Geist String Quartet

Community Arts & Cultural Development

Geist String Quartet at ProQuartet France

One of Sydney’s young upcoming string quartets has the opportunity to travel to France to study chamber music – help the Geist String Quartet on their way.

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The Geist String Quartet has been selected to attend the ProQuartet Professional Training Academy with violinist Oliver Wille of the Kuss Quartet. The Academy is located in Provence, France, where we will spend a week in August.

The ProQuartet Academy offers interpretation courses lead by internationally acclaimed chamber musicians and teachers, with courses in Paris and Lyon and academies in regions of France. This program has been running for 30 years, and is held in high regard as one of the top quartet training programs in the world.

Oliver Wille is the founding second violinist of the Kuss Quartet. The Kuss Quartet have played together since 2002, and rank amongst the world’s best-renowned ensembles. Alongside his performance career, Wille is very active as a teacher, and holds the position of Professor of Chamber Music in Hannover as well as teaching at a number of international masterclasses.

The Geist Quartet is fortunate to have a long-term friendship with the Kuss Quartet, which began in 2015 with lessons from violist William Coleman in Sydney, and the following year in Verona, Italy. From there, the quartet has travelled to Canada in 2017 to study with all four members of the Kuss Quartet at the Orford Music Academy, and in the same year to Germany to study with Oliver Wille at the International Sommerakademie für Kammermusik, Niedersachsen.

Oliver Wille has consistently been an inspiring and nurturing mentor, and has provided ongoing support to our development as a quartet. We will greatly benefit from the opportunity to continue this relationship, working closely with Wille on some of the most important repertoire in the string quartet canon: both Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 13 in B-flat major, Op. 130 and the Grosse Fuge Op. 133, Schubert’s String Quartet No. 15 in G D. 887, and Haydn’s String Quartet in B minor, Op. 33 No. 1.

All donations to the Geist String Quartet will go directly toward the many costs associated with international travel to the summer course: airfares, course fees, regional transport, and accommodation.

If you’d like to hear us, you are welcome to attend our fundraising concert in Sydney on Sunday 12th August. We would love to share with you what we have been working on, and look forward to returning to Australia to continue performing and sharing this repertoire.

More information about our fundraising concert:

More information about the ProQuartet Professional Training Academy:

More information about the Geist String Quartet:

Formed in 2015, the Geist String Quartet is based in Sydney, and comprises of violinists Sonia Wilson and Meg Cohen, violist Hayasa Tanaka, and cellist James Larsen. Coming from all over Australia, the members musical backgrounds range in diversity from Historically Informed Performance to opera and contemporary classical music.

Since meeting as postgraduate students at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, the Geist String Quartet has travelled all over Australia and internationally to participate in numerous festivals and courses. Highlights include performing in the Musica Viva Festival in Sydney, Australia as part of the Australian Youth Orchestra’s Chamber Players program in 2017, and in 2018, participating in the St Lawrence String Quartet Seminar at Stanford University, USA, the Orford Music Academy, Canada, with the Kuss Quartet and members of the Fine Arts Quartet, and the International Sommerakademie für Kammermusik, Niedersachsen, Germany, working with numerous teachers including Eberhard Feltz, Oliver Wille and Mathieu Herzog.

In 2016, the Geist String quartet was the grateful recipient of the Westheimer String Quartet Fellowship and in 2017 the Ernest V. Llewellyn Memorial Fund scholarship and Mary Vallentine Award.


Niki Fortunato


John Garran


Glenn Christensen



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