String Quartets

Duke Quartet


Past Dates

Kevin Volans comes from South Africa. Today, he lives in Ireland. Like most white South Africans, he grew up conscious of the fact that he was really European. When he arrived in Europe after that completing school and university studies, among other things as a student of and assistant to Karlheinz Stockhausen in Cologne, he just how deeply he had been shaped by Africa – the continent that for the Western world has always remained somewhere in the shadows of its awareness. Volans investigated various music traditions ranging from South Africa to Ethiopia and Egypt, and made them the subject of his compositional activities. As one of the essential media for his creative reflections, he chose the ultimate classical European chamber music genre, the string quartet. In the quartets, he deals with African-inspired material – although in other genres, he has long since distanced himself from the cliché image of the “African Minimalist.” In his latest quartet, however, he follows a different path. His interest in Minimal painting and architecture furnished him with the basic idea, the thematic material of this work is concentrated around a single sonority. “When Shiva is depicted dancing, he appears in a flaming circle. You get the impression that he always dances in that position, and never moves away from it. I like that.”
Kevin Volans

Concert Programme

Kevin Volans [geb. 1949]
Hunting: Gathering
String Quartet No. 2 [1987]

Kevin Volans
The Songlines
String Quartet No. 3 [1988, rev. 1993]

Kevin Volans
Shiva Dances
String Quartet No. 9 [2004]


Duke Quartet
Luisa Fuller violin
Rick Koster violin
John Metcalfe viola
Sophie Harris cello