ANNOUNCED // Matthew Laing is the new Musica Viva FutureMaker


Musica Viva is pleased to announce composer and violist Matthew Laing as its new FutureMaker for 2022–3, alongside the return of 2020–1 FutureMakers the Partridge String Quartet.

Musica Viva’s FutureMakers program is designed to discover and enable brilliant early career artists to become Australia’s musical leaders of tomorrow through a series of intensives with a core focus on artistic leadership, capacity building, and sector development.

Fundamentally driven by an interest in storytelling through sound, Matthew Laing has been writing thought-provoking and unusually beautiful music since he started university, sketching ideas whilst training to be a viola player, completing a Bachelor of Music/Bachelor of Commerce.

Matthew has been a professional freelance viola player since 2012, playing regularly with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and Orchestra Victoria, as a core member of the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra. His first big commission, Out of Hibernation, was premiered by the Flinders Quartet in 2019. Having participated in the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra’s 2020 Young Composer program, he was subsequently selected as the Orchestra’s Young Composer in Residence for 2021. Matthew’s varied and vibrant career as a freelance composer and viola player is bound to bring a fresh and upbeat perspective on classical music.

Appointed as FutureMakers in 2020–1 and having their program disrupted by COVID-19, the Partridge String Quartet will have their FutureMakers program extended through to 2023.

The Partridge String Quartet will return.

Mentored by notable musicians and scholars from the prestigious Australian National Academy of Music, including Caroline Henbest, Robin Wilson, Sophie Rowell, Howard Penny, and Timothy Young, the Partridge String Quartet was formed in 2017, quickly receiving national recognition as first prize winners of the inaugural 2019 Queensland International Chamber Music Competition.

As engaging and dynamic artists, the quartet strives to connect with its audiences through its fresh and creative performances. As alumni of the Australian Youth Orchestra, the musicians were actively involved in the Musica Viva Festival as participants on the Chamber Players program. They have performed alongside artists such as Ensemble Q’s Paul Dean, Blair Harris from Ensemble Offspring, the Penny Quartet, and musicians from the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. As winners of the QICMC, the Partridge String Quartet was featured as part of Ensemble Q’s Champions Concert. Most recently, it premiered Brian Howard’s fourth string quartet The Armoured Faun at the National Film and Sound Archive Theatre at the Canberra International Music Festival.

On FutureMakers, Musica Viva’s Artistic Director Paul Kildea said, “There are two qualities I look for in the young musicians Musica Viva mentors as part of its FutureMakers program: a certain fearlessness and widespread peer respect. Violist and composer Matt Laing and the Partridge Quartet have these qualities in spades. It is a delight and privilege to plot and plan with them their emerging careers, conscious that these plans will have a huge impact on Australia’s cultural landscape for decades to come.”

During the length of their two-year program, Musica Viva’s FutureMakers are supported to create an ambitious, full-length music-centred performance project. Dynamic in content and delivery, these projects are unashamedly contemporary and experiential. FutureMakers began in 2015, with alumni including trailblazers for Australian wind music Arcadia Winds, pianist Aura Go, percussive artist Mattias Schack-Arnott and violinist Harry Ward.

Musica Viva’s FutureMakers program is made possible thanks to the generous support of the Berg Family Foundation.

Image supplied. Credit Sharon Gertner Photography.