Bellingen Fine Music Festival 2018

Karin Schaupp. Photo Cybele Malinowski

Karin Schaupp. Photo Cybele Malinowski

The Acacia Quartet is a firm favourite with the Bellingen Fine Music Festival, having been part of it for the last four years.

This year they will not only perform in the opening concert on Friday night with the Bellingen Youth Orchestra, on Saturday they will form a quintet with renowned guitarist Karin Schaupp.

Karin is one of the most outstanding guitarists on the international scene. She performs widely on the international stage as a recitalist, concerto soloist and festival guest, and has given countless recitals in Australia, Europe, Asia, the US, Mexico and Canada.

Karin’s playing receives the highest acclaim from critics and audiences alike and she is held in great esteem by her peers worldwide. Her unique stage presence and magical, passionate playing have inspired several composers to write works especially for her. Her playing has been described as ‘so perfect, so complete, that it seems like a miracle’.

Karin will also perform with the Bellingen Youth Orchestra, a very exciting prospect for them. They will perform selections from Nigel Westlake’s haunting and beautiful Antarctica Suite for Guitar and Orchestra, which was composed to accompany the IMAX film of the same name. 

Acacia Quartet. Photo Chris Donaldson

Acacia Quartet. Photo Chris Donaldson

As part of Friday’s ‘Youth and Exuberance’ concert The Acacia Quartet (violinists Lisa Stewart and Myee Clohessy, violist Stefan Duwe and cellist Anna Martin-Scrase) will play pieces composed by local 2018 HSC music students. This is always a great hit with the audience, who are wowed by the talent of our local young composers. 

In 2011 Elena Kats-Chernin was present at the rehearsal and concert where Acacia performed some of her works. Afterwards, she approached them to record her complete works for string quartet in a double CD. 

Now Acacia’s Artistic Patron, Elena Kats-Chernin explained: “They play with integrity; connect with their audience and present dynamic programs always from their heart”.

In the seven years since that break-through, the Acacia Quartet has quickly won great respect for their versatile and inventive programs, which often couple established repertoire with the unorthodox.

Acacia will start Saturday's concert with Antonin Dvorák’s famous String Quartet No. 12, Op. 96, ‘American’ followed by Phillip Houghton’s In Amber for guitar and string quartet. Karin Schaupp will finish the concert with a selection of popular solo guitar pieces in the second half.

The Festival thanks Musica Viva for sponsoring Karin Schaupp’s visit to Bellingen.  For details and tickets go to