Australian String Quartet masterclass at WollCon

The ASQ workshopped with our student chamber music group KSUCI.

The opportunity to workshop with the ASQ came about as part of the quartet’s current international tour, where they have been collaborating with the Steel City Strings, and were keen to visit the Wollongong Conservatorium to engage with the students.

“ASQ Violist Christopher Cartlidge also has close family connections with the Conservatorium (his grandmother’s name is inscribed on one of the pianos!) so it was a natural opportunity for us to work together, showcasing the young talent here at WollCon to a world-class chamber ensemble. It is an incredible privilege to be able to play and work with the ASQ and the students are very excited to show what they have achieved in this short time together.”

Jack Mao

Piano Teacher and KSUCI Manager, WollCon


KSUCI group members are Hana Lee (violin), Cameron Carter (violin), Maeve Bradbury (cello) and Levi Calleja (piano).

Individually the students have been learning and playing for many years at WollCon, but as a small group have only been playing together since the start of the year, when WollCon piano teacher Jack Mao suggested some of the students gain experience in chamber music style performances.

They recently competed at the Wollongong Eisteddfod, achieving a Highly Commended performance in the Open Age Instrumental Ensembles section. Adjudicator Lisa Stewart remarked on the “beautiful and soulful playing” of the group.

“The Ksuci Ensemble has been a great opportunity to build my confidence and have fun creating music. I love the level of ownership we have with our musical choices and the way Jack supports us to experiment with the way we play. Meeting with the ASQ is a really exciting opportunity as it will allow us to further our skills and connect with professional musicians.” – Maeve Bradbury, WollCon student.

“Joining the Ksuci ensemble this year has been an amazing experience for me, being the first time I have had the opportunity to play with others as a pianist. It has been highly challenging and we are absolutely loving it! It has been so enjoyable and rewarding playing and performing as a group.” – Levi Calleja, WollCon student.

KSUCI with ASQ members

We thank Francesca Hiew (pictured above left) and Christopher Cartlidge (centre back) for coming to WollCon and KSUCI teacher Jack Mao (right) for helping to create this workshop opportunity with the ASQ.

The Australian String Quartet and the Steel City Strings Quartet will be performing together on Tuesday July 25th at the Wollongong Art Gallery. Click below for tickets.