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When Grammy-nominated American ensemble the Enso String Quartet performs in Dunedin on Monday, the programme will feature a commissioned work by Dame Gillian Whitehead. No stars, not even clouds ... was written in memory of Dame Gillian's friend, historian Juanita Ketchel, and draws "on the Otago accent of the korimako or bellbirds, that seem to sing vociferously every time I sit down to write".
The quartet is joined by German pianist Michael Endres for the concert, which is part of Chamber Music New Zealand's 2012 "Kaleidoscopes" season.
Enso has a 2010 Grammy nomination for best chamber music performance, for their recording of the Ginastera quartets, to its name, while the quartet members hold degrees from Yale University, The Juilliard School, Curtis Institute of Music, New England Conservatory, Guildhall School of Music, and the University of Canterbury. In 2009 they were the recipients of a Chamber Music America commissioning grant with composer Kurt Stallmann.
The Dunedin concert, at the Regent, also features Argentinian composer Ginastera's second string quartets.