Less than three months after cellist Sharon Grigoryanannounced she was leaving the Australian String Quartet after seven years, violist Stephen King has decided it’s time for him to change course as well. Currently the quartet’s longest-serving member, after nine years he plans to step back from live performance and take up a new role as Director of Engagement and Learning. Limelightasked him why now, what have been his best ASQ moments, and what plans does he have for the future?

Stephen King at the 2018 Dunkeld Festival of Music. Photo © Sam Jozeps

Was leaving the ASQ a difficult decision, and is it one you considered it at other points over the last nine years?

Absolutely! Playing with the ASQ has been one of my life-long dreams and such an honour and privilege. I love performing and will always do so, however my carbon footprint is large and I see other ways to make a contribution. During 2021 I’ll transition from performing to working in a new role with ASQ to help broaden the impact of...