World Premiere of Matthew Hindson's String Quartet No 2

World Premiere of Matthew Hindson's String Quartet No 2

Matthew Hindson’s String Quartet No 2  was commissioned for Musica Viva Australia by Julian Burnside and was premiered by Britain’s Elias String Quartet during a national tour of Australia. The quartet is dedicated to ‘all the scientists who strive to help us understand the machinations of the universe’ and acts as a virtuosic showcase for the instrumentalists. The music is Hindson’s recreation of a star exploding and as the piece progresses, the creativity of discovery is discussed. Hindson said it to be ‘every composers dream to have a quartet of this calibre realising your new creation’ and believes the opportunity of composer, performer collaboration to be key in the development of music as a ‘living tradition’.


'… music of compelling, heartbreaking beauty.’

‘Matthew Hindson is the contemporary meat in the classical sandwich. The composer was clearly delighted to be featured between Haydn and Beethoven and he needn’t have feared odious comparisons. His Second Quartet is conceived from the idea of a star exploding with the subsequent materials becoming the buildings blocks from which human life is made. A tall order perhaps, but if you listen I think that really does comes over loud and clear.

It’s a work of great initial dynamism laced with memorable effects – power-packed glissandi, slithering sul ponticello, bow-bouncing and cheeky pizzicato passagework. The Elias turn out to be quite a different group here. Gone is the rather self-effacing classical quartet of the Haydn. Hair is most definitely let down. The still, quiet, central section is handled with masterful control and concentration, conjuring up the vastness of space itself. This is music of compelling, heartbreaking beauty.’
Limelight (Clive Paget), 20 August 2013

‘…packed with ideas which hatch and morph at dizzying rates…'

'Hindson's String Quartet No 2 was commissioned for Musica Viva by Julian Burnside, QC. It begins with a skilful depiction of a supernova exploding, building from silence to chaos in an adrenalin-rush of notes. Overall, the work is tough and rangy, packed with ideas which hatch and morph at dizzying rates – a bit like human knowledge. The Elias Quartet was a good match for the demands of the score.’ (Harriet Cunningham), 20 August 2013

‘Hindson's quartet unfolded in a single unbroken span comprising a slower section surrounded by faster passages. Well-proportioned and focused, it displayed an assured sense of structure and an inventive approach.

Hindson created an imaginative array of colours and textures in the quartet's faster sections. Taut motifs and expressive melodic fragments were interwoven with tremolo, pizzicato and col legno effects. The Elias String Quartet's strong tempo and dynamic contrasts and rhythmic verve captured the music's energy and intensity.’
The Australian (Murray Black), 21 August 2013

‘Matthew Hindson, one of Australia's most exciting and innovative contemporary composers.

The main fireworks of the concert came with the world premiere of Hindson's string quartet No. 2, commissioned by human rights lawyer Julian Burnside and inspired by the exciting world of contemporary science.’
Manly Daily (Steve Moffatt), 27 August 2013

'Matthew Hindson's String Quartet No.2 was attacked with savage confidence - the opening movement describing, in Hindson's words, "the nature of scientific discovery ... the 'white heat' excitement of observing turbulent or mechanical reactions".'

The Canberra Times, 2013

'Hindson's latest work explores his fascination with scientific discovery, the vast universe and the fragility of our existence. Four interlinked sections resemble traditional quartet form albeit using an extended vocabulary of sounds and techniques. Their commitment was epitomised by Sara Bitlloch's searing solo work in the slow movement.'

The Age (Martin Duffy), 3 September 2013