Jonathan Paget and the Darlington Quartet

Jonathan Paget and the Darlington Quartet 6.30pm Perth Concert Hall $40 - $106
Buy Tickets
Sun 20 Feb at Perth Concert Hall, from $40 - $106

Presented in association with Musica Viva Australia

Local artists Jonathan Paget and the Darlington Quartet come together for a selection of beloved classics for guitar and string quartet. The centrepiece is Iain Grandage’s impassioned Black Dogs, selected by Musica Viva Australia’s Artistic Director Paul Kildea for this Perth-only program. Inspired by friends who had experienced periods of mental ill health, Iain’s work is a compelling exploration of the mind and its often-mysterious workings, with the guitar standing in for the brain.

Taking us out of the body and into nature, Christopher Sainsbury’s North Country Sketches is a series of etudes for solo guitar which the composer describes as exploring ’Top End country topics’ such as the Dry season, the Traditional Owner and Gagudju. Other works to look forward to include Carulli’s Guitar Concerto, Op. 140, where guitar and string quartet prove themselves ideal partners, Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s stirring Guitar Quintet Op. 143 and Imogen Holst’s Phantasy Quartet, ruminative music of great emotional depth. Boccherini’s Fandango is the perfect, finger-snapping finale to this uplifting concert. 

Jonathan Paget

Jonathan Paget is an Associate Professor at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, Edith Cowan University, where he has led the classical guitar program since 2005. Winner of multiple prestigious international guitar competitions, Jonathan has performed throughout Australia, the USA, and Asia, and at festivals such as the Darwin International Guitar Festival and the Port Fairy Spring Music Festival. He has performed with Karin Schaupp, Slava Grigoryan, and Chrystian Dozza, among others, as well as with the Silver Sands Guitar Trio from 2016-2019. He has released two solo CDs: Kaleidoscope, and Midsummer’s Night (Move Records), which have been played extensively on Australian radio. Reviews describe him as “a fine musician with brilliant technique” [Soundboard, USA], “up there with some of the best” [Classical Guitar, UK]. Winner of prestigious academic awards such as Fulbright and Hackett scholarships, Paget completed doctoral studies at the Eastman School of Music in upstate New York. He has been the Associate Dean of Research at WAAPA since 2017 and actively researches guitar literature and performance practices.


The Darlington Quartet

Semra Lee-Smith was born in Malaysia and commenced violin lessons aged three with her mother, Hooi Tong Lee. She gained her Bachelor of Music degree at the WA Conservatorium of Music, studying with Pal Eder. Semra also holds a Postgraduate Diploma from the Sweelinck Conservatorium, studying with Istvan Parkanyi.

She undertook string quartet studies with the Halcyon String Quartet at the Australian National Academy of Music and at the Banff Centre for the Arts, Canada. Tutors included Hatto Beyerle, the Arditti Quartet and David Takeno.

In 2000, Semra won a position with the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra. She started in a tutti position with WASO in 2003 and was appointed Associate Principal 2nd Violin in 2004. In 2009, she won the Assistant Concertmaster job and has been the Acting Associate Concertmaster since 2014. Semra appeared as Guest Concertmaster with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra in concerts for the 2019 MONA FOMA.  

She is sought after as a chamber musician and is a founding member of the Darlington Piano Trio and Darlington String Quartet, core ensembles for Darlington Concerts, created in 2003. Collectively, they form the Darlington Ensemble and are Ensemble in Residence at UWA’s Conservatorium of Music. The trio commissioned James Ledger’s Inscriptions and recorded Roger Smalley’s piano trio for UWA’s centenary celebrations ‘Luminosity’ CD. In 2018, the Darlington String Quartet commissioned and premiered James Ledger’s 3rd String Quartet, Menace and Appeal. Other notable chamber music partners have included Brett Dean, Ashley Smith and Myron Romanul.

She has featured regularly in the Soft Soft Loud chamber music series and as the leader of the new music ensemble, Etica. Semra’s versatility as a performer has seen her record Troy Roberts’ jazz quartet/string quartet Xenden Suite, back Tex Perkins and Tim Rogers at the Big Day Out and feature as a soloist with WASO and in 2021, the Darwin Symphony Orchestra. In 2020, she premiered Simon Kruit’s Disconnects with the Darlington String Quartet and recorded Emma Jayakumar’s Bell Birds Suite, a new commission from the ABC. In addition, she is a lecturer in violin at UWA and is also an AMEB examiner.

Zak Rowntree was born in England and started the violin at the age of 9. He won a scholarship to study at the prestigious Chethams School of Music with Nannie Jamieson a year later. At the age of 13 he won the Open section at the Cheltenham International Competitive Festival of Music. 

He studied music at the University of York where he led the University Orchestra on a tour of Greece, performed concertos under Christopher Adey and formed a piano trio with his future wife Lisa during the Pablo Casals chamber music course.

He gave a strong commitment to the Contemporary Music Ensemble and gave the world premieres of several works. He then accepted a place at the Royal Northern College of Music on the Advanced Performance post-graduate course, where his teacher was Maciej Rakowski. During his time in Manchester, Zak developed his love of chamber music with lessons from the Lindsay, Fitzwilliam and Sorrel quartets and masterclasses from teachers such as Emmanuel Hurwitz. He also gained valuable orchestral experience with the BBC Philharmonic, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and English Northern Philharmonia.

Since moving to Perth in 1997, Zak has enjoyed being a member of WASO. He was appointed Associate Principal 2nd Violin in 2009, and Principal 2nd Violin in 2014. In addition to his orchestral work he is a member of the Darlington String Quartet, and enjoys teaching several students at home.

Sally Boud was born in Perth and studied viola performance with Berian Evans at UWA. After graduating with first class honours she continued her studies overseas, most formatively with Gertrude Rossbacher in Berlin. Upon her return to Australia in 1999 Sally became a founding member of the Tankstream Quartet. The Quartet toured worldwide and was a prizewinner in many international competitions, including first prize at the Osaka International Competition in 2002, second prize at the  Premio Paolo Borciani in 2005 and first prize at the Cremona International Competition, also in 2005. From 2004 to 2005 the quartet was based in Berlin and studied with the Alban Berg Quartet in Cologne. In 2006 the quartet was invited to take on the name and role of the Australian String Quartet, performing nationally and internationally and premiering works by many Australian composers, including Brett Dean, James Ledger and Elena Kats-Chernin. Sally left the quartet at the end of their 2011 season to pursue a busy and varied freelance career.  In addition to her chamber music activities Sally has played with the Australian Chamber Orchestra, the Sydney Symphony and the Darwin Symphony, as Guest Principal Viola with the Adelaide, Tasmanian and West Australian Symphony Orchestras and as Guest Associate Principal with the New Zealand Symphony. She has appeared as a soloist with the Darwin Symphony Orchestra, the Fremantle Chamber Orchestra, the Perth Symphony and Ensemble 1685.

Jonathan Tooby is currently Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of Darwin Symphony Orchestra, a position he has held since 2018.  He has conducted the West Australian Symphony Orchestra, Australian Youth Orchestra, WA Youth Orchestras, WA Ballet and WA Opera.

Jonathan is particularly interested in partnering with other artists and performance groups to create new works and performance experiences. In 2021 Jonathan will conduct Darwin Symphony Orchestra at Barunga Festival, one of the Northern Territory’s most iconic indigenous cultural events featuring art, music and sport. DSO will perform with numerous different Indigenous singers from across the Territory.

In September he will direct Olive Pink, a new Opera by Anne Boyd, which will premiere in Alice Springs at the Olive Pink Botanic Gardens as part of the Desert Song Festival. This significant event will combine a variety of artistic elements and will feature local artists including Riley Lee performing the Shakuhachi (Japanese bamboo flute), and the Central Australian Aboriginal Women’s Choir.

2021 will also see Jonathan conduct many more concerts with Darwin Symphony Orchestra, including ‘DISCO’ in the Botanic Gardens, ‘Wavelengths’ and ‘Bunggul’ in the Darwin Festival. Some of the masterpieces which will be performed include Shostakovich’s Symphony No.5, Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No.5, Beethoven’s Emperor Piano Concerto and Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante, featuring Semra Lee Smith and Sally Boud.

In addition to his busy conducting schedule, Jonathan is in demand as a cellist and continues to perform and tour with numerous groups, most notably the Darlington Ensemble, I Cellisti, Arafura Collective, Whistling Kite, and more recently the Rococconuts.


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Time & Location

Sun 20 Feb

6.30pm Perth Concert Hall, 5 St. Georges Tce, Perth / Dyeedyallalup


2hrs including interval

  • A Reserve

    • Adult: $106
    • Concession: $93
    • Friends: $95.40
    • Under 40: $40
  • B Reserve

    • Adult: $80
    • Concession: $69
    • Friends: $72
    • Under 40: $40
  • C Reserve

    • Adult: $56
    • Concession: $49
    • Friends: $50.40
    • Under 40: $40
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  • Nik Babic


  • Jonathan Paget appears courtesy of the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts

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