ASQ Weekend of Music

Pack your bags and head west for a weekend of timeless and exquisite chamber music in the gorgeous surroundings of the vineyards of Western Australia’s iconic Margaret Valley. Now one of the annual hallmarks on the Australian chamber music calendar, the Australian String Quartet’s next Margaret River Weekend of Music will feature invited guest artists including internationally-renowned cellist Pieter Wispelwey and pianist Caroline Almonte performing a series of concerts in exclusive settings on some of Australia’s most renowned wine estates. After each concert sit down to a superb gourmet experience paired with specially selected wines, and meet the artists in an intimate, relaxed atmosphere. This is chamber music at its very finest, with a distinct Australian flavour.

Meet Alan and fellow travellers at the Duxton Hotel, 1 St Georges Terrace, Perth at 10.00am. (Pre-tour accommodation available at this hotel)

Depart for Margaret River stopping en route at the picturesque seaside town of Busselton. Enjoy a break for lunch (own arrangements) and time to walk on the famous Busselton Jetty. Extending 1.8 kilometres into the sea, this is the longest timber-piled jetty in the Southern Hemisphere. Afterwards, continue to the town of Margaret River, your base for the next three nights.

This evening attend the opening concert of the Australian String Quartet Weekend of Music at the historical Vasse Felix winery followed by a wonderful degustation dinner.


After breakfast, travel to the McHenry Hohnen private estate for a concert followed by a picnic lunch. Not normally open to the public, McHenry Hohnen is a five star award-winning family winery in the heart of Margaret River. It was founded in 2004 by pioneering Margaret River winemaker and third generation biological farmer David Hohnen and his brother-in-law, grape-grower and wine retailer Murray McHenry.

After lunch, return to your hotel for some free time, or you may wish to explore the galleries and shops of the Margaret River township before transferring to Voyager Estate for the highlight event of the ASQ Weekend of Music. The landscaped gardens of Voyager Estate surround architect Geoffrey Summerhayes’ Cape Dutch-style cellar door building. The evening begins with an intimate concert followed by a black-tie gala dinner with members of the Australian String Quartet and guest artists.


The ASQ Weekend of Music concludes with a superb concert and delicious lunch at the Cullen Wines estate. Kevin and Diana Cullen started cultivating wine on the property over 40 years ago, and while they are no longer alive, Cullen Wines has evolved into an iconic winery focused on quality, integrity and sustainability.

After lunch, drive through magnificent Karri trees of the Boranup Forest Reserve to the historic Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse (1896), situated at the most south-westerly tip of Australia, standing at the point where the Indian and Southern oceans meet.

This evening is at leisure.


Depart from Margaret River around 9.00am for the return drive to Perth (approximately 4.5 hours including a brief stop for lunch – own arrangements). Arrive in Perth city by 1.30pm and at Perth airport by 2.00pm in time for flights departing from 4.00pm.

Australian String Quartet
Pieter Wispelwey, cello
Caroline Almonte, piano

Schubert, String Quartet in G Major, D887
Dohnanyi, Piano Quintet No 1, Op 1 in C minor
Haydn, String Quartet in B flat major, Op 33 no 4, Hob III: 40
Tanayev, Cello Quintet in G major, Op 14
Schubert, Cello Quintet in C major, D956
Gordon Kerry, Cello Quintet (new commissioned work – world premiere)

Per person, twin-share (studio apartment)

AUD 2,350

Single supplement*

AUD 300

Deposit per person (at time of booking)

AUD 500

*Single travellers may request to share.
Please advise at time of booking.

Final payment due

17 Feb 2017

Tour code


Fitness level

Please see booking conditions for fitness level definitions.


Please contact Renaissance Tours for current airfares and flight reservations.

Tour price includes

  • Accommodation for three nights at the Darby Park Apartments in a studio apartment on a room-only basis (ie excluding breakfast)
  • Meals as per itinerary (L = Lunch, D = Dinner). Matching wines with meals.
  • Return coach transfer from Perth as well as all transfers to and from the festival venues in comfortable air-conditioned coaches
  • Tickets for all four chamber concerts
  • Gratuities for local driver
  • Darby Park Apartments porterage (one piece per person)

Tour price does not include

  • Flights to/from Perth
  • Airport transfers on arrival in Perth
  • Items of a personal nature (e.g. telephone, laundry, minibar etc.)
  • Travel insurance (recommended)


Your hotel
Darby Park Apartments ****
Set in a tree-lined street, only a short stroll to the cafes, restaurants, galleries and artisan gift shops of Margaret River, Darby Park Apartments offer modern studios, each furnished with a television, Foxtel, Wi-Fi, DVD/CD player, hair dryer and tea- and coffee-making facilities. Private balconies offer views of the pool or State Forest. The apartments are serviced daily. No meals are provided on the property, but breakfast can be taken in any one of the nearby cafés.

Suggested Perth accommodation:
Duxton Hotel
City view room including breakfast from AUD $117 per person, twin share

Renaissance Tours can assist you with your travel arrangements


The Australian String Quartet was established in 1985 and is Quartet-in-Residence at the Elder Conservatorium of Music, University of Adelaide. The core of ASQ’s Australian program is its National Season in Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney, supplemented by considerable regional touring, the Dunkeld Weekend of Music in the Southern Grampians of Victoria and the Margaret River Weekend of Music in Western Australia.

The ASQ has also performed in many major European cities including Hamburg, Berlin, Paris, London, Copenhagen, Cologne, Belgrade, Budapest, Zagreb, Frankfurt, Reggio Emilia (Italy) and New York. It has also toured throughout Germany, New Zealand and Japan. In 2009, the ASQ was invited to perform at the Beethovenhaus in Bonn as part of the Beethoven Festival and also for the Cheltenham, Lichfield and Buxton Festivals in the United Kingdom. A major project for 2010 was the world premiere of Brett Dean’s Viola Quintet Epitaphs. In recent years the Quartet has appeared with internationally-acclaimed artists including pianists Angela Hewitt and Piers Lane, mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie von Otter, clarinettist Michael Collins, violist Brett Dean and cellist Pieter Wispelwey.

The Quartet has been broadcast extensively in Australia on ABC Classic FM and has been featured on NDR (North German Radio), the BBC and Radio France, and televised in Australia, Denmark, Austria and Japan.

The members of the ASQ are privileged to perform on a matched set of Guadagnini instruments. Hand-crafted by Giovanni Battista Guadagnini between c.1743-1784 in Turin and Piacenza, Italy, these exquisite instruments were brought together through the vision of Ulrike Klein.


Photo: Jacqui Way.

ASQ – Francesca Hiew, Stephen King, Sharon Draper, Dale Barltrop. Photo: Jacqui Way.