Concerts 2024

On 30 June at 2.30 pm Castlemaine Chamber Players are joined by internationally famous Baroque & contemporary violinist Lizzy Welsh in the Winter Harmonies concert presented by Women of Note choir. Hear selections from the Mozart Dissonance quartet, one of Mozart’s most famous quartets.

Then in October hear a full program of quartet music when CCPlayers are again led by 1st violinist Sasha Bronshtein. Bookings will open closer to the time, save the dates!

In these concerts we will play Mozart’s Dissonance Quartet, Beethoven’s 3rd Rasumovsky Quartet, Florence Price’s quartet in G (1929) and Brazilian music arranged by Wendy Rowlands.

Saturday 19 October, 7.30 pm Northern Arts Hotel, Castlemaine
Sunday 20 October,  3pm Church of the Resurrection, Macedon

Past Concerts

Creswick concert 26 August 2023

Beethoven, Shostakovich and Piazzolla were all on the musical menu at the Chamber Players recent concert at the RACV Goldfields Resort. This was the first time that a classical group had played here.

It was a great success with an enthusiastic audience, who told us they enjoyed good acoustics right to the back of the room. The second quartet in the Rasumovsky series was played, Op.59 No.2, as well as Shostakovich’s Quartet No.8 that expresses his life in music and is dedicated to the victims of fascism and war. Our own Sasha Bronshtein arranged Piazzolla’s Oblivion and improvised ecstatically on top of the warm harmonies and tango rhythms.

Thanks to CresFest, Regional Arts Vic, and RACV Goldfields resort for making this concert possible.

Bringing Female Composers to the Fore 29 April 2023

Projections and photo by Frank Veldze

Northern Arts Hotel, Castlemaine
This concert featured an all-female lineup and was great fun to research and play.

Rebecca Clarke from the early 20th century only wrote two string quartet movements as far as we know. She was famous in her time as a viola virtuoso player, with some recognition in her lifetime of her compositions but is becoming more widely known now as a composer. Her music is romantic and melodious with modern harmonies and textures.

We played Andrea Keeble‘s quirky sound portraits of her family. Andrea Keeble is a Melbourne violinist and composer who creates a unique sound world, lilting and heartfelt. She plays in Cosmo Cosmolino (gypsy-inspired music), Collider (jazz sextet) and Ad Hoc Collective (improvisation concert group). She has released two CDs of her compositions, ‘Congratulations’ and ‘Teeter’.

The audience swooned to Sasha Bronshtein and Wendy Rowland‘s arrangements of Latin music and screen soundtracks. Sasha is familiar to Castlemaine audiences as the first violinist in the Chamber Players. She’s also a wonderful singer currently exploring Brazilian music. Wendy Rowlands from Castlemaine is the artistic director of Corker Orchestra, Mainesong Choir and Brazazul.

Elena Kats-Chernin is a prolific Australian composer, famous for her ballet music for Wild Swans. She has written film scores, ballet and theatre music and won several music composition prizes. Emma Wade is co-director of Resonance String Orchestra and composes and arranges music for the orchestra.

Heaven and Earth I
Northern Arts Hotel, 23 September 2022

This concert began the Beethoven Rasumovsky quartet cycle in Castlemaine, with Opus 59, No.1 in F.

Pre-Pandemic concerts/summer schools

Opening for Flinders Quartet’s
Collins St series

On Tuesday 3 March 2020 CCP was honoured to feature in the pre-concert, playing a movement of Brahms String Quartet No.3 in Bb. The Collins St Baptist Church with its wonderful acoustics was a joy to play in.

Mt Buller summer school

Castlemaine Chamber Players performing at a cocktail concert

Photo Paul Whitehead

In 2020 the famous Mt Buller Chamber Music Summer School was held at Candlebark Farm, Healesville, due to the bushfire risk at Mt Buller. It was simultaneously hard work and loads of fun. We played chamber music for hours every day, taking masterclasses with outstanding Australian and New Zealand string players, playing in concerts for our peers and receiving feedback.

We had masterclasses with outstanding musicians and then rehearsed intensively, finding ever-increasing intimacy and warmth in our sound. This year’s six tutors were unfailingly helpful.

Wilma Smith, violin, co-artistic director – Wilma and Friends; Flinders Quartet
Elinor Lea, violin, co-artistic director – Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra
Gillian Ansell, viola – New Zealand String Quartet
Michael Dahlenberg, cello – Melbourne Chamber Orchestra
Tobias Lea, viola – Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Anna Pokorny, cello – Freelance player with Australian Chamber Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony

Concerts 2022

Heaven & Earth

Beethoven and Shostakovich for string quartet

  • Beethoven, String Quartet Opus 59, No.1 in F major, 1805-6
  • Shostakovich, String Quartet No.8, 1960

Concert #1

3rd September, 2.30pm
Mulberry Manse
8 Roses Lane, Clunes

Concert #2

23rd September, 7.30pm
Northern Arts Hotel
359 Barker St, Castlemaine

Castlemaine Chamber Players takes you on an emotional journey with their passionate performance of these masterworks.

Beethoven and Shostakovich each wrote 15 or more quartets, and these are from the middle period of both composers’ careers.

Beethoven’s Opus 59 Rasumovsky quartets were written in 1805, around the time of his third symphony, the Eroica. You’ll hear the symphonic influence in this quartet.

Shostakovich’s Opus 8 quartet, with poignant personal slow movements and a furious driving fast Allegro, was written in only three days. Dedicated to the victims of Fascism and war, it’s autobiographical, with quotes from earlier works, and his musical signature as the theme, D-Eb-C-B.

The Castlemaine Chamber Players are Sasha Bronstein and Heather Cummins, violin, Frances Gall, viola and Elisabeth Anderson, cello. The majority live in Castlemaine, where they have given several concerts, and now look forward to playing in Clunes as well as Castlemaine this year.

The group was formed in 2014 and performs a wide range of music for string quartet and other string ensembles. Previous concerts with guest performers featured Mozart’s quintets and the two string sextets by Brahms. They also like performing contemporary Australian compositions, and have commissioned music by Castlemaine composer Wendy Rowlands.


“It was a joy and a privilege to hear Castlemaine Chamber Players perform Brahms’ Sextets 1 and 2, both in just over a month. Yesterday I found myself immersed often in that lush, complex, entwined, melodious and moving ‘Brahms sound’, with you all barely a few metres away!
I’d blink and find myself in Romsey. Rather stunning actually.”

– Ruth Williams, Cope-Williams Concert, Romsey

Contact details 

Send an email to Frances to be added to the email list and be informed when concert tickets go on sale.

phone: 0414 878 071

snail mail: PO Box 415
Castlemaine Victoria 3450

Concert in 2019

On Saturday 25th May at Buda the Chamber Players performed one of Brahms’ string quartets and several contemporary Australian works.

We continued our obsession with Brahms’ chamber music, this time playing his String Quartet in B flat, Opus 67. This is a mature work in four movements overflowing with melodies, rich harmonies and rhythmic invention.

This contrasted with contemporary compositions by Australian composers. We played Eliza’s Aria and Blue Rose by Elena Kats-Chernin, Reggie’s Quartet by Andrea Keeble, and a new arrangement of Besame Mucho, composed especially for us by Wendy Rowlands.

Castlemaine Concert

Saturday 19th May, 2018 – 7.30pm

The Garden Room of Buda Historic House, 42 Hunter St, Castlemaine.

Castlemaine Chamber Players performed Mozart’s String Quintet in C.
This is one of Mozart’s two-viola quintets, and joining the Chamber Players was violist Olivia Forsberg from Melbourne. The program also included ‘Un poco allegretto’ by Brahms from his second string quintet, a romantic piece in both senses of the word, based on the Viennese waltz. The concert took place in Buda’s Garden Room and was well-attended despite clashing with the Royal wedding!

The Chamber Players enjoyed demonstrating the results of their January attendance at the Mt Buller Chamber Music Summer School, where they worked intensively with players from the Merlin Ensemble of Brisbane as well as Caroline Henbest, viola, and Patrick Murphy, cello.

This concert followed the Chamber Players’ previous performance of Mozart’s Quintet in G minor. Both quintets were composed in Mozart’s late period, within a few months of each other in 1787. They are major works by Mozart, each with four exquisite contrasting movements that demonstrate Mozart’s mastery of the chamber music form.

Autumn House Concert

Sunday 21st May, 2017
Two performances – 3pm & 7pm
2 Edward St. Castlemaine

Chamber music in the drawing room of one of Castlemaine’s historic homes. The Players warm strings and versatility in performance of the amazing Mozart string quintet in G minor, a Tango or Two, and songs of Gershwin and Berlin, sung by Sasha Bronshtein with quartet accompaniment.

These concerts supported the Players attendance at the Mt Buller Chamber Music Summer School.