“One only had to hear the opening bars to realise this is a very fine quartet indeed.”
The Telegraph, UK – City of London Festival review 2011
“The Goldners give the most sublimely articulate and raptly communicative reading of Elgar’s elusive String Quartet that it’s been my privilege to encounter.”
Celebrating their 25th Season in 2020, the Goldner String Quartet has longstanding recognition, as not only Australia’s pre-eminent string quartet but as an ensemble of international significance, favourably compared with the best in the world. The Quartet is named after Richard Goldner, founder of Musica Viva Australia.
Launched in 1995 and still retaining all founding members, the musicians are well known to Australian and international audiences through their performances and recordings and for their concurrent membership of the Australia Ensemble @UNSW. All members have occupied principal positions in organisations such as the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and Australian Chamber Orchestra. Unanimous audience and critical acclaim following their Wigmore Hall debut in 1997 ensured the Goldner Quartet’s invitations to prestigious UK and European festivals.
Performances in the USA and throughout Asia have followed, in addition to several tours of New Zealand.
The Quartet regularly appears at many of Australia’s leading music festivals including Musica Viva’s Sydney Festival, Music in the Hunter, and at Huntington Estate among others, in addition to being Quartet in Residence at the annual Australian Festival of Chamber Music, in Townsville, North Queensland. The Goldners also enjoyed outstanding success at the 2017 Adam Chamber Music Festival, in Nelson, NZ. More recently the Goldners have toured the UK, including London’s Wigmore Hall, and performed in Italy for the opening of the 2019 Biennale Arte in Venice.
Special projects have included a major 20th-Century retrospective, and the complete Beethoven String Quartet Cycle. The Quartet’s appearances in the 2011 City of London Festival drew capacity audiences and unanimous praise from UK critics, and were broadcast on the BBC. Other Goldner projects have included The Quartets – a live DVD documentary with Peter Sculthorpe, and an international project in celebration of Sydney’s Sister Cities. In 2015 the Quartet undertook a nationwide tour for Musica Viva’s International Series and in 2017 presented the complete series of Coffee Concerts for Musica Viva Sydney audiences.
The Goldner’s live recordings of the complete Beethoven String Quartet cycle released on ABC Classics, won the 2009 Limelight Award for Best Classical Recording. The Quartet has numerous recordings for the prestigious UK label, Hyperion; each disc highlights string quartets and piano quintets of a different composer (Bloch, Bridge, Dvořák, Elgar, Harty, Taneyev, Arensky, Vierne, Pierné, Bruch, Borodin, Korngold and Bartok to date) with pianist Piers Lane. Universal rave reviews have followed, including Diapason D’Or, Editor’s Choice in Gramophone magazine and BBC Music Magazine, as well as finalist for the BBC Music Magazine’s Chamber Music Award in 2009. Also released are the complete quartets of Szymanowski and Stravinsky on Naxos, and the complete quartets of Carl Vine on ABC Classics. The Goldners had a close working relationship with Peter Sculthorpe; 3 volumes of his Quartets are recorded on the Tall Poppies label and the Goldners own DVD documentary, The Quartets, recorded with Peter Sculthorpe is released by ABC Classics.
Strongly committed to teaching the next generation of string quartets, the Goldners have mentored young ensembles through programs of the Australian Youth Orchestra, Musica Viva Australia and the Sydney Conservatorium. New works have been regularly commissioned for the Goldners from many of Australia’s leading composers.
Goldner String Quartet :
Dene Olding (violin)
Dimity Hall (violin)
Irina Morozova (viola)
Julian Smiles (cello)