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Riley Lee & Enigma Quartet

"Riley Lee's playing, as befitting his status as a leading western exponent of the instrument, expertly showed its full range nuance and elemental purity.  The Enigma Quartet comprising of outstanding musicians in their own right melded together to play with verve and sensitivity..."‚Äč

Riley Lee shakuhachi

Enigma Quartet

Marianne Edwards violin

Kerry Martin violin

Elizabeth Woolnough viola

Rowena Macneish cello

Riley Lee is a consummate teacher, performer and collaborator and the first non-Japanese to attain the rank of dai shihan or Grand Master of the shakuhachi. A co-founder of TaikOz, Australia’s dynamic Japanese festival drum group, Riley has held two Visiting Fellow positions at Princeton University, New Jersey. In the past five years, Enigma Quartet has earned a reputation as one of Australia’s brightest ensembles, winning over audiences with their energetic, vibrant and dynamic performance style.



A musical journey through the five elements

Five Elements is a kaleidoscopic journey, traversing universal concepts linking humanity to our natural environment and spiritual core through music. Drawing inspiration from the belief in many ancient cultures that the entire universe was made of just five fundamental elements, earth, air, water, fire and ether, Riley Lee and the Enigma Quartet have commissioned and selected music from Australia’s finest compositional voices to present a strikingly original concert. 

The program allows audiences to experience new sound worlds created through the union of the meditative sounds and gestures of the shakuhachi and the rich harmonic palette of the string quartet, a convergence of Eastern Zen Buddhism with Western Classicism. Five Elements features pieces by composers such as Ross Edwards, David Hirschfelder, Anne Boyd and Katy Abbott amongst many other luminaries and alongside existing music by Peter Sculthorpe.

Performance length: 120 minutes (including interval)

Technical specifications

5 x armless chairs or piano stools

Microphone stand



March & May

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:

Sean Moloney

Artist Development Coordinator

[email protected]