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Flinders Quartet: A Life’s Work

30 May @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm AEST

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One event on 30 May 2022 at 6:00 pm

The Flinders Quartet has recently embarked on a multiyear project to perform and record the chamber music of Australian composer Margaret Sutherland, unfairly neglected despite the quality of her works. Indeed the quartet felt that Sutherland’s biography as well as her music deserved to be better known, and so commissioned composer Katy Abbott to explore and uncover Sutherland’s life through a new song cycle using text from Sutherland’s own letters and diaries. A companion piece of sorts, Melody Eötvös wrote a work celebrating Camille Claudel, a significant sculptor too often reduced to merely Rodin’s muse. Rounding out this wonderful program, Flinders commissioned Jessica Wells to arrange Clara Schumann’s Op. 16 Preludes and Fugues for string quartet. Sutherland’s own String Quartet No 2, Discussion, ensures that she is not left out of the conversation.

Limelight Editor’s Choice

CLARA SCHUMANN Op. 16 arranged for string quartet by Jessica Wells 
“Hope. Fear. Anything.” 
String Quartet No. 2 “Discussion”
“Splitting the Ambivalence”


“After premiering “Hidden Thoughts II: Return to Sender” by Katy Abbott in 2020, we knew she was the perfect person to explore and uncover Margaret Sutherland’s life through a new song cycle using text from Margaret’s own letters and diaries.

Sutherland’s life story is extraordinary and she played a crucial role in the development of Australia’s music scene. I wouldn’t be surprised if a movie is made soon!

Camille Claudel‘s life is already the subject of at least one film and as Rodin’s muse, her own creativity was often overlooked. Using text in her native French from letters by Camille, Melody Eötvös introduces Australian audiences to this very significant sculpteur.

It’s not the first time a string quartet has been used as a biographical tool (Smetana’s “From My Life” being the obvious example) and I am thoroughly looking forward to understanding these artists even more deeply through this project.”



30 May
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
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Melbourne Recital Centre
Melbourne, VIC 3006 Australia
03 9699 3333
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