“To vib, or not to vib: that is the question. Or is it?” As quoted by legendary Kronos Quartet cellist Paul Wiancko, who mentored our talented WAYO quartet members in an awe-inspiring private masterclass which explored the intricacies of musical style, use of vibrato, ensemble playing and the art of playing contemporary works with musical freedom.

With only two weeks to prepare, the quartet members, Arwen Ooi (violin), Aaron Ooi (violin) Mackenzie Thompson (viola) & Elena Wittkuhn (cello), performed Bryce Dressner’s, Le Bois. A contemporary masterpiece entwined in complex rhythms, drone like tones and stunning melodies reflective of ancient sounds from the past. We are so grateful to Paul Wiancko, who led an inspiring and motivating session.

The WAYO Quartet, along with a string quartet each from UWA Conservatorium of Music and Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA). all participated in individual masterclasses led by members of the Kronos Quartet. It was terrific to see all twelve members of the three invited quartets are current or past members of a WA Youth Orchestras ensemble – with the twelve musicians totalling a combined 67 years of WAYO membership. That’s a lot of Saturday mornings (!), with many starting their WAYO journey in our junior string ensembles the Sinfonietta & Collegium.

As part of Perth Festival, the three quartets will join Kronos Quartet on stage at Perth Concert Hall, Saturday 4 March, under a sea of stars, to perform together Quartet Satz by Philip Glass, one of the signature works from Kronos’s vast repertoire including pieces from landmark legacy project 50 For the Future, a free-access library of wondrous string quartet music from around the world.

What an amazing experience for all our current and past WAYO members involved.

A world class ensemble playing experience at its very best!