With live performance in ‘hibernation’ while concert halls remain shut due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Australian String Quartet has taken the opportunity to accelerate a recording project that’s been in the works for some time. The Australian Anthology, which began in December last year with the digital release of Paul Stanhope’s Second String Quartet, was followed this April by Joe Chindamo’s Tempesta.

Australian String Quartet The Australian String Quartet. Photo © Sam Jozeps

“We feel very, very lucky, we feel very privileged to be in an organisation that is healthy, that is nimble, and that has the ability to continue to work, albeit in different ways, throughout this period,” violinist Dale Barltrop tells Limelight.

When the lockdown began, the quartet found itself split across two states, with violinists Barltrop and Francesca Hiew in Melbourne and violist Stephen King and cellist Sharon Grigoryan in Adelaide. “Which made it very difficult for us to continue operating as a quartet for some time,” Barltrop says. “However, we’re looking to change that once the restrictions start to ease. Franny and I will both be on our way to Adelaide as soon as we can to resume rehearsing...