The Auckland String Quartet Summer School was launched in 1984 by the Auckland String Quartet and has been directed ever since by Brecon Carter MNZM, Concertmaster Emeritus of the Auckland Philharmonia.

Enjoying the final night (Photo: Neil Shepherd)

The emphasis is always on chamber music; string quartets in particular. During morning sessions, participants work in groups with direction from individual tutors. Early afternoons are not formally structured, however at 4:30pm there is the opportunity to join the string orchestra which meets once a day.

The small number of participants accepted (about 44) guarantees the intimate atmosphere for which this summer school is well-known. There is plenty of time for practice, formation of groups for further ensemble playing, or simply relaxing. There are tennis courts available and pleasant walks, including a dawn trek up Mount St. John for the exercise-minded. Some traditions, such as late evening music making, have endured from year to year, and the last night revues are now legendary.

Evening public concerts presented by the tutors and guest artists provide inspiring conclusions to memorable days. In recent years, we have had a series of wonderful guest tutors. In 2020, the Tutors were Yanghe Yu and Rachel Moody (violins), Christine Bowie (viola) and Edith Salzmann (cello). The Tutors gave a public recital on Thursday 9th January 2020. Two other public recitals were given on Saturday 4th January 2020 ( Benedict Lim, violin) and Monday 6th January 2020 ( the Auckland Trio). All recitals were at 8pm in the Hall at St Cuthbert’s College, 122 Market Road, Auckland. Recitals are free to ASQSS participants, while for the general public, tickets at the door: Adults $25, Seniors $20, Students $15.
(Click here for the programmes for these public concerts)


Registration is during the afternoon of Saturday 4th January 2020 and Summer School opens at 5:00pm, followed by dinner at 6:15pm before the public recital at 8.00pm. The school closes after the ‘Revue’ concert on Friday 10th January 2020, but live-in and on-site participants may depart the next morning after breakfast.


Participants have a choice of the following:

- In-house, double or single rooms, all meals included.
  (Those who wish to share a room with a friend or spouse should mention this on their application.)

- Camper van option. Note all meals included, as no cooking is permitted.

- Live out. Lunch, and morning and afternoon teas are included.


Junior scholarships are available for participants aged between 16 and 25 years at 50% reduction on fees.

ASQSS 2021

The next Auckland String Quartet Summer School will be at St Cuthbert’s School, Epsom
- dates yet to be confirmed