Guest Blogger: Maple Goh from the Tui Quartet


The Tui Quartet is a string quartet based in Dunedin. The quartet was founded in 2016 by Maple Goh (violin), who recruited three other young musicians – Anne Kim (violin), Rosalind Manowitz (viola) and Peter Lee (cello). These young talents aim to create music for social change while increasing public enjoyment of classical music; they regularly provide their talents pro bono to charitable organizations and fundraising efforts.

In August they performed a CMNZ Prelude concert, opening for Julian Bliss and NZTrio in Dunedin.

It was an absolute honor to “share” the stage with Julian Bliss and NZTrio, we only wish we had the opportunity to meet them – unfortunately, all of us had other commitments to dash off to after the prelude performance, but if there is a next time, we will definitely make sure to stay, and would highly recommend future artists do the same!

This experience would be helpful for up-and-coming young groups if they have any questions about chamber music/the industry. It was valuable for us as budding musicians to be able to put ourselves forward in with the support of such a noteworthy organization such as CMNZ as it not only did provide a promotional opportunity for our group, but also gave us a chance to do what we enjoy most – performing. As well as this, pre-concert performances hold a lot of value – audiences that are present for the concert are more willing to listen to a performance that is held just beforehand, and does not require going out of their way. Furthermore, any opportunity to practice performing should never be turned down!

Chamber music has gained a lot of popularity through the CMNZ Contest, introducing many young people to chamber/classical music. As teenagers, most of us took part in these competitions, and personally, this was there my interest was sparked. We hope that as a quartet, we are changing the perception of chamber music as “music for old people”.

We regularly push our name out, to perform in front of younger audiences (teenagers/young adults). Events such as Med Procrasti-jam (where medical students get their bands together to perform), our own special performance at Dog With Two Tails locally, and the Otago University Students’ Association events have been valuable to us to showcase pop songs that have been rearranged for a string quartet, so that the younger crowds can change their idea of chamber music. We’ve actually found that despite a perception of chamber music being ‘old music’, young adults are actually quite open to listening to a range of classical music interspersed in our pop song performances. Although they may not want to sign up to a 2-3 hour performance by a local orchestra or local chamber group, I think they are more than happy to appreciate a variety of different classical pieces!

I kickstarted this group envisioning it to be an opportunity for us, as young musicians, to be able to contribute our time and unique talent for social change. As a result, we donate our time and talents for multiple events throughout the year, such as Red Cross’ Charity Art Auction, and Med Procrasti-jam (which was fundraising for Mental Health Foundation NZ). Although we have reached out to multiple charitable organisations, we hope that any that we have missed will reach out to us if they have a cause they want to raise funds for.

The rest of our time is dedicated to being professional musicians – we regularly perform in background music, such as weddings, conferences, high school or university balls, and many other types of functions. We will be keeping busy with a few of these for the remainder of this year and next one, and hope that our services will continue to be of use to Dunedin (and Otago) for years to come!


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