The Orava Quartet and Daniel de Borah join forces for a one-off concert at the Queensland Conservatorium on 3 March 2022.

Whilst busily rehearsing and preparing for their upcoming performance, we managed to get some time with the quartet's violist, Tom Chawner and pianist Daniel de Borah to chat about the concert.

How does it feel to get back into the concert hall to perform in 2022?

Tom: We are super excited to be back on the stage at one of our favourite concert halls in the country. It really is a perfect hall for chamber music. We're especially looking forward to reconnecting with our live audience!

Daniel: It is exhilarating to be able to share music again after the many disruptions and setbacks of the past two years. There is also a sense of making up for lost time since restrictions began to ease in December - in recent weeks I have undertaken two chamber music festivals, a concerto performance with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, and several duo recitals with cellist Umberto Clerici which were rescheduled from an ill-fated tour in 2020.

For me personally, there were actually some really welcome upsides to the enforced sabbaticals of the past two years, and one of the consequences is now feeling reenergised and raring to get back in the concert hall.

Have you worked with Daniel de Borah before? What has the rehearsal/preparation process been like?

Tom: Yes we have, and it is always a pleasure to work with someone so technically and creatively flexible. It makes the process of combining our collective ideas a very satisfying experience for us, and hopefully for the audience too! Very much looking forward to making music with Daniel again.

This program combines some well-known favourites with some rarities including traditional and folk songs. What excites you most about this combination?

Tom: We've been having a lot of fun developing our understanding of Nordic and Central European folk music, and are excited to be able to bring the audience along with us in that process. There's something familiar in the visceral nature of folk music, and the natural exuberance you can find in it is shared in a work like Schumann's piano quintet, which is one of the enduring, most-loved Romantic chamber works.

Daniel: This is undeniably really healthy for performers and listeners alike, and for the vibrancy and sustainability of our concert culture in general. I look forward to hearing the Quartet play some works which I am not familiar with at all, but am also excited to come back to an old favourite (Schumann) that I have not had the opportunity to perform for quite a few years now. 

Have you played any of these pieces before and if so what are you hoping to bring to the mix?

Tom: We have played these works before, however in our rehearsal process we are always looking for something new, or a different approach so that it stays fresh and new for the audience, and us too!

What should audiences keep in mind whilst listening to this performance? Is there anything you’d like for them to take away?

Daniel: The wonder of live music is that each individual in the hall will hear and experience the music in their own unique and subjective way, and that is a beautiful thing. It is also a precious and fragile thing if recent history is anything to go by, so my wish would be for all of us in the space to just cherish the moment.

Tom: Something that we can never recreate in the rehearsal room, is the energy and feeling of a live audience during a performance. For us it's an incredibly powerful force which can add meaning and context and connection, something that has been greatly missed in recent times.

We hope the audience can feel it too, and know how much they contribute to a great performance!

Tickets to the upcoming performance are available here.