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AUCKLAND FUSION QUARTET is a new project which melds different genres and instrumentations to create an eclectic soundscape journey from baroque to a unique interpretation of folk music from across the globe.
Music by JS Bach, Vivaldi, Giardini, Piazzolla, Myers, and Celtic traditional.
Elena Abramova is a Russian-born violinist who holds Masters Degree from the State Conservatory of St Petersburg, Russia and a Doctorate in Violin Performance from the University of Auckland. Elena has lived in Auckland since 2003 where she is a sought after freelance violinist, chamber musician and teacher. She has played with the NZSO, APO, ACO, NZ Trio and other professional orchestras and ensembles. Elena had been a Concertmaster of Waitakere Orchestra for 10 years, and has led a number of other orchestras, such as Aorangi Symphony, Opus Orchestra, Chinese Orchestra of NZ, NZ Concerto Orchestra, and St-Petersburg University Orchestra, having performed with some of these groups as a soloist. Elena’s most recent special interest is in a fusion of a classical violin school with a non-classical virtuosic violin music, such as Gypsy, Irish and American fiddling.
Dianna Cochrane is the Principal Second Violin with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra (APO). During her teens she won 2nd prize in both the Gisborne Solo Competition and the NZ Violin Competition, 3rd prize in the National Concerto Competition and was a finalist in both the NZ Young Achiever’s Competition and the TVNZ Young Musicians Competition. Dianna has subsequently performed as both soloist and chamber musician in NZ, the UK, Europe, Japan and the USA. After gaining her BMus degree in performance from Auckland University she furthered her postgraduate studies and became teaching assistant to Eudice Shapiro, at the University of Southern California (USC). Further studies and master classes with the Amadeus Quartet, Kronos Quartet, Victor Liebermann and David Takeno, among others, followed. She has worked professionally both as a section and titled player in many orchestras throughout Europe and Australasia and was previously first violin in the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and Associate Concertmaster/Principal Second violin in the NZ Chamber Orchestra. Currently residing north of Auckland, Dianna balances the “down under” beach lifestyle here with regular snowy stints performing back in Scandinavia.
Gregory McGarity studied in Sydney and completed a Graduate Diploma in performance at NSW State Conservatorium of music. He furthered his viola studies in Germany with Christian Euler and performed in over 500 concerts in 1995-8, including radio and television broadcasts as Soloist, Chamber Musician and in Symphony Orchestras playing throughout Europe. He has been Principal Violist for Junge Philharmonie Cologne, Kammerensemble Cologne, Bangkok Symphony Orchestra, Christchurch Symphony Orchestra and Auckland Chamber Orchestra. Greg has also played several seasons with the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra in Sydney. Greg moved to Auckland in 2001 to take up his current position with the Auckland Philharmonia. Greg is also active in music education, composition and chamber music performance. With his St. Petersburg-trained violinist wife, Elena Abramova, he has co-founded the Auckland Trio for which he enjoys arranging and playing a diverse range of repertoire and instruments, especially the viola.
Rachel Guan Ebbett was born in China, where she was accepted into the central conservatory in Bei Jing at Age 12. Upon graduation with Honours, she decided to pursue her music study abroad. She received a full scholarship to attend the Harid conservatory in Florida USA where she studied with Arthur Weisberg. Upon graduating with a Bachelor of Music, she was offered a teaching assistantship at the Louisiana State University where she received a Master of Music performance degree under the Guidance of William Ludwig. Rachel fell in love with the style of the Cleveland Orchestra after a summer of traveling to attend Major orchestra concerts. She moved to Cleveland the following fall and started her Artist diploma at the Cleveland institute of music under the major influence of the Principal bassoon John Clouser. Rachel attended many summer music festivals including the Sarasota, Chautauqua, and the Pacific music festival in Japan. She came to New Zealand upon winning the associate principal bassoon position in May 2005, and has enjoyed the lifestyle of this beautiful land. She enjoys the outdoors, tennis, cooking and being a mum to her two lovely kids. She is also active in teaching music in her community.