Stephen King


Australian String Quartet

Australian Hometown(s): Canberra & Adelaide
Education: University of Maryland, USA

Stephen King plays the viola because he loves its role in the string quartet. It is both the agitator and the peacemaker, the push and the drag, the consonance and the dissonance, and always the meat in the sandwich.

Stephen played violin while growing up in Canberra and turned to the dark side after all but completing an architecture degree in Brisbane. Following the inspiring teaching there of Elizabeth Morgan, he completed his studies in the USA with James Dunham (Cleveland Quartet), Kathy Murdock (Mendelssohn Quartet) and Michael Tree (Guarneri Quartet). Stephen holds a Doctorate in Chamber Music from the University of Maryland and has worked closely with the Emerson and Guarneri Quartets.

From 1997 Stephen was violist of the Coolidge String Quartet based in Washington D.C. He has performed in venues from Carnegie Hall, to the Jerusalem Music Centre and Hong Kong’s City Hall, and festivals including Aspen, Tanglewood and La Jolla. While living overseas, Stephen was also the Associate Principal Viola of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra and a member of the Boston Modern Orchestra Project.

Stephen returned to Australia in 2003 to join the Australian Chamber Orchestra, touring the country and the world to critical acclaim under the direction of Richard Tognetti. As the ACO’s education representative from 2004-11 he played a major role in founding and building the Orchestra’s education and emerging artists programs, and ACO2. Stephen has also been on the faculty of the New England Conservatory Prep Division in Boston, the American String Teachers Association Workshops and many Australian National Music Camps with AYO. Joining the Australian String Quartet in 2012, he relocated to Adelaide with his family, Kylie, Ollie, Sam and Max.

Last updated 2020