA/Deutsche Grammophon Australia, ‘Orawa’. They return to Tasmanian Chamber Music Festival, Orange and Blackheath Chamber Music Festivals (NSW), and perform for Sydney Mozart Society, Shoalhaven Entertainment Centre, among others.

Orava Quartet is grateful for the support of private sponsors through the Australian Cultural Fund thanks to Cultural Partnerships Australia; Universal Music Australia, the University of Colorado, Australia Council for the Arts, Australian Music Foundation, Ian Potter Cultural Trust Dame Joan Sutherland Fund, PPCA Performers’ Trust Foundation, Ernest Llewellyn Scholarship and Ars Musica Australis. Orava Quartet proudly plays on Larsen Strings.