C1 Alive (free event)

  • Wednesday, 1 May 2024

    11:00 am

  • Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture

    15 Blackall St, Barton ACT 2600

  • In Association with

Let us welcome the youngest generation of artists to the stage to start the Festival proper. Emerging out of Canberra’s own music community, the Ellery String Quartet is going places, with daring and entertaining repertoire choices. Enter Holly Harrison and Caroline Shaw, two of the most prominent young women composers in Australia and the United States respectively. Be prepared for flashes of virtuosity and more than a dash of youthful verve in the renditions by the Ellery quartet, joined by Melbourne pianist Anna Gao, making her first appearance at the Festival.

This concert is dedicated to the memory of Ara Vartoukian OAM, piano whisperer and founder of Theme & Variations Foundation.


Franz Liszt, Bénédiction de Dieu dans la solitude
Holly Harrison, Swoop
Caroline Shaw, Entr’acte
Caroline Shaw, Plan & Elevation
Frédéric Chopin, Scherzo No.2 in Bb Minor, Op.31


Ellery String Quartet

Brad Tham & Anika Chan, violins
Pippa Newman, viola
James Monro, cello

Anna Gao, piano
(courtesy of Theme & Variations Foundation)

This event is free and not ticketed, however seating is limited and guests will be seated on a first come – first served basis.

Ellery String Quartet photo credit – Konstantinos Katsanis
Anna Gao photo credit – Cameron Jamieson

The Ellery Quartet are supported by Peter Wise

Concert supported by Juliet Tootell

ARTIST Learn more about the artist

Artist Ellery String Quartet


The Ellery String Quartet are a dynamic group of young musicians, formed at the end of 2021 and based on Ngunnawal/Ngambri land (Canberra). They are based at the ANU School of Music and supported by the Wesley Scholars program. They aim to push the boundaries of a ‘classical string quartet’, performing a wide range of repertoire in diverse venues across Canberra. Highlights include an astronomy-themed concert in the Yale-Columbia dome at Mt. Stromlo in October 2022, performing Scandinavian folk songs at Canberra’s Floriade festival, and hosting programs of classical and contemporary music in venues ranging from Wesley Uniting Church to Gang Gang Cafe. They have collaborated with various notable artists including William Barton (10th Anniversary of the National Arborteum), John Schumann (“Do We Still Have Time For Henry Lawson” at Canberra Writers Festival) and Ronan Apcar and Lynden Bassett (“Apcar’s Holland” and “This is What We Have Today”). They especially enjoy the opportunity to collaborate with local Canberran composers and musicians.

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Artist Anna Gao, piano


Anna Gao is currently studying a Master of Music degree in Piano Performance at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music under renowned pedagogue Glenn Riddle and after completing her Masters aspires to travel abroad to Europe in order to further her studies.

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