Musician Stephen King holding viola
2024, 2023, 2022, 2018

Stephen King


Viola – Australian String Quartet; Former – Australian Chamber Orchestra; Former – Coolidge String Quartet; Former Associate Principal Viola – Boston Philharmonic Orchestra

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

Stephen King joined the Australian String Quartet as the viola player in 2012. Stephen loves the role of the viola in music, being both the agitator and the peacemaker, the push and the drag, the consonance and the dissonance, and always the meat in the sandwich. Music has taken Stephen to diverse venues and festivals around Australia and the world. With the ASQ, Stephen has been integral in the development of projects with First Nations artists, new Australian commissions and recordings, and innovative cross-artform collaborations.

Before joining the ASQ, Stephen was a member of the Australian Chamber Orchestra for nine years. As the ACO’s education representative from 2004-2011, he played a major role in founding and building the Orchestra’s education and emerging artists programs and ACO2.

Growing up in Canberra, Stephen learned the violin but fell for the darker tone of the viola after all but completing an architecture degree in Brisbane. Following the inspiring teaching of Elizabeth Morgan, he completed his studies in the USA with James Dunham (Cleveland Quartet), Kathy Murdock (Mendelssohn Quartet) and Michael Tree (Guarneri Quartet). From 1997 Stephen was violist of the Coolidge String Quartet based in Washington D.C. He holds a Doctorate in Chamber Music from the University of Maryland, having worked closely with the Emerson and Guarneri Quartets.

While living overseas, Stephen was also the Associate Principal Viola of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra and a member of the Boston Modern Orchestra Project. He was on the faculty of the New England Conservatory Prep Division in Boston and the American String Teachers Association Workshops. In Australia he has been guest principal of the Adelaide, Melbourne and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras. Stephen teaches viola and chamber music at the University of Adelaide, Elder Conservatorium and regularly tutors at National Music Camps for AYO.

Last updated 2023