Orava Quartet Showcase The Many Colours Of Classical Music

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Karin Schaupp and Orava Quartet play Redland Performing Arts Centre (Brisbane) 6 August. Karin Schaupp and Orava Quartet play Redland Performing Arts Centre (Brisbane) 6 August. Image © Dylan Evans Photography

Internationally-renowned guitar virtuoso Karin Schaupp will join forces with Deutsche Grammophon recording artists the Brisbane-based Orava Quartet, in an unforgettable programme of guitar quintets, string quartets and guitar solos from around the world for one night only at Redland Performing Arts Centre (6 August).

Karin and the Orava Quartet have been collaborating since first meeting at the Musica Viva Festival in 2015, sharing a love of both the precision and passion of chamber music.

Ahead of the performance, Orava Quartet's cellist Karol 'Kaz' Kowalik sat down for a quick chat about the show, alongside some more informal questions.

Your upcoming show with Karin Schaupp at RPAC; what can patrons expect from this onstage collaboration?
I think it's going to be a special evening of music making. We are really excited to showcase the many colours that this unique combination has to offer through this diverse programme ranging from delicate, intimate moments, to sheer ferocity, strength and even madness.

You've been collaborating with Karin since first meeting her in 2015; artistically, what draws you both together?
Karin is such an amazing musician and person. It is always such a joy to collaborate with such a sensitive guitarist and musician. Our love of music and sharing this wonderful music with audiences draws us together.



How is the follow-up studio album to your 2018 release 'Tchaikovsky | Rachmaninov | Shostakovich: String Quartets' coming along – what can you share with us?
We are looking forward to recording in September this year. We are recording works that are very special to us. Keep your eyes peeled for an early 2022 release.

Given the issues surrounding COVID and lockdowns etc, how have you found the past year or so as a touring musician, working on new pieces with the rest of the group and dealing with not being able to travel overseas (which has been a big part of the group to date)?
Obviously COVID has had a pretty devastating effect on the arts.

A lot of our touring has been cancelled, including performances in Australia and abroad. It's been a difficult period to plan ahead, however we are optimistic that things will return to 'normal' soon.

As a classical musician, how important is regular band practice to maintain skills, staying sharp with the music?
This is an absolute necessity. We are always working on growing as musicians, developing our craft and evolving as an ensemble.

For those who have never sampled string or chamber music live before, why should they spend an hour or so with the Orava Quartet?
If you have never been to a live chamber music concert I think it would be a great chance to discover what I think is a very intimate and special genre.

You never know what feeling or response a classical concert will draw out of you. Whether you're a seasoned classical music goer or a newcomer, there is no right or wrong way to interpret art. It's personal, exciting and unpredictable. I think that’s why so many people connect to it.

If you had to live in a city abroad, where would you choose and why?
Rome, for its food, history, culture and the way they work to live; not live to work.



Three people you'd like to invite around for a dinner party?
I think Russell Brand, Louis Theroux, and Jamie Oliver would be a fun night; I wouldn't have to cook, hold a conversation or ask questions.

If we were coming over to your place, what would you cook us?
Something I can cook over charcoal. If you don't like garlic, chilli or coriander, I'm sorry.

Social media is... A way to remember people's birthdays.

My favourite app at the moment is... The COVID Check-in app is certainly getting a workout these days.

To date, our most embarrassing moment was the time... Someone lost a sheet of music and discovered it was missing halfway through the performance. We had to stop and they had to go backstage and find it. It was pretty funny.

Life on the road can be... Fattening!

Karin Schaupp and Orava Quartet play Redland Performing Arts Centre's Concert Hall (Brisbane) 6 August.

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