It seems to be the fate of so much contemporary music to be played once or perhaps twice, and then be put away forever. How different it is when an ensemble really takes a piece to heart and plays it again and again, continually widening and deepening their interpretation. As a composer, one is finally left wondering, as I was with their performances of my 2nd String Quartet, whether I had in fact put as much into the piece as the Koehne Quartet were getting out of it.
Even in the most difficult, complex and demanding quartet repertoire, the Koehne Quartet reaches an outstanding level both technically and in the sense of understanding and analysing the musical content.
Apart from impeccable sound quality and flawless intonation, it is above all the personal creative input, that the ensemble, as a collective of four, strong musical personalities, allows to appear. The possibility of blending into complete unity and in the next instant to individually dissolve apart again, is a particular trademark of the musicians of the Koehne Quartet.
I first heard the Koehne Quartet in 1999, when I attended a rehearsal in Vienna of my String Quartet No. 11. From the very beginning, I was excited by the energy and ethusiasm with which the players endowed the work. I then discovered that they had a profound understanding of the music, of its style and its origins in the Australian landscape. Such an experience is as rare as it is exhilarating. I applaud, embrace and thank the Koehne Quartet.
Over the years the members of the Koehne Quartet have consistently impressed me with their commitment, energy and professionalism. At an especially personal level I have had the opportunity to hear this group perform my own string quartet many times over the years and I believe this groups´s performance to be the most sensitively wrought and musical I have heard. To their handling of new music, as well as traditional repertoire, the Koehne Quartet bring musical intelligence, artistic maturity and technical facility.