The UK/Australia Season is a major new cultural exchange celebrating the diverse and innovative artist communities and cultural sectors of each nation. A collaboration between the British Council and the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, The Season is a vibrant programme spanning theatre, film, visual arts, dance, design, architecture, music, literature, higher education and a public engagement programme.
Designed to strengthen and build cultural connections, the Season theme is “Who Are We Now?” and will reflect on our history, explore our current relationship, and imagine our future together. The Season launched in both countries in September 2021.
ANAM Quartetthaus, designed by ANAM and bluebottle
Artistic Direction of “ANAM Quartetthaus in London”, Artistic Director Paavali Jumpannen
The Royal Albert Hall hosts its first pop-up performance space this September. An immersive chamber music venue commissioned by the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM), ANAM Quartetthaus will stand in 1851 Place outside the Hall for ten days, hosting six performances per day.
“ANAM Quartetthaus represents the biggest leap in immediacy and potency for the string quartet as an art form since microphones and speakers arrived: I want one in my backyard!” David Hetherington, Kronos Quartet
ANAM Quartetthaus grew from a simple idea: to conceive and build a space that is shaped at every turn by the music to be performed within it; a place unencumbered by the rhetoric of traditional concert presentation, just as the intimate musical form of the string quartet which has given rise to the project is stripped of the rhetoric of larger scale musical forms.
In developing ANAM Quartetthaus, designers, acousticians and musicians collaborated to envision and build a space that dissolves the performer/ listener divide, enabling a shared experiencing by listeners and performers.
The ANAM Quartetthaus will feature six quartets: three from Australia and three from the UK playing varied repertoire from each country including two new works commissioned specially for the series.
The structure hosts 52 seats, in two circles around a slowly revolving stage, no member of the audience is more than two metres from the performers. The proximity to the performers makes for a visceral and unique live music experience.
ANAM Quartetthaus is a space that breaks down the performer/audience divide, enabling a truly shared experience.
This will be the first time the project has been outside of Australia.
ANAM Quartetthaus is presented as part of the UK/Australia Season 2021-22, a major programme of cultural exchange taking place across the two nations. The Australian National Academy of Music is supported by the Australian Government and Creative Victoria as part of the UK/Australian Season 2021-2022.
Image credits: John Gollings and Pia Johnson.
About the Quartets
The performing groups consist of professional quartets, alumni and current students from the Australian National Academy of Music and from the Royal College of Music. The full repertoire to be announced
With a growing reputation for the courage, vitality and commitment of their performances the Marmen Quartet are fast establishing themselves as one of the most impressive and engaging new talents in the chamber music arena.
Formed in May 2021 at the Royal College of Music (RCM), Fiora Quartet have worked with musicians such as Mats Zetterqvist (Chamber Orchestra of Europe), Alina Ibragimova and Pablo Hernán Benedí, as well as being mentored by the Sacconi Quartet.
Formed in 2021, the Oriole Quartet recently performed Elgar’s Introduction and Allegro at the Royal College of Music’s Amaryllis Fleming Concert Hall. They will perform Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater with conductor Massimo Taddia later this year.
Australian String Quartet
The Australian String Quartet (ASQ) have been creating unforgettable string quartet performances for audiences around the world since 1985. Dedicated to musical excellence with a distinctly Australian flavour, they aim to create chemistry and amplify intimacy through experiences that connect people with string quartet repertoire.
‘One of the most exciting ensembles to make their mark.’- Classic Melbourne. The Affinity Quartet champions works by Australian and contemporary composers, including the complete string quartets of Janacek, Haas, Britten and Panufnik.
Established in 2018 at the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University, the Artamidae Quartet are winners of the Ross Peters 4MBS Chamber Music Prize and have performed in masterclasses with members from the Borodin, Emmerson, New Zealand and Australian String Quartets.
About the Presenters
The Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM) is dedicated to training the most exceptional young classical musicians from Australia and New Zealand. It is the only professional performance training institute of its kind in Australia, and one of few in the world.
With an outstanding track record of success, ANAM alumni work in orchestras and chamber ensembles around the world, performing as soloists, contributing to educating the next generation of musicians, and winning major national and international awards.
ANAM aims to inspire these future music leaders and encourages audiences to share the experience.
“I can’t think of any other institution where the obsession is just music like this: it’s life-changing.” Richard Tognetti, Artistic Director, Australian Chamber Orchestra.
“ANAM is an extraordinary institution: intense, demanding, challenging and immensely rewarding to be involved with.” Simone Young, Chief Conductor, Sydney Symphony Orchestra
Royal Albert Hall – the world’s leading figures in music, dance, sport and politics have appeared on their stage since the Royal Albert Hall opened in 1871, and now over 1.7 million people enjoy live experiences there every year, with millions more experiencing events through broadcasts, recordings and new media channels.
The Royal College of Music – Founded in 1882, the Royal College of Music (RCM) is a world leading music conservatoire with a prestigious history and contemporary outlook. Over 900 undergraduate and postgraduate students come from over 55 countries and are taught in a dynamic environment, leaving the RCM to become outstanding performers, conductors and composers of the future.
RCM professors are leaders in their fields, and under such expert guidance, RCM students regularly achieve remarkable success around the globe
About ANAM Quartetthaus
Commissioned by ANAM and created by bluebottle, ANAM Quartetthaus is part design installation, part architecture, part music, ANAM Quartetthaus is a special listening place, a celebration of intimate, live performance.
Ever since the 18th century the string quartet has occupied a unique place in the minds of composers. It has provided the formal mechanism for the most intimate and often intense exploration of technical and musical thoughts and ideas: a personal letter from composer and performer to listener.
Performances in 2,000 – or even 200 – seat auditoriums rob these letters of the element of personal testimony. In developing ANAM Quartetthaus, designers, acousticians and musicians have collaborated to envision and build a space that dissolves the performer/ listener divide, enabling a shared experiencing by listeners and performers.
There are 52 places available in the ANAM Quartetthaus for each performance. Seated in two circles about a slowly revolving central performance space, no member of the audience is more than two metres from the performers. The proximity of the listener to the performer accentuates the visceral theatre of live – string or other acoustic – quartet performance.