Kirby Quartet to perform in concert series

From left are Nicholas Bruiners, Kaitlin Visser Downie, Micaela Arries and Ashlin Grobbelaar

The Cape Chamber Music Collective (CCMC) is welcoming back the Kirby Quartet for a series of concerts this month.

They will perform Shostakovich’s String Quartet No. 3 Op.73 along with selections from Wood Works, a compilation of Nordic folk music arranged by the Danish String Quartet, and Dvorak’s own string quartet arrangement of songs from his song cycle, Cypresses, B. 11.

The Kirby Quartet was formed in 2022, with members Nicholas Bruiners and Kaitlin Visser Downie (violins), Micaela Arries (viola), and Ashlin Grobbelaar (cello). All students at the South African College of Music, University of Cape Town, the quartet is named after the Kirby Collection, a room at the College housing over 600 African, European and Asian instruments, as well as sound recordings, field notes, photos, correspondence and more.

The first half sees the quartet perform the String Quartet No. 3 Op.73 by Dmitri Shostakovich. What has become a cornerstone of the string quartet repertoire is Shostakovich’s only composition from 1946. He dedicated it to the members of the Beethoven Quartet, who gave the work’s first performance in Moscow on their namesake’s 176th birthday on 16 December 1946. The piece’s five movements take the listener through everything from a playful opening to lush lyricism, with themes from the first movement recurring in the finale to tie up to the piece.

The Danish String Quartet is a well-regarded classical string quartet with a passion for Nordic folk music. When they brought their unique arrangements of Nordic folk songs to the concert stage, the pieces became so popular that they were subsequently recorded and published. In a perfect complement to the Shostakovich, these arrangements will alternate with three of Dvorak’s songs from Cypresses, a cycle written in response to an early romantic rejection experienced by Dvorak.

The concerts will take place:

On Wednesday September 20 at Rust-en-Vrede Gallery, Wellington Road, Durbanville, at 7pm. Tickets are R160.

On Saturday September 23 at No 6 Spin Street, in the Cape Town city centre, at 7.30pm. Tickets are R160.

On Sunday September 24 at Erin Hall, 8 Erin Road, Rondebosch, at 3pm. Tickets are R160.

All tickets can be booked on Quicket, or the CCMC website at