foray:  An excursion outside one's accustomed sphere.

Small chamber ensemble playing is such a rarity for today’s musicians. So often, our work consists of massive concertos with a full orchestra or a duo performance with a pianist. Getting together in a group for a bit of musical fun happens scarcely, an unfortunate situation given how enjoyable it can be for all involved!

The idea was born in July 2013, late one wintry night in regional New South Wales at Border Music Camp in Albury.  Some of the tutors met and decided to play some of Fauré’s first piano quintet. Kimberley fell in love (with the piece!) and, as they say, the rest is history!

Through the network of the ANU School of Music Alumni and Border Music Camp, five members were found between Melbourne and Canberra. Whilst the distance adds some challenges, it does create a wonderful significance to our time preparing and performing together. 

Members of the group include Elyane de Fontenay (violin), Sarina Walter (viola), Anneliese McGee-Collett ('cello) and Kimberley Steele (piano). In 2015, we said a huge thankyou and farewell to wonderful founding member and violinist Felicité Heine. The group has had the privilege of working with three talented violinists since then, all from Sydney: Lidia Bara, Catherine Williams (née Bucknell) and now Anna Murakawa. Just go to our bios page to find out more about the other members.

The major repertoire we have performed in the past includes Piano Quintets by Gabriel Fauré (No. 1 and No. 2), Dmitri Shostakovich, Cesar Franck, Dora Pejacevic and Grazina Bacewicz (No. 1). Future plans include Korngold's sumptuous and challenging Piano Quintet!

Most of the group members rarely get the chance to adventure into chamber works of this size, hence the foray quintet! Whilst we are all professional musicians in our own right, this time it is a bit different…

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