Violinist William Hennessy chose the intimate setting of a string quartet recital to make his last musical statement after announcing his retirement after 16 years as Melbourne Chamber Orchestra’s Artistic Director.

William Hennessy

The choice was appropriate as it is perhaps in this form, as a founding member of the Australian String Quartet and more recently the Melbourne Quartet, that his legacy will live on.
For this musical farewell, before a live audience in Melbourne’s Athenaeum Theatre and livestreamed by the Australian Digital Concert Hall, Hennessy was joined by MCO musicians Natalia Harvey on second violin, violist Merewyn Bramble and cellist Zoe Wallace to perform Mozart’s String Quartet No 15 in D Minor K421 and English composer Douglas Weiland’s Eighth Quartet – written for Hennessy and the third of four “Lockdown” quartets.

His association with Weiland goes back 40 years to when they were both violinists on the third desk of Sir Neville Marriner’s Academy of St Martin in the Fields. Weiland’s music “took hold” of him, he told Australian Digital Concert Hall Co-Artistic...