When pianist Bernadette Harvey came to the stage for the second of two favourite works on the program she told the Musica Viva audience she was privileged to perform with one of the best in the world – Australia’s own Goldner String Quartet.

Goldner String Quartet

Of course, most of the seasoned audience have shared her view of the Sydney-based group for years – some devotees perhaps even going back to their inception in 1995. Unusual, possibly unique, in the fact that the quartet comprises two married couples, the Goldners celebrated their silver wedding anniversary quietly last year when the pandemic kept concert halls shut. It was to have been a double celebration with Aussie pianist Piers Lane as 2020 was also the 75th anniversary of the founding of Musica Viva by Roumanian-born violist Richard Goldner, for whom the ensemble was named.

So when Dene Olding, Dimity Hall, Irina Morozova and Julian Smiles walked on to finally do their party piece – Dvorak’s sunny, optimistic and life-affirming ‘American’ Quartet – to...