The String Quartet Tradition

USA born Greg McGarity's early studies were in violin with Robert Harris in Australia. After completing a Graduate Diploma in performance at NSW State Conservatorium of music, Greg's solo engagements took him to Europe where he furthered his viola studies in Germany with Christian Euler.

In 1999 Greg played with the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra in Sydney and for most of 2000 Greg was Acting Principal Violist for Christchurch Symphony, gaining his current. James completed his Bachelor's degree with Honours in performance 'cello at Canterbury University in 1998. His teachers include prominent Russian pedagogues Alexander Ivashkin, Natalia Pavlutskaya and Galina Zelinskaia.

From 1995 James has taught and performed regularly throughout New Zealand as a recitalist, with chamber ensembles and with various orchestras, including recording projects for both compact disc and radio broadcast. From 1996 he has appeared regularly with the Christchurch Symphony appointment of Associate Principal Violist. He is also a casual player with Auckland Philharmonia and NZSO and an avid chamber musician.

The string quartet is established in a tradition that first appeared during the 18th Century and remains for many music-lovers the pinnacle of all classical music. A highly refined art-form, quartet playing involves a life-long commitment. Performers require consummate technical skill and years of dedicated practice and rehearsal. The demands on a player in a string quartet include levels of precision and discipline more often associated with world-class athletes.

In order to be able to comunicate music effectively quartet members typically spend years working together behind closed doors, refining playing styles and developing a uniform musical language. Experience, both as individual players and as an ensemble are crucial to a coherent performance. The string quartet repertoire is huge, from music written in the 17th Century to modern-day classics like Jimmi Hendrix’s “Purple Haze”.If they turn out OK, send us a copy!