A selection of reviews, articles and other media. Click publication link to read full article.


Between Light Podcast: Interview & performance by ABC Classic FM New Waves – 23/11/2016


  • Words about Great White Bird – composition by Hilary Kleinig

Dec 16/Jan 17 – Review – Realtime
“The concert opens with Zephyr Artistic Director Hilary Kleinig’s Great White Bird (2016), in which her gentle cello introduction gives way to a seagull-like sound voiced in the violins. Kleinig based the simple, repetitive tune on an anthropologist’s 1928 Edison cylinder recording of a song sung by a Wirangu woman from the Eyre Peninsula, acknowledging the Indigenous people who witnessed the arrival of the colonists by sailing ship and who thought the ship was a giant white bird.”
15/11/16 – Review – ArtsHub
“The atmospheric work by the quartet’s cellist Hilary Kleinig Great White Bird optimised place, sound and sight as we were perched at the front of the Maritime Museum staring out at the flying mass of sea birds, water movement and the ‘Fremantle Volunteer Rescue’ boat zipping around.  The beautiful light touch of the musicians worked fantastically with this evocative composition, creating a site specific music composition.”


  • Words about For those who’ve come across the seas – composition by Hilary Kleinig

Dec 16/Jan 17 – Review – Realtime
“Kleinig’s For those… invites the audience to participate in the performance by using their smart-phones to play into the hall pre-recorded elements of the music. No longer passive observers, they are actively enjoined in the work’s critique of the refugee crisis as a humanitarian issue. Recontextualised in this concert, Kleinig’s approach also raises the question of why a country that was built on immigration now refuses asylum seekers.”


  • Words about Exquisite Corpse by Zephyr Quartet (curator & performer)

14/03/2016 – Review – Sydney Morning Herald
“a delightfully intriguing suite for string quartet”


Feb/March 2016 – Review – RealTime
“Exquisite Corpse should be made into a movie.”


09/03/2016 – Review – The Australian
“Exquisite Corpse is an elaborate audiovisual work from Adelaide’s Zephyr Quartet that fairly twitches with life…..it’s quirky and strangely beautiful.”


 08/03/2016 – Review – Limelight
“…the genius of Zephyr’s risky undertaking is in their ability to unify this collaboration. There is a distinct lack of non sequitur. The progressions seem completely logical, and the piece achieves the mastery of creation without constraint. Despite composers being given only fragments from the previous writer to work from, there are recurring themes, both musically and artistically that serve to knit the piece not only into a comprehendible work, but one that strikes the perfect balance between tight control and total artistic freedom.
The long moments of cohesion and passion are dazzling; Zephyr Quartet’s phrasing and interpretation of the innate beauty contained within many of the themes makes this a deeply moving artistic triumph.”


08/03/2016 – Review – The Advertiser
“…the performance was interesting, the staging very well done, and Zephyr Quartet played with their usual intense commitment and focus virtually non-stop for about 65 minutes.”


08/03/2016 – Review – InDaily
“It’s a rare privilege to share in the world premiere of an exiting and innovative new work.”


07/03/2016 – Review – The Barefoot Review
“The wistful grace of Zephyr Quartet’s playing belies the very great depths of darkness some of these pieces of music reach, amplified often by the animations. Yet, it is darkness imbued with a wonderfully delicately cerebral, considered and romantic expression, gently and carefully expressed in each passage of cello and violin they were written for. Hence the contrast with the brightest, quickest works is all the more apparent, magnifying, alike to a microscope, the very many layers within the work as a whole.”


  • Words about For those who’ve come across the seas – composition by Hilary Kleinig

Realtime – Issue #125 Feb-March 2015 pg. 42
“Zephyr Artistic Director Hilary Kleinig’s composition, For those who’ve come across the seas, epitomises the use of technology in this concert and the capacity of musical performance to raise political awareness. Kleinig’s wistfully evocative piece for string quartet and smart-phone choir is a personal response to media reports concerning Australia’s treatment of asylum seekers. Combining fragments of recordings of Kyrie Eleison settings from the traditional mass, the Morse code signal for SOS and the national anthem, and performed with a video showing the empty, endlessly rolling sea, the work is already conceptually powerful. But rather than passively absorbing the music, each audience member participates not by singing but by downloading and playing out loud on their phone one of three pieces of pre-recorded music, the combined sound of which forms a three-part accompaniment to the quartet’s playing. The audience thus implicitly enjoins Kleinig’s response, and the work demonstrates the potential of the phone for crowd communication and spontaneous action in any setting, musical or otherwise.


PODCAST – ABC New Waves – Interview & Performance of For those who’ve come across the seas – 30/07/2015


  • Words about The Aspirations of Daise Morrow Brink Productions October 2015 (Musical Director, co-composer & performer)

16/10/2015 – Review – Limelight 
“[Zephyr Quartet’s] music adds empathy and rich texture, beautifully helping to put White’s poetry in motion.”


16/10/2015 – Review – Aussie Theatre
“…wrapping all this creativity together is the sensitive playing of the specially written score by the Zephyr Quartet, without which the whole could have become fragmented.”


 16/10/2015 – Review – ArtsHub
“Interspersed throughout the audience are the four musicians from the Zephyr Quartet.  The lively and evocative music they composed and play effectively drives the narrative, is entertaining, and creates a unique sense of place.”


 15/10/2015 – Review – The Australian
“Central to the success of this beautifully crafted production is the music performed and jointly composed by Hilary Kleinig, Jason Thomas, Emily Tulloch and Belinda Gehlert of the Zephyr Quartet. From the playful pizzicato opening to the mellifluous Michael Nyman-esque loops of melody, they add a tenderness and warmth to the proceedings that serves Chris Drummond’s alchemic purpose. The acerbic Patrick White might not approve, but Daise Morrow would.”


14/10/2015 – Review – Glam Adelaide
“The quartet has created an original score which perfectly complements and never dominates the action. The music is evocative and beautiful making Zephyr Quartet one of the stand-out aspects of this production.”


14/10/2015 – Review – Barefoot Review
‘There is the Zephyr Quartet: Hilary Kleinig, Belinda Gehlert, Jason Thomas, and Emily Tulloch. They are seated at four points among the audience, sometimes plucking strings in sweet tuneful eloquence and at others, rolling forth the atmosphere of this timeless Australian yesterday. It is intimate, perfectly balanced, and of mellow tonal beauty, with shades of swirling Philip Glass; the music embraces and caresses the audience. It is the final touch to the complete experience, to a particularly brilliant evocation of Patrick White Australiana.”


14/10/2015 – Review – Stage Whispers
“The Zephyr Quartet’s scoring of the piece is tasteful and unintrusive, but also nuanced and sophisticated.”


 14/10/2015 – Review – InDaily
“The Zephyr Quartet plays throughout the evening and it is incredible how a string quartet can assist the setting for a dump, a funeral, a home or a truck; their involvement is instrumental, particularly in the most intimate moments.”


  • Words about Babyteeth by The State Theatre Company of SA – August 2013 (Musical Director, composer & sound designer)

“But it is the musical composition which overwhelming carries us through the unravelling emotions, from one scene to the next.”


No Plain Jane – Jane Howard
“Hilary Kleinig’s composition brings much of the breath to this world and often when it is absent the world feels too still. Her rich cello swirls around and engulfs the theatre; her piano hesitant with breaths seeming to catch and fall between the notes…. sometimes Kleinig’s music embraces notes like an ethereal voice.”


  • Words about A Rain from the Shadows CD by Zephyr Quartet – 2013 (composer, curator, composer & performer)

“Al-Samawy’s collaboration with Zephyr elicited two compositions by Zephyr cellist Hilary Kleinig. Kleinig’s music, as with much of that on the CD, opens with a simple statement that builds in complexity through restatement, elaborate voicing and variations. Typically, Zephyr compositions are carefully measured, texturally lush and firmly tonal. Though accessible, they do not lack charm or appeal, the engaging tunes lingering in the mind. Zephyr has established its own unique and special genre of string quartet music.”


The Barefoot Review
“Hilary Kleinig’s title track was almost hymn-like and at times reminiscent of the music of celebrated Estonian composer Arvo Pärt.  Kleinig herself described the piece as her ‘hymn to humanity’. Her well structured ‘Flying’ allowed Jason Thomas to take centre stage with a strong and pleasing melody line on the viola, which Kleinig embellished with punctuated and rapid sections for the violins.
Zephyr are innovative and engaging. They are injecting new life into the time honoured and deservedly lauded genre of the string quartet and it is exciting.  Their music and style is fresh and new and has broad appeal.  If you ever thought that chamber music might be too stuffy, think again, and let Zephyr open your mind.”


 Partial Durations
“Hilary Kleinig composes transformation in From Darkness to Day, drawing upon a similar line from Al Samawy’s poem Four Loaves from the Heart’s Oven. Sending a message of hope, the piece is a variation on a breath, from its first meditative inhalations to its final jubilant shouts.”


  • Words about Land & Sea by Brink Productions – May 2012 (Musical Director, composer, performer & sound designer)

No Plain Jane – Jane Howard
“On cello and piano, Hilary Kleinig’s live music mixes with recorded sound and the occasional song from the cast, and haunts through the theatre. At moments, even in a tin shed in the middle of the city, silence is honoured, before the thick soundscape again builds up and encompasses the space.
It’s the sweeps which carry you through the play: sweeps of Drummond’s hand, of the cast’s rolling performances, of Kleinig’s emotionally carrying and encompassing music. Of worlds, characters, and sounds which take us across lands and times, through familiar and unfamiliar, and yet always of the same coherent place. Of the theatre.”


“Added to this is the beautifully conceived performance of musical director, Hilary Kleinig. She supports the shifting moods of Land & Sea with perfectly matched tones and tunes.”


 Fringe Benefits
“Hilary Kleinig’s eerie music perfectly accompanies every word or change in mood throughout the show. She performs with the actors in a corner of the stage with smooth vocals, cello and piano.”


Krytzoff Raw – Reviewing Adelaide
“Tying the scenes together, and combining the segmented snippets into a whole experience, is the music. From the opening haunted notes, the songs roll around you like an enveloping blanket. Whether it is the instrumental soundtrack created live on stage by Music Director Hilary Kleinig, or the verses performed by the actors in each scene, it is appropriate, enchanting and exquisite.”


 Theatre Now
“As much a member of the performing cast as a character of her own, Kleinig fills these strange looping worlds with a soundscape reminiscent of a film score on piano and cello.”


 The Australian
“Hilary Kleinig’s evocative music, played live on cello and piano, uses themes from folksong to Gluck and Satie.”


  • Words about Next of Kin by Restless Dance Theatre – November 2010 (Musical Director, composer, performer & sound designer)

 The Australian
“Composer-cellist Hilary Kleinig’s attractive score with allusions to Poulenc among other composers contributes significantly to Next of Kin’s coherence.”
 Glam Adelaide
“This provides a superb setting in which the performance takes place, accompanied by a varying collection of musicians under the musical direction of Hilary Kleinig on cello and electric piano, with her fellow Zephyr Quartet member, Emily Tulloch, on violin as the only other constant member of the orchestra. The changing size and composition of the orchestra creates a range of textural possibilities that, along with an eclectic mix of music, adds to the interest of the work.”