Festivals are the perfect opportunity for matchmaking and Musica Viva and the Perth International Arts Festival got it right when they paired Arcadia Winds with the Australian String Quartet. Arcadia Winds are part of Musica Viva’s new Future Makers artist development program and although they are a relatively young ensemble the collaboration felt like a meeting of equals.

Arcadia Winds. Photo by Keith Saunders

Their second of two concerts held at the University of WA attracted a good-sized audience who listened in rapt silence for a hefty 100 minutes (without interval). The program featured contemporary repertoire often considered challenging for audience members. Mozart’s Flute Quartet was the only work on the program written more than 40 years ago and made a delightful concert opener with flautist Kiran Phatak working in deft, graceful unity with the string trio. Phatak’s richly varied tonal hues in the Adagio over the delicate pizzicato accompaniment created an especially serene intimacy.

Roger Smalley is well-known to Perth audiences but his Toccata– composed at the end of his career in 2008 – was new. Written for flute, oboe and quartet, the short work opened with a quaver...