The Lazarus String Quartet recently completed a 12 centre New Zealand tour after returning to the country from two years of study overseas following on from being recipients of the ROSL Arts / Pettman Scholarship in 2010. The feedback from the tour has been incredible. And the ensemble had a blast on the road…
On the opportunity to tour their country
From Emma (violin):
“Being given the opportunity to tour New Zealand playing this amazing music as a string quartet has been a life changing experience. In the two weeks of our first nationwide tour, we learnt an enormous amount about the lifestyle of chamber music and grew stronger as a string quartet.
After having completed a truly successful tour in New Zealand, the ideas in what we wish to achieve in our future concerts have become clearer and we now know what we will need to accomplish in order to reach the top standard of string quartet playing.
The strength and stamina build up from performing numerous concerts, the deepness that is within the string quartet repertoire and the bond we share as not just a chamber group but as a family we think are some of the key points that we have learnt more about during the tour. Each and every concert was different but each and every concert was special and we can search for the same feelings and emotions in our next performances overseas.
The tour gave us a real look into professional string quartet life and we are honoured to have been a part of the ongoing New Zealand chamber music scene.
We are proud to be kiwis performing on the other side of the world and we will never forget our first nationwide tour.”
On the memorable, the unexpected, the crazy and the surprising
From Julianne (violin):
“The most memorable moment for me during the tour was our drive down south. The breathtaking scenic drive felt like a once in a lifetime opportunity but knowing that us kiwis come from such a beautiful land made me proud. One of my favorite views was of Mt. Aoraki while driving.
One unexpected moment was when almost everyone fell ill at the beginning of the tour. We were worried that the first concert we were giving in New Zealand would not be of our standard but luckily we toughened up, got well and performed our hearts out.
A crazy moment was when we were driving to Gisbourne and the weather was not at its best. Thick fog, gusty winds, torrential rain and windy roads were not a good mix.
And on top of that we were going up a mountain behind a large truck and then we noticed that the driver was not driving properly and started driving across the middle line and nearly crashing in to on coming cars!
A surprising moment for me was, while we were performing, my colleagues would play a section of the piece different than we usually perform it and everyone caught on. I was surprised not because they did this but because of the sound we created with the new idea. Moments like these is what makes chamber music and touring with it magnificent.”
On studying overseas, together
From Lindsay (viola):
“Being in Germany, studying music and playing concerts is something that all four of us have always had as a dream and a goal, since starting our musical studies many years ago in New Zealand.
The opportunity to meet international artists and play in various chamber music festivals around Europe as a string quartet has been my indication that coming here to study was a great choice. Being here makes you realize how small the music world really is. We are constantly bumping into people we know, even Kiwis and international artists we met along the way back home. New Zealand is a lot more linked to the musical world than I had thought.
Achieving our goal to study overseas was hard work, but I am grateful to have had the company of the fellow kiwis in the quartet, who were experiencing everything with me along the way. I think we are lucky to have it a little easier – traveling here with close friends and learning everything together has been great fun and it is nice having a little New Zealand family being so far from home.”
On playing for friends and family
From Alice (cello):
“Once we found out that we were going to play the Encompass tour in New Zealand I was so excited, I was practically counting the days until we arrived back home.
Because I hadn’t returned to New Zealand since the start of my studies 3 years ago, coming home to see my family and friends was extremely overwhelming and exciting. Being back home and having the chance to show the people I love what I have been up to since being away was a big deal to me, so I was very nervous and excited!
Our first concert in Christchurch was really fun. We were playing for our teachers from Canterbury University, so we really wanted to do our best and to show them what we have worked on since being away.
When I walked on stage for the concert in Wellington, an extremely comforting and positive, (yet very unfamiliar!!) feeling came over me. Seeing the faces of my Mum and Dad, other family members, fellow musicians, childhood music teachers and friends from way back, in the audience really hit me and put me in high spirits for the whole concert. This is something I experienced for the first time and it was a moment I will never forget. I am so grateful for the support that is everlasting in New Zealand. Having a place to come back to and to physically see that your roots are in that place, is a special thing and it is something I will remember while continuing with my studies here in Germany.”