reviews

What was truly classy and more touching about this afternoon however was the exposure and blend of recorders with the colourful and precise instrument we have come to know as Acacia Quartet. The string instruments demonstrated seamless blend to evoke vivid atmospheres and to speak as one.
— Paul Nolan for Sydney Arts Guide, December 2018

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Refreshing and immensely satisfying to witness – and that variety was one of the great strengths of this festival...
— Limelight Magazine, August 2018

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Throughout the concert, Acacia Quartet performed so well that at times they seem like only one instrument, such is their clarity and unison. The colours they bring out of music ranges from deathly quiet to intensely dynamic. It’s always such a pleasure listening to them.
— Rob Kennedy for City News Canberra, August 2018

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The finale to that piece, “an exuberant rondo … that is bouncy, good-natured and full of joy” was a fitting tribute to the musicians themselves and their enthusiastic commitment to their art.
— Carol Wimmer, July 2018

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We really enjoyed this concert. The Acacia Quartet and friends are highly skilled and play exquisitely. Their repertoire is wide and varied. They began with Mozart and ended with Dvorak but our favourite piece was Boomi’s Ray written by a local composer Nick Wales who was in the audience to listen to his music being played magnificently.
— Windfarm for On The House
Excellent choices for a Sunday winter’s afternoon... This is soul food ... My enjoyment of the afternoon was enlivened by Lisa Stewart’s own enjoyment of playing. Her passion and love for the music chased across her face, drawing us in as much as the music itself. It is clear her relationship with music is a deeply personal one.
— Kate Stratford for On The Town, July 2018

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This latest concert by Acacia Quartet  featured dynamic works  from the late nineteenth century and beyond. The selected works showcased the Acacia Quartet members’ ensemble skills and highly empathetic communication with each other as they performed deeply emotional, descriptive, complex and intricate music.
— Paul Nolan for Sydney Arts Guide, April 2018

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In the world premiere of Henderson’s Dombrovskis Quartet, performed by ... the Acacia Quartet, played with such clarity it was as if they had been playing Henderson’s music for most of their lives.
— Rob Kennedy for City News Canberra, January 2018

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Engaging and gripping from the outset, the concert from this prominent quartet on the Australian musical landscape drew on its collective experience and skill to present intricacies of rhythm in the ingenious works selected. Broad, beautiful shifts of texture or successive textural complexities and string effects in the various modern works were also clearly demonstrated to the attentive audience.
— Paul Nolan for Sydney Arts Guide, October 2017

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Again we marvelled at the unerring dialogue of the musicians as they responded to each other in this quartet, which began with such longing and foreboding as well as such sadness and hope and evolved, through a display of skill from all the players, through a whole gamut of moods leaving the glorious tranquillity of the second ‘Rosamunde’ movement forever in our musical experience. From this movement we were led through pathos and soberness to the delightfully cheerful last movement, as a rustic folk dance, with Schubert cutting through the gloom to leave us on an optimistic note.
— Brian Millett for Yass Music Club, August 2017

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Forgotten – but only until now. With their customary curiosity and vision, Acacia Quartet have prised open the pages of history and breathed fresh life into the music of Raphael. Of equal importance, the ensemble has the requisite individual and collective technical skills to play this music and Forbidden but not Forgotten represented a renaissance in the work of Günter Raphael as well as the Australian premiere of his music.
— Shamistha de Soysa for SoundsLikeSydney, June 2017

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The excited reception ... from the audience was proof of Acacia Quartet’s effective gifting on this night to us of delicate narratives, intensities, colours and shapes found in compositions for the string quartet from last century to now.
— Paul Nolan for Sydney Arts Guide, November 2016

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Their instincts were good. The lush and complex string textures are still there when the music needs it, but the individual gestures shine out.
— Harriet Cunningham for A Cunning Blog, November 2016

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There was never a ‘wallflower’ in these pieces, rather, each instrument had its chance to shine, taking up the narrative at different points.
— Shamistha de Soysa for SoundsLikeSydney, November 2016

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There are string quartets that engage audiences by their sheer will and force of playing. This is not the Acacia Quartet. They approach the music with humility and theirs is an invitation to the listener to engage. This is a great quality in a quartet. Long may it reign.
— Daniel Kaan for ClassikON, November 2016

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Acacia Quartet were riveting at this engaging concert
— Daniel Kaan for ClassikON, July 2016
Expertly championed through Acacia Quartet’s sensitive attention to detail
— Paul Nolan for Sydney Arts Guide, August 2016
Acacia Quartet performed with mesmerising beauty..
— Shamistha de Soysa for SoundsLikeSydney, November 2015
All aided by first-rate playing from the Sydney-based Acacia Quartet
— Limelight Magazine, 2015
The Acacia Quartet is superb. These fine musicians have only been playing together since 2010. Their achievements in those few years are impressive indeed.
— Gwen Bennett for The Music Trust, July 2015
Acacia’s playing was so precise, beautiful in tone, individually nuanced yet with a cohesiveness of playing that almost transcended the music.
— Andreas Hartung for Sydney Arts Guide, March 2015
Chan’s story is told through a multi-movement string quartet, performed with skill by the Acacia Quartet, who are gaining a reputation for classy performances of new Australian music.
— Limelight Magazine, 2015
The versatility and technical mastery they both demonstrated as individuals and as an ensemble ... is an impressive testament to their extraordinary talent.
— Shamistha de Soysa for SoundsLikeSydney, November 2014
Performances exhibit everything one would expect of fine chamber music playing: a sensitivity towards tonal and timbral balance, a keen ear for flexible musical conversation and, perhaps most importantly, a sense of fun.
— Limelight Magazine, November 2014
Sometimes words can fail to adequately describe what one witnesses... the Acacia Quartet illustrated each movement with an incredible depth of understanding
— Joel Carnegie for The Age, July 2014
The Acacia Quartet … have a wonderful sound.
— Sam Gillies for Limelight Magazine, July 2014
Four extraordinary musicians gave it everything they had... It was playing of the highest order.
— John O'Brien for ClassikOn, July 2014
This quartet is one of the best things to happen to chamber music in Australia for ages.
— Sally Whitwell, November 2013
The quartet’s warmth of tone and blend is coupled with an infectious passion for this new music, making this recording a stand-out! It is not only exciting music, but exciting playing.
— Barry Walmsley, July 2013
The Acacia Quartet played not only with polished balance, but drew listeners in. This is a young group … on the ascendancy.
— Peter McCullum for Sydney Morning Herald, March 2013
The night was one of the most memorable musical evenings I have ever experienced.
— Cheryl Jorgensen, Brighton, 2012
Acacia Quartet have the technical mastery to accomplish the demands of the writing and to move seamlessly from one style to another, along with the ability to realise the sense of humour implicit in the writing.
— Shamistha de Soysa for SoundsLikeSydney, May 2012