Flinders Quartet

Elizabeth Sellars, violin 

Wilma Smith, violin 

Helen Ireland, viola 

Zoe Knighton, cello 

Flinders Quartet (FQ) is instantly recognisable as one of Australia’s most loved and highly respected chamber music ensembles, whose purpose is to challenge and champion the role of the string quartet in 21st century Australia. 

For over twenty years, FQ has followed a unique path and lives up to their motto of “caring for tradition, daring to be different” through a busy schedule encompassing live and online performances, commissioning, recording, education and mentorship programs including the celebrated composer development programs ‘Ascend’ and ‘Emerge’, and outreach activities through their artistic patronage of John Noble’s Itet regional quartet program, Resonance String Orchestra, and Musica Viva’s Strike a Chord championship. 



String Quartets with Heart and Soul

Beethoven String Quartet No. 11, Op. 95 'Serioso'

Deborah Cheetham Fraillon Bungaree


Puccini Crisantemi (Chrysanthemums) 

Dvorak String Quartet No. 14, Op. 105


Music length: 20'/16'/interval/7'/31'


4 x armless, orchestral-style chairs 


Ensemble and solo masterclasses 

Pre-concert talks given by Zoe Kinghton 20 mins in duration, one hour before the concert 

School concert/presentation (40 mins) 

Selected dates in the following periods:

Mid April to end May; August; October 

ELIZABETH SELLARS, VIOLIN: Elizabeth was born in Melbourne,  where her primary teachers were Nehama Patkin and Nathan Gutman; she formed her first string quartet (Birubi) under the guidance of Marco Van Pagee. The winner of multiple scholarships, Elizabeth studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London with David Takeno (violin) and the Gabrieli and Takacs Quartets (chamber music). Elizabeth also played widely throughout Europe and Japan with the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields. 

In Australia Elizabeth has appeared variously as guest Concertmaster and guest Principal Violin with the Tasmanian and Melbourne Symphony Orchestras, Orchestra Victoria, Australian Chamber Orchestra, Melbourne Chamber Orchestra and the Australian Romantic and Classical Orchestra. She has also toured with the Australian World Orchestra.  

Elizabeth is a founding member of Sutherland Trio with Caroline Almonte and Molly Kadarauch, and Quercus Trio with Carla Blackwood and Rhodri Clarke. 

WILMA SMITH, VIOLIN: Wilma Smith is Artistic Director and violinist of Wilma & Friends, a chamber music series based in Melbourne and presenting concerts throughout Australia and New Zealand. She is also Musica Viva’s Artistic Director of the Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition and Strike A Chord, the national high school championship. Wilma teaches violin and chamber music at the University of Melbourne, Scotch College, and Korowa Anglican Girls’ School. 

After studying in Boston as founding First Violinist of the Lydian String Quartet, Wilma was invited to return home to form the New Zealand String Quartet. She was First Violinist until she was appointed Concertmaster of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, a position she held for nine years before moving to Melbourne to be Concertmaster of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra from 2003 to 2014. 

HELEN IRELAND, VIOLA: A graduate of the Canberra School of Music, Helen was awarded the Erica Haas Prize for chamber music. Helen has worked with many leading Australian orchestras, including the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra and the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra. She plays regularly with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and Orchestra Victoria where she has been guest Principal and Associate Principal. Helen is qualified as a Feldenkrais practitioner and whilst not currently practising, it profoundly influences her viola playing. Helen is a founding member of Flinders Quartet. 

ZOE KNIGHTON, CELLO / ARTISTIC DIRECTOR: After starting cello at the age of nine with Jill Kahans, and graduating from the University of Melbourne with the highest mark of her year, Zoe went on to establish herself as one of the country’s most sought after cellists. Having studied with Christian Wojtowicz, Michel Strauss (Paris), Nelson Cooke, and Angela Seargeant, she is now in demand as chamber coach and teacher at various institutions. A regular panellist for major competitions, Zoe combines many facets of her career with performing. Zoe is a founding member of Flinders Quartet. 

Book an artist

Travel to centres in regional NSW is subsidised through the support of Create NSW. Musica Viva Australia can book the artists, arrange all travel and accommodation, provide posters, flyers and program information.
If you are interested in bringing an ensemble to your town or city, please contact:

Patrick Brearley

Manager,  Regional Touring & Special Projects 


02 8394 6662