The Australian Art Quartet entrances audiences with performances that playfully sidestep routine, cliche and orthodoxy.
Founded by James Beck (cello, artistic director) & Dan Russell (violin), the group works with distinguished guests to unite great quartet music with a wider world of arts and sciences including scent, botany, social history, architecture, painting, performance art, cuisine, fine wine, dance & multi-discipline installations.
The AAQ's 2016 debut at the historic Yellow House Potts Point demonstrated the appeal of their unique approach, playing to capacity houses and garnering media interest with a following described as the ‘envy of the arts scene'.
In 2017 the AAQ returns with a program that delivers the quality & diversity of an international arts festival, in the intimacy of a 90 seat performance space. Guest artists include KAGE Physical Theatre, Saskia Havekes (floral curator and founder of Grandiflora), Taryn Fiebig (soprano & cellist), Andrew Batt-Rawden (composer) Tony Assness (event director and theatre designer), Alan Jones (painter) and Chris Morrison (sommelier).
The Australian Art Quartet performs in Prada.
Saskia Havekes does not arrange flowers, she curates them. And drama and scale are her signatures. When she joins forces with Australia’s premier event, theatre and party director you know you are going to an AAQ concert unlike anything you have ever experienced.
Erik Satie Gymnopedie No. 1
Arvo Pärt Spiegel im Spiegel
Arvo Pärt Für Alina
Claude Debussy Quartet in g minor Op. 10
The AAQ uses every nook and cranny of the Yellow House in this sonic exploration of time and space. You won’t know where to look.
Steve Reich Different Trains
Henry Purcell Fantasias
Andrew Batt-Rawden 30/31 (world premier)
Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy String Quartet no.2 op.13 in A minor
See a different side to this incredible performer as Taryn and the AAQ explore the innocence, awe and nightmares of youth.
Iain Grandage The Owl and the Pussy Cat
Peter Warlock Songs for Soprano & String Quartet
Franz Schubert Erlkönig
Bela Bartok Rumanian Folk Dances
The highly acclaimed KAGE joins the AAQ in a dreamlike exploration of gender. Flesh & Bone is a lullaby, a parable and a song about what it means not to be man or woman, but to be human. Darlings of international arts festivals, this is an incredible chance to experience KAGE at point blank range.
Music from Stravinsky, Prokofiev & Shostakovich
Butt Naked Salon was the must-see AAQ show of 2016 and it returns in 2017 with the highly awarded Alan Jones painting the walls of the Yellow House to the music of Vaughan Williams and Sculthorpe.
Peter Sculthorpe String Quartet
Ralph Vaughan Williams Quartet No. 2
52—57 Macleay St, Potts Point, NSW, Australia
In 2016, the Australian Art Quartet began a three-year residency at the historic Yellow House Gallery in Sydney’s Potts Point.
From 1970 to 1972 the Yellow House was an artists' collective, established by artist Martin Sharp. The model for Sharp's project was Vincent Van Gogh's Yellow House at Arles and Van Gogh's unrealised dream of establishing an artists' community there.
Artists such as Brett Whiteley, George Gittoes, Bruce Goold, Peter Weir, Philip Noyce, Alby Thoms, Aggie Read and more collaborated and displayed work at the Yellow House ranging from paintings to sculptures, films and interactive art projects. The collective changed the face of Potts Points, bringing a more bohemian feeling to it, which remains to this day.
Artistic Director James Beck has drawn inspiration from this legacy, creating programs that explore the boundaries of truly intimate and experimental live performance.
Dan studied under the direction of respected violin teachers Paul Wright and Alan Bonds and has had lessons and master classes with prominent violinists and teachers such as Mincho Minchev, David Takeno and Prof. Sylvio Krause in Essen, Rostock and London. He has worked with the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra, Canberra Symphony Orchestra, Sydney Philharmonia, concert master of The Metropolitan Orchestra (2011-2012) and others. He travels abroad with the Kammer Philharmonie Köln, having performed with them in Germany, Spain, England, Wales, Ireland, France, Belgium, New Zealand and Australia as first violinist and soloist. Currently performing on a violin by Sibylle Fehr-Borchardt (Cremona, Italy, 2009).
Anna began violin lessons in Sydney at the age of 5, graduating some 15 years later with a BMus in Violin Performance from the University of Sydney in 2000. She then furthered her studies in Montreal, completing a Licenciate Diploma in Violin Performance at McGill University and touring nationally with the Orchestre de la Francophonie. She has also participated in masterclasses at Domaine Forget Quebec and the Mozarteum University Salzburg. Since returning to Australia in 2004 Anna has worked regularly with the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra and also has performed with the Sydney Symphony and Sydney Philharmonia. Anna performs on a instrument by Denis Cormier, Montreal.
Alina obtained her Bachelor of Music Performance degree under the tutelage of Roger Benedict at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and her Masters Degree at the Mozarteum University, Salzburg.
During her studies, Alina had the opportunity to tour numerous times with the Sydney Conservatorium Symphony and Chamber Orchestra as principal viola to England, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, Germany and America. She has also been a participant of the Australian Youth Orchestra, Sydney Camerata Ensemble, Mozarteum Symphony Orchestra, Salzburg Philharmonie, Opera im Berg Orchestra and was a member of the Yehudi Menuhin ‘Live Music Now’ foundation.
Alina has been fortunate enough to receive lessons and participate in master classes with musicians such as Yuri Baschmet, Patricia McCarty, Nobuko Imai, Andra Darzins, Marius Nichiteanu, Antoine Tamestit, Thomas Riebl and William Coleman.
James studied at the University of Melbourne, Victorian College of the Arts, University of Western Australia and Sydney Conservatorium of Music. As a member of the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra 1999-2012, James has performed in many of the major cultural institutions and concert halls of Australia, UK, France & Germany. He is featured on the Brandenburg’s ARIA Awards for Best Classical Release (2010, 2009, 2005). James also performs with Pinchgut Opera, Sinfonia Australis, Ironwood, Perth Symphony Orchestra, Canberra Symphony Orchestra & Cologne Chamber Orchestra. James has taught people of all ages and abilities and in 2005 was music tutor to actress Nicole Kidman for her role in Sydney Pollack’s film The Interpreter. James performs with an instrument attributed to Simone Fernando Sacconi and a range of modern & historic bows. In addition and augmenting his music career, James is a former Artistic Manager of the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra and General Manager of the Foundation for Historic Houses Trust of NSW.
With a refreshing and personable style & gift for programming the Quartet’s appeal to audiences of all ages and backgrounds has been demonstrated by their keen following and critical reception.
Though resident at the Yellow House Sydney, the group often travels further afield for past performances in regional and state centres.
In 2017, the Australian Art Quartet is dedicated to reaching all audiences and is available for concert engagements.