Takács Quartet’s Geraldine Walther gives viola lesson at Circular Quay

The Takács Quartet travels to New Zealand today after their final concert in Sydney last night. As testament to the number of educational activities the Quartet has undertaken on their recent Australian visits, the hall was noticeably full of music students. Perhaps one of the more unusual lessons a member of the Quartet has given, however, took place yesterday at Circular Quay, as outlined in the below article from today’s Sydney Morning Herald.


SHE’S played in some of the world’s leading music venues as part of the Takacs Quartet and is one of America’s most-respected viola teachers, but yesterday Geraldine Walther stopped by a Circular Quay fruit stand for a brief one-on-one lesson with a local musician, after coincidence brought them together. Walther, who is in town with the Quartet for Musica Viva, had been on her way to rehearsals two years ago when she stopped at the fruit stand near Customs House to buy bananas. ”That’s a viola case there, isn’t it?” asked Bill Haire as he sold her the fruit. ”How did you know?” she shot back and they started chatting. Bill’s son Ben was a violist he explained, studying at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. Their friendship grew and this year when she was coming back to perform, Walther asked if the budding musician might want a few pointers. Unsurprisingly he did, leading yesterday to one of the most unusual lessons and from two of the most unlikely performers the Quay has ever hosted. ”Ben is a fantastic young violist,” Walther said, ”it was a real pleasure to meet him and have a lesson with him. He’s a really talented young player!” Ben, in his second year of a bachelor of music, was suitably happy with the moment and said, one day he hoped to have a similarly successful career as Walther.


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