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Artist Biography

The Four Winds Quartet
(Wilma Smith: leader, Sarah Curro: violin; Chris Moore: viola and Sue-Ellen Paulsen: cello)

Four Winds Quartet is led by Wilma Smith, former leader of the New Zealand String Quartet and Concert Master of the New Zealand Symphony orchestra, she now plays with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. Sarah Curro, second violin has played with the Australian Chamber Orchestra, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and Orchestra Victoria. Chris Moore, viola is Associate principal viola with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and Sue-Ellen Paulsen, is the principal cellist of Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra.

The Four Winds Quartet will be performing Peter Sculthorpe's Quartet No 12 Earth Cry with William Barton, didjeridu, his Quartet No 14 Quamby also with William Barton, Beethoven's Op 130 Cavatina adagio molto expressivo, his Op 135 Lento assai e cantata tranquillo and his Op 132 Molto adagio canzona di Ringraziamento.


Further information about the members of the quartet:

Wilma Smith: violin

Wilma Smith was appointed Co- Concertmaster of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra in 2003, having led the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra for ten years. Born in Suva, she studied at Auckland University and the New England Conservatory in Boston. Wilma has been first violinist of the Lydian String Quartet at Brandeis University, Concertmaster of the Harvard Chamber Orchestra, a regular with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and founding leader of the New Zealand String Quartet. She worked with the quartet for its first five years which included concert tours in New Zealand, Australia and America. She has also played baroque violin.

Sarah Curro: violin

Sarah Curro studied with Carmel Kaine at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music where she was awarded the Medal for Excellence. In 1997 Sarah won the prestigious Dorcas McLean Travelling Scholarship for Violinists and in 1998 as an invited student, she furthered her studies with Professor Michael Ma at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. Sarah has extensive performing experience as a chamber musician. She has also toured with the Queensland Philharmonic, Queensland Symphony, Tasmanian Symphony and Australian Chamber Orchestras and from 1999 until 2002 was a full time member of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra. Sarah then moved to Melbourne where she has been guest concertmaster with Orchestra Victoria and currently plays with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.

Chris Moore: viola

“For most of the large audience on Sunday morning in the Iwaki Auditorium, hearing the Prokofiev work would have been a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Perhaps a number of listeners would have been happy at that prospect, but in fact the score has been over-rated in terms of its acerbity and confrontation. Some of the harmonic processes grate and the oboe-clarinet pairing at moments resembles an aggressive instrumental duel. Still, there were compensations, as in hearing Sylvia Hosking's double bass put through some testing solo passages and the nicely matched partnership of Wilma Smith's violin and Christopher Moore's viola.” (June 20 concert reviewed 23.6.04 by Clive O'Connell)

Sue-Ellen Paulsen cello

Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra's Principal Cellist Sue-Ellen Paulsen studied in Vienna with André Navarra after completing her studies at the Queensland Conservatorium with Richard Dedecius. Sue-Ellen toured the United Kingdom, Germany and Italy as soloist with the Queensland Youth Orchestra in 1980 and in the same year, won the ABC Concerto Competition. She was cellist with the New England String Quartet in Armidale for three years prior to her appointment with the TSO. Sue-Ellen was one of two Australians invited to play in the World Philharmonic Orchestra in Montreal, Canada in 1988.

Sue-Ellen makes regular solo appearances with the TSO, performing concertos by Haydn, Milhaud, Lalo, Shostakovich, Ligeti, Sallinen, among others. In October 1995 she gave the world premiere performance of Andrew Ford's cello concerto The Great Memory which was composed especially for her. She has also featured as soloist with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra in CD recordings of compositions by Peter Sculthorpe and the Cello Concertos of Richard Mills and Gordon Kerry. With support from the Australia Council, she has commissioned works from Gordon Kerry and Antony Partos.


see a list of artists that have performed at previous Four Winds