"Gripping intensity… impeccable cohesion… exquisite translucence."

— Limelight Magazine 2016

The Sydney Art Quartet entrances audiences with performances that playfully sidestep routine, cliche and orthodoxy.

Founded by James Beck (cello, artistic director), the group works with distinguished guests to unite great quartet music with a wider world of arts and sciences including scent, botany, social history, architecture, painting, performance art, cuisine, fine wine, dance & multi-discipline installations.

The SAQ's 2016 debut at the historic Yellow House Potts Point demonstrated the appeal of their unique approach, playing to capacity houses and garnering media interest with a following described as the ‘envy of the arts scene'.

In 2017 the SAQ returns with a program that delivers the quality & diversity of an international arts festival, in the intimacy of a 90 seat performance space. Guest artists include KAGE Physical Theatre, Saskia Havekes (floral curator and founder of Grandiflora), Taryn Fiebig (soprano & cellist), Andrew Batt-Rawden (composer) Tony Assness (event director and theatre designer), Alan Jones (painter) and Chris Morrison (sommelier).

The Sydney Art Quartet performs in Prada.



Butt Naked Salon II

Alan Jones – painting the walls of the Yellow House

Sydney Art Quartet - performing Schubert, Sculthorpe & Finzi

Musings from Tim Olsen

The outrageous concert of 2016 returns in an evocation of a bohemian art salon that merges music life & live drawing. Bring your own art materials and join in, or simply immerse yourself in the exquisite ambience. It is assured you will be dining out on this experience for years. 

BYO art materials & photo ID.
Restricted entry to 18+ due to nudity.

Franz Schubert Quartet No. 13 in A minor - Rosamunde
Peter Sculthorpe String Quartet No. 11 - Jabiru Dreaming
Gerald Finzi Romance Opus 11

James Beck – Artistic Director & Cello

James studied at the University of Melbourne, Victorian College of the Arts, University of Western Australia and Sydney Conservatorium of Music. As a member of the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra 1999—2012, James has performed in many of the major cultural institutions and concert halls of Australia, UK, France & Germany. He is featured on the Brandenburg’s ARIA Awards for Best Classical Release (2010, 2009, 2005). James also performs with Pinchgut Opera, Sinfonia Australis, Ironwood, Perth Symphony Orchestra, Canberra Symphony Orchestra & Cologne Chamber Orchestra. James has taught people of all ages and abilities and in 2005 was music tutor to actress Nicole Kidman for her role in Sydney Pollack’s film The Interpreter. James performs with an instrument attributed to Simone Fernando Sacconi and a range of modern and historic bows. In addition and augmenting his music career, James is a former Artistic Manager of the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra and General Manager of the Foundation for Historic Houses Trust of NSW.  


Emma Jardine – Guest Violin I


Emma has performed as recitalist and chamber musician across Europe, UK, Scandinavia, Asia, UAE, New Zealand and Australia. Born in Australia, Emma is a founding member of the Streeton Trio, "Australia’s most internationally successful piano trio" (Musica Viva) and has also performed for several years with the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, and as soloist with the Camerata Menuhin. She has been engaged as Guest Principal and also Guest Associate Principal Second Violin of the SSO and also performed with the Melbourne and West Australian Symphony Orchestras. From 2004—2005, Emma studied at the Australian National Academy of Music, where she was winner of the 2004 Concerto Competition. Emma also holds a Bachelor of Music Performance from the Victorian College of the Arts and a Masters degree from the Haute Ecole de Musique de Genève, where she studied with Mihaela Martin. Emma has been winner of numerous competitions and scholarships, including awards from the Australia Council, Musica Viva, Ian Potter Foundation, IMS Prussia Cove, Siena Accademia Musicale Chigiana and Salzburg Mozarteum.

Anna Albert – Violin II

Anna began violin lessons in Sydney at the age of 5, graduating some 15 years later with a BMus in Violin Performance from the University of Sydney in 2000. She then furthered her studies in Montreal, completing a Licenciate Diploma in Violin Performance at McGill University and touring nationally with the Orchestre de la Francophonie. She has also participated in masterclasses at Domaine Forget Quebec and the Mozarteum University Salzburg. Since returning to Australia in 2004 Anna has worked regularly with the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra and also has performed with the Sydney Symphony and Sydney Philharmonia. Anna performs on a instrument by Denis Cormier, Montreal.  


Alina Zamfir – Viola


Alina obtained her Bachelor of Music Performance degree under the tutelage of Roger Benedict at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and her Masters Degree at the Mozarteum University, Salzburg.

During her studies, Alina had the opportunity to tour numerous times with the Sydney Conservatorium Symphony and Chamber Orchestra as principal viola to England, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, Germany and America. She has also been a participant of the Australian Youth Orchestra, Sydney Camerata Ensemble, Mozarteum Symphony Orchestra, Salzburg Philharmonie, Opera im Berg Orchestra and was a member of the Yehudi Menuhin ‘Live Music Now’ foundation.

Alina has been fortunate enough to receive lessons and participate in master classes with musicians such as Yuri Baschmet, Patricia McCarty, Nobuko Imai, Andra Darzins, Marius Nichiteanu, Antoine Tamestit, Thomas Riebl and William Coleman.

The Yellow House

In 2016, the Sydney Art Quartet began a three-year residency at the historic Yellow House Gallery in Sydney’s Potts Point. 

From 1970 to 1972 the Yellow House was an artists' collective, established by artist Martin Sharp. The model for Sharp's project was Vincent Van Gogh's Yellow House at Arles and Van Gogh's unrealised dream of establishing an artists' community there.

Artists such as Brett Whiteley, George Gittoes, Bruce Goold, Peter Weir, Philip Noyce, Alby Thoms, Aggie Read and more collaborated and displayed work at the Yellow House ranging from paintings to sculptures, films and interactive art projects. The collective changed the face of Potts Points, bringing a more bohemian feeling to it, which remains to this day.

Artistic Director James Beck has drawn inspiration from this legacy, creating programs that explore the boundaries of truly intimate and experimental live performance. 


Yellow House Sydney
52—57 Macleay St
Potts Point, NSW, Australia



For press and media enquires please email australianartquartet@gmail.com


The Sydney Art Quartet on tour

With a refreshing and personable style & gift for programming the Quartet’s appeal to audiences of all ages and backgrounds has been demonstrated by their keen following and critical reception. 

Though resident at the Yellow House Sydney, the group often travels further afield for  past performances in regional and state centres. 

In 2017, the Sydney Art Quartet is dedicated to reaching all audiences and is available for concert engagements.