Skip Links

This event has passed. Signup to our newsletter to find out about upcoming events.

Close Dialog

Calder Quartet

Constantly in motion, restlessly extending the boundaries of their art form, the Calder Quartet promise a program of immediacy and intelligence.

In the Utzon Room

This Event is:

Classical Music

"The Calder’s passionate engagement with the music was notable; so was their pinpoint control and near-flawless execution"

The Boston Globe

Calder Quarter UMS 2017

Dreams and variations: the intrepid Calder Quartet explores Beethoven’s epic late quartet.

The Calder Quartet named themselves after the sculptor Alexander, famous for his surprising, dynamic mobiles. The comparison is apt: this quartet is constantly in motion, restlessly extending the boundaries of their art form. Since the quartet’s inception in 1998, they have commissioned and championed over 25 works by emerging composers, and have become the preferred ensemble for many leading figures in new music. They bring the same curiosity and immediacy to the classical canon, an approach that makes the 200-year-old music sound as if the ink is still drying on the score.


Their Utzon Room debut juxtaposes Swedish composer Anders Hillborg’s appealing modernism and Beethoven’s radical experimentation. Hillborg’s Variations are a luminous web of sonority, meditating on the arietta from Beethoven’s last piano sonata in an occasionally surreal walk around a musical found object. Variations are at the heart of Beethoven’s monumental late Quartet, Op.131 – one of many incredible moments in an uninterrupted 45-minute span of music that demands the utmost in concentration, communication and emotional intelligence from its performers.


By the time we meet the Calders at the end of February I will have spent quite some time with these four brilliant string musicians at the Perth International Arts Festival. They feature in PIAF’s Chamber Music Series, the Great Southern Festival in Albany, the Strings in Schools WA education program, as well as offering ensemble workshops to the best students in The Sydney Youth Orchestra. I hate to say it, but just thinking about this makes me feel like a pig in mud!

I first noticed the Calder Quartet many years ago because of their incredibly clever programming; the composers they have commissioned, and the new works they have under their fingers, are the very best of 21st century quartet music. Just as they are new music champions, they are also outstanding interpreters of the canon – if there is any quartet that I want help me hear Beethoven anew, this is it.

Presented by Sydney Opera House

Backstage Tour

The Backstage Tour

Prepaid Drink Vouchers

Drink Vouchers

Tour & Tasting Plate

Make a day of it and do a tour before the show!

Frequently Asked Questions

You might also like

Event Page Template
01 Jan 2021 - 31 Oct 2021
Event Page Template
01 Jan 2021 - 31 Oct 2021
Event Page Template
01 Jan 2021 - 31 Oct 2021

Thank You

This event wouldn't be possible without our generous donors. Want to give the joy of Opera to everyone?

Support Us