String quartet established at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music

March 16 / 176

Performance teaching and chamber music at the University of Melbourne will get a boost with the formation of a new resident string quartet at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music.

The Ormond String Quartet will be comprised of accomplished performance staff at the Melbourne Conservatorium, with the common goal of presenting chamber music performances of the highest international standard.

The ensemble is named after Francis Ormond, the first benefactor of music at the University, who endowed the Ormond Professor of Music Chair at the University of Melbourne in 1887. 

The quartet will feature Head of Strings Associate Professor Curt Thompson (violin), Lecturer in Strings Dr Alvin Wong (cello), and two new performance staff, Simon Oswell (viola) and Markiyan Melnychenko (violin), who will initially take up fixed term contracts to perform in the quartet and contribute to the Conservatorium’s performance teaching programs.

Ormond Professor Gary McPherson, Director of the Melbourne Conservatorium, said he was delighted with the announcement.

“The establishment of the Ormond String Quartet is a fantastic initiative that is truly in the spirit of Francis Ormond’s patronage of music at the University of Melbourne,” Professor McPherson says. 

“Not only will it give our elite performers the chance to engage local and global audiences at the highest level, it will also serve as a unique tool for performance teaching and learning at the Conservatorium.”

The Ormond String Quartet will be funded for an initial 12 months, with the assistance of a grant from the Vice-Chancellor’s office and contributions from the MCM. It’s intended the ensemble will become a continuing part of the MCM’s teaching and performance program.

The quartet will be launched at their first public performance later this year.

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