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Orava String Quartet

Orava String Quartet

Daniel Kowalik violin
David Dalseno violin
Thomas Chawner viola
Karol Kowalik cello

“Fully deserving of a place at chamber music’s top table.”
Limelight Magazine

The Orava Quartet, founded in Sydney in 2007 at the Conservatorium of Music by Daniel Kowalik (violin), Karol Kowalik (cello), and Thomas Chawner (viola), and joined in 2011 by David Dalseno (violin), is one of the most exciting string quartets of its generation.

Orava were the graduate quartet-in-residence at the University of Colorado, in the United States, from 2012-2014. In addition to the privilege of working closely with the world-renowned Takács Quartet for two years, the quartet were selected to be part of the Juilliard String Quartet Seminar in New York City, and performed at the National Gallery in Washington, D.C. and extensively across the USA. This period also saw them win the Musica Viva Australia Tony Berg Award for most outstanding Australian ensemble, and the Peter Druce Audience Prize, at the 2013 Asia Pacific Chamber Music Competition.

The quartet has been based in Brisbane since late-2014, as the quartet-in-residence with the Camerata of St. John’s. Since their return to Australia, major events have included the Musica Viva Festival, Melbourne Festival, Australian Festival of Chamber Music, and Huntington Estate Festival. Following highly-reviewed performances at the latter, including collaborations with Wolfgang Holzmair and Lise Berthaud, Orava were immediately invited back for the 2016 festival.


Tolstoy’s Kreutzer

BEETHOVEN Op 18, No. 1 in F major
JANÁCEK String Quartet No. 1 'Kreutzer Sonata'
DEBUSSY String Quartet in G minor

The program begins with Beethoven's glorious String Quartet No.1 in F Major. The work is a fascinating insight into Beethoven's ambitious approach to writing for the medium. Through this quartet Beethoven begins the transition from classicism to full blown romanticism.

Leoš Janácek’s String Quartet No. 1, 'Kreutzer Sonata' was inspired by Leo Tolstoy's novella 'The Kreutzer Sonata'. The composer imagined a poor Russian woman and depicts her in his music, thus creating a psychological drama full of conflict and emotional outbursts. The quartet almost abandons the fields of traditional harmony, homophony and counterpoint and instead makes free with the varied sonic factors typical of Janácek.

Written in 1893, Debussy's String Quartet has become one of the most beloved in the repertoire. Debussy manages to create stunning sensual beauty and a variety of textures unlike anything that had been heard before. A true masterpiece.


HAYDN Op. 76 No. 4 'Sunrise'
SCHULHOFF String Quartet No. 1
BRAHMS String Quartet No. 2 in a minor Op. 51

Nicknamed ‘Sunrise’ due to the opening rising theme over sustained chords, the Op. 76 No. 4 is Haydn is at his very best. A true master of the quartet genre, this work is simplicity at its finest.

Schulhoff’s rarely played String Quartet No.1 is a hidden gem filled with flair and brilliance. The composer returns to his Slavic roots adding folk elements throughout the work.

The Brahms Op. 51 No. 2 is one of the staples of the string quartet repertoire. Surrounded by angst and sadness, hence the a minor key, the composer reveals his own struggles in the work. Brahms reportedly destroyed some twenty string quartets before allowing the two Op. 51 quartets to be published. The result leaving us with two master-works.

Book Artist

Travel to centres in regional NSW is subsidised through the support of Arts NSW. Musica Viva 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:

Melissa Cannon
CountryWide Manager