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The Creative Issue – News for Creatives | July 28, 2021

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Orava Quartet Dazzles at Brisbane Music Festival

Orava Quartet Dazzles at Brisbane Music Festival
Claire Matthews

Presented as part of the Brisbane Music Festival, the concert on Sunday night featured Orava Quartet alongside emerging artists in a playful program.

On a cold, windy Brisbane night, we found refuge in the Salvation Army City Temple. Wedged between towering office blocks and busy streets, this inner-city venue allowed us to escape.

The intimate setting was perfect for a night of chamber music with Orava Quartet.

Orava Quartet is one of Australia’s leading chamber ensembles, comprised of brothers Daniel Kowalik (violin) and Karol Kowalik (cello), Thomas Chawner (viola), and David Dalseno (violin).

The quartet is known for lively and passionate performances, and this was no exception. They rocked the wooden stage with their crisp suits and fluoro socks and sure had a great time.

The program opened with a folk tune, Wood Works, arranged by the Danish String Quartet. Led by violinist Daniel, this work had a bright and bubbling tune. The quartet shifted between acting as a singular vessel and then in contrasting dialogues. The folk sound evoked images of woodlands, weddings, and dancing.

Four BMF Young Artists, Julia Hill (violin), Rebekah Hall (violin), Shuhei Lawson (cello) and Harry Swainston (viola) then joined Orava for Two Pieces for String Octet by Shostakovich. This was a special moment as the young artists had the chance to perform with leading professional musicians. The quartet paid close attention to each other throughout the elegant yet character-rich work.

To close the concert, Alex joined Orava for Brahms’ Piano Quintet in F Minor, an intensely lyrical and sweeping work. Throughout the various movements there was a recurring motif where the quartet came together with bold bow-strokes. The piano part came in eddies and streams, countering the currents of the strings.

In all, it was a thoroughly enjoyable concert and the perfect way to round off the weekend. There’s nothing like attending a vibrant chamber music concert to help you feel refreshed for the week ahead.

BMF Concerts Coming Up:

Karin: Featuring guitarist Karin Schaupp, July 23. More info.

How Strange the Change: Featuring Erik Griswold’s new work, July 24. More info.

Liza Lim Portrait Concert: Featuring pianist Liza Lim, July 24. More info.

The Lark Ascending: Featuring 6 BMF Young Artists, July 25. More info.

Images supplied by Universal Music Australia.