Zephyr Quartet are Australia’s leading genre-defying explorers of dynamic cross-artform music focussed collaborations, an award winning string quartet whose musicians also compose, arrange and improvise. This unique skill set together with Zephyr's open-minded approach allows them to skilfully traverse musical worlds and gives the quartet its own distinct voice.
As well being passionate champions of Australian artists since their inception in 1999, Zephyr works with renowned artists from across the world, sharing the stage with musicians such as luminary Jóhann Jóhannson, minimalist cult act Stars of the Lid and collaborating with indie artmusic polymaths such as JG Thirwell and Jherek Bischoff.
A firm believer in the power of the string quartet as a medium to communicate and explore complex relationships between society and art, Zephyr has achieved an enviable reputation for artistic excellence, innovation and audience development as well as for being ‘Arguably Australia’s most lateral thinking and inventive ensemble’ (Music Australia).
Armed with the spirit of collaboration, Zephyr Quartet has become a leading exponent of collaborative arts practice, drawing inspiration from working with artists from diverse backgrounds, including theatre, dance, literature, visual art, environmental art, design, film and media art, to produce work that is vital, current and courageous.Recent collaborations include composing the score for and performing in Brink Productions’ hit theatre show The Aspirations of Daise Morrow (Oct 2015) and performing with the Australian Dance Theatre in its acclaimed Beginning of Nature at WOMADelaide in March 2016.
Zephyr Quartet members compose and arrange music for the ensemble to play and also commission and perform new work by contemporary composers. ZQ has toured extensively for Musica Viva as a part of their Country Wide, Schools and Export programs: nationally in Victoria, South Australia and New South Wales and internationally to the Philippines, upon invitation by DFAT and the Embassy there, to take part in their ‘Celebrate Australia’ week in January 2013. ZQ has self-produced tours interstate, taking part in festivals and events in Sydney, Perth and Melbourne. They are often invited to perform at festivals, nationally and internationally, including WOMADelaide, Soundstream: New Music Festival, Holland Dance Festival, Edinburgh International Arts Festival and the Perth International Arts Festival. As part of the Adelaide Festivals in 2013 -2016 they have shared the stage with Kronos Quartet playing with JG Thirwell’s Manorexia and played with Demdike Stare, Stars of the Lid and Jóhann Jóhannson in the Unsound Festival. In March 2016 ZQ premiered Exquisite Corpse, a musical version of the surrealist parlour game whereby 12 composers from Australia and the USA composed a seamless score to which visual artists Lukukuku and Jo Kerlogue responded by creating animated artwork to be projected throughout the performance. The sell-out premiere season of Exquisite Corpse was presented as part of the Adelaide Festival and co-produced by the Adelaide Festival Centre’s inSPACE program.
Zephyr enjoys national airplay on ABC Classic FM, Radio National and has made several appearances on ABC TV’s Arts programs. Recent releases include a third CD of original music – a music/poetry collaboration called A Rain from the Shadows, an EP of folk songs arranged by the quartet Resonance and a collaborative CD - voicequartet by zephyrROM – music for beats, samples and strings joining forces with electro duo ‘voicerom’. In addition to recording their own work Zephyr Quartet often records the music of other composers, including Music For Airport Furniture by Stephen Whittington, which was released by Californian record label ‘Cold Blue Music’ in 2013 to international critical acclaim.
In 2006 Zephyr Quartet was awarded a Ruby (SA Government Award) in the category of Innovation for their Electro Acoustic project and nominations for Sustained Contribution (2013) and Best New Work for Between Light (2014). In 2012 they were the recipient of the State Award for Performance of the Year in the APRA/AMC Australian Art Music Awards. In 2015 Zephyr won the Ruby award and The Adelaide Critic Circle’s Independent Arts Foundation award both for ‘Innovation’ for their 2014 project ‘Music for Strings and iThings’.
Belinda Gehlert - violin
Belinda is a classically trained violinist who holds a Bachelor in Classical Performance and a Post Graduate Diploma in Jazz Performance from the University of Adelaide.
Belinda is a prolific composer and arranger and has written for numerous chamber ensembles, screen and theatre as well as being a sought after session musician.
Belinda has been active in writing for the screen and experimenting with electronic music production and recording since 2014. She regularly works with film maker Randy Larcombe and has provided soundtracks to television and cinema advertisements and promotional films.
Many of her compositions receive regular airplay on ABC Classic FM and 3D Radio.
As a freelance composer, arranger, producer and theatre performer, Belinda has worked regularly with Patch Theatre Company and since 2004 has been part of six shows that have toured Australia, New Zealand and America. She has written music for Brink Productions, Restless Dance Theatre, State Theatre Company of South Australia and The Adelaide Youth Orchestra. She has also arranged music for the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra.
Belinda has recently been awarded the inaugural “She Shoots she Scores” attachment grant from the South Australian Film Corporation which will see her working with established film composer Amanda Brown.
Belinda is a contract violinist in the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and is regularly booked as a freelance player for touring productions and musical acts, writes and plays for Eastern European inspired world music band Golonka! and is fostering a strong interest in electronic composition, film scoring and music production.
Listen to more of Belinda's music on Soundcloud
Emily Tulloch - violin
Emily Tulloch is a South Australian musician working as a violinist, arts manager, composer-arranger, and educator, with a passion for the creation, presentation and promotion of contemporary music in Adelaide, Australia and beyond.
Emily has been a member of Zephyr Quartet since 2005.
Since 2017 Emily has held the role of Music Programs Manager at Nexus Arts, working with culturally and linguistically diverse and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists. She is the artistic director of Nexus' music presentation programs and runs two development programs supporting South Australian musicians from CALD and ATSI backgrounds to engage with the broader music industry.
She has been a core member of the COMA (Creative Original Music Adelaide) committee since 2007, working on the presentation and promotion of original music in Adelaide and helping co-ordinate twice-monthly concert presentations continuously for twelve years.
Emily holds two first class Honours degrees, in violin performance and Spanish, the latter with a thesis on the representation of the city of Merida, on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, through the lyrics of the popular song repertoire of trova yucateca. The connection between music and place is one of her favourite musings.
Check out Emily's music program at Nexus Arts
Jason Thomas - viola
Joining Zephyr Quartet in 2014, Jason Thomas brings a dedication to versatile music making and broadening audiences’ listening experiences.
Classically trained at Elder Conservatorium (University of Adelaide), Jason is an accomplished chamber musician co-founding Skyline Quartet which won a Helpmann Academy Mentorship Scheme with the acclaimed Australian String Quartet. He was also a member of Eyre Quartet, which was sought as artist in residence for the Australian Youth Orchestra's Regional Residency Program.
Outside of the quartet medium, Jason works as a freelance musician and enjoys working across multiple genres from electronica to country/western to jazz. He is also a practicing psychologist, with a keen interest in mental health in the workplace.
Having now begun composing for the quartet alongside his colleagues, this year will see Jason further Zephyr’s self-composed collection and continue pushing the ever widening scope of the Quartet’s playing parameters.
Hilary Kleinig - cello / Artistic Director
Hilary Kleinig is a multidisciplinary musician who works as a performer, composer, curator, producer and educator. She is passionate about creating new work, collaborating with new artists and inspiring new audiences.
Hilary works in live and recorded performance as a freelance musician for ensembles, orchestras and contemporary music & jazz artists. She performs on baroque/classical cello with period specialist chamber ensembles such as Ensemble Galante, Adelaide Baroque, Adelaide Chamber Singers and the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra. At the other end of the musical spectrum she also is a skilled improviser and plays amplified cello with various experimental and improvising ensembles such as Zeitgiest Orchestra.
As an independent artist she has worked as composer, sound designer, performer and musical director for dance and theatre shows including State Theatre Company of SA’s ‘Gods of Strangers’ (2018), ‘Vale’ (2017) & 'Babyteeth' (2013), Brink Productions’ ‘The Aspirations of Daise Morrow’ (2015) & 'Land & Sea' (2012) and Restless Dance Theatre’s 'Next of Kin' (2010). She has also been commissioned to write music for the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, Adelaide Chamber Singers and the Adelaide Youth Orchestras.
In 2017 her composition ‘Cockatoos’ was selected from a competitive international field to be performed in recital at the inaugural ‘Women in the Creative Arts’ conference 2017 receiving its premiere performance by the acclaimed Muses Trio. Also in 2017 Hilary was awarded the Arts South Australia Fellowship for her independent research, development and composition project ‘The Lost Art of Listening’ and in 2018 was COMA’s (Creative Original Music Adelaide) Featured Composer.
Hilary is dedicated to service, education and advocacy within the arts sector. She has served on the New Music Network Australia board from 2016-2019, joins the Artistic Advisory panel of Adelaide Symphony Orchestra in 2019 and is the Creative Producer of Musica Viva’s Sessions Concert Series in Adelaide. She facilitated the establishment of COMA (Creative Original Music Adelaide) in 2005 and served as its Artistic Director from 2005-2007. She leads creative workshops as a Teaching Artist for primary, secondary and tertiary institutions.
Listen to more of Hilary's music on Soundcloud