The Australian String Quartet (ASQ), an Adelaide-based not-for-profit formed in 1985, has created remarkable performances for audiences globally. However, when the curtain fell on live performances in early 2020, the ASQ knew it needed to adapt to keep the music alive. “We’re creating a 21st-century string quartet,” says ASQ chief executive Angelina Zucco. “It’s a traditional art form but we’re taking it into the future.”
Technology has grown ASQ’s fan base but live shows mean the most to the ensemble’s current line-up: Dale Barltrop (violin), Francesca Hiew (violin), Christopher Cartlidge (viola) and Michael Dahlenburg (cello). The ASQ team has clocked up 100 shows and about 300 flights in 2022 alone. “It’s been a joy to be able to play in communities again and see our partners and supporters in person,” says Zucco. “There’s something about the magic of live performance; the exchange that happens between people.”
Here, Zucco shares how travel has unlocked dream gigs and powerful partnerships.
"This trip to Darwin in July was our first in a decade so it was important for us to be able to reconnect with the community and meet with local artists. We held an intimate concert at an iconic local venue near the waterfront. Imagine hearing 18th-century instruments played by four of the world’s best musicians at your local bowling club; it’s a visceral experience up close.
When we travel, we always fly Qantas – they understand the needs of musicians. The cello has its own seat and the instruments need to go in the overhead lockers because they’re so precious. Qantas Business Rewards enables us to earn more Qantas Points to use for flights, hotels and car hire. That gives us back the budget to invest in other things.
We aren’t able to offer the same kind of perks that corporates can so being able to accumulate our own Qantas Points and Status Credits when we travel for work, while earning points for the business, is another great benefit.”
Tip: Your travellers earn an exclusive bonus of 250 Qantas Points per booking†, when they fly for work, on top of the points and Status Credits they already earn.#
“The Australian Embassy in Rome invited us to participate in a residency program in the charming city of L’Aquila, Abruzzo, in late 2018. The region had suffered a devastating earthquake and needed a lift. The town had been gifted a beautiful temporary concert hall – the Auditorium del Parco by architect Renzo Piano – and it was so special. We also held masterclasses at the local university. Most people had never heard new Australian music and that trip really shone a light on our unique Australian composers.
We’re now exploring the next exciting opportunities for this international collaboration. We’re keeping an eye on the new Qantas Perth-to-Rome direct flight. I recently flew direct from Perth to London to scout future venues and it was fantastic. Being able to return to Perth and continue engagements there, before travelling home to South Australia, makes a lot of sense.”
Tip: With over 1,300 destinations across Australia and the world, the Qantas network is built to get you and your travellers wherever you need to be.
“We flew up for a performance on our national tour and invited the team from Sydney Dance Company (SDC) to come along. We were all backstage with SDC artistic director Rafael Bonachela and composer Bryce Dessner’s management when we formalised our plans for a co-commission, which would become the award-winning album, Disintegration/ Impermanence, and later, the soundtrack to SDC’s Impermanence.
Securing a rockstar composer like Bryce isn’t normally something we could do on our own, but in collaboration with the SDC, doors opened. These kinds of face-to-face conversations when we’re touring open up new artistic possibilities. After the world premiere in Sydney, we had a sell-out season performing live with SDC at the 2021 Adelaide Festival. In 2022, we toured the show nationally and are excited to take it abroad in the future.
When we’re touring, the Qantas Lounge is our home away from home. We gather our thoughts in the lounge; the quartet mentally prepares for the next gig and I prepare for the six or seven meetings I’m going to squeeze in while we’re there.”
Tip: Easily manage your company travel from the Qantas Business Rewards dashboard with exclusive tools and features that can help save you time when booking flights for work.
“This trip to the drought-stricken town of Oxley in NSW back in 2018 was one of the most memorable in my 12 years with the ASQ. All the community turned out for our performance in a woolshed. Some shearers had driven for hours; they had beers from their utes and afterwards the locals put on a sausage sizzle. It was really emotional, very Australian. It means a lot to us to reach beyond the big cities.
Qantas’s regional flight network helps us get around – one day we’ll be at the Chamber Music Festival in Coffs Harbour, the next we’ll be out west in Kalgoorlie. The Qantas Business Rewards dashboard makes it easy to book and manage travel for our whole team in a way that ensures maximum points and flight savings. It saves a lot of time.”
"The Qantas lounges are a workplace oasis,” says Zucco. “You’re on the road, you don’t have an office, you need a space to meet... and I’m usually looking for espresso. We generally work on the edge of chaos in the arts. But once I’ve got that espresso, everything’s going to be alright.”
As a Qantas Business Rewards member, you and your travellers are eligible for up to 30% discount when you join or renew your Qantas Club membership.^ So you can relax, meet or work before your business flight.
As a Qantas Club member, you and a guest will be welcomed in Qantas Club, Qantas International Business Lounges, partner airline and associated airline lounges. With over 650 Qantas and partner lounges worldwide and Australia’s largest lounge network, you can look forward to a more comfortable pre-flight experience.
As a Qantas Club member, take advantage of extra checked baggage allowances when travelling in Economy or Premium Economy on most Qantas flights.^^
Discover how other Australian businesses are benefiting from face-to-face meetings and uncover more ways to save with Qantas Business Rewards.
* A business must be a Qantas Business Rewards Member to earn Qantas Points for the business. A one-off joining fee of $89.50 applies. T&Cs apply, see Qantas Business Rewards Terms and Conditions at qantas.com/business.
† You must be a Qantas Frequent Flyer to earn Qantas Points. A joining fee may apply. Membership and points are subject to the Qantas Frequent Flyer program terms and conditions. Qantas Frequent Flyers will earn 250 Qantas Points per eligible flight booking where a Qantas Business Rewards Member's ABN and the traveller's Qantas Frequent Flyer membership number are quoted at the time of booking. An eligible booking must include a domestic or international flight with a Qantas 'QF' flight number on the ticket that is purchased in Australia; has a ticket number commencing with '081'; and is booked and travelled for business on or after the date the business registers for Qantas Business Rewards. Points will be credited to the Frequent Flyers account within 6 weeks from the date of travel. Points cannot be withdrawn from members' account once credited if the booking is changed or cancelled. No retrospective claims can be made for this offer.
# You must be a Qantas Frequent Flyer member to earn Qantas Points. A joining fee may apply. Membership and Qantas Points are subject to the Qantas Frequent Flyer program Terms and Conditions. Qantas Points and Status Credits (where applicable) are earned on eligible flights with a Qantas or applicable oneworld® Alliance Airline or Airline Partner flight number on your ticket. Qantas Points and Status Credits may not be earned on some fare types and booking classes. See terms and conditions and the Airline Earning Tables for details on the conditions for the applicable airline.
^ Discounted Qantas Club membership is available to Qantas Frequent Flyer members who are Qantas Business Rewards Flyers of the Qantas Business Rewards Member. The discount applies to Qantas Club Individual membership rates and is managed under the Qantas Club Qantas Business Rewards scheme. Qantas Club membership is subject to the Qantas Club Terms and Conditions.
^^ Extra checked baggage allowance is only available on Qantas operated jet flights with a QF flight number on your ticket (excluding Jetstar operated services). Size and weight restrictions apply. Qantas Club extra baggage allowance is not in addition to Platinum, Gold or Silver Frequent Flyers extra baggage allowance. Visit qantas.com/baggage for details.
We acknowledge the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Traditional Custodians of the land on which we work, live and fly.
We pay respect to Elders past, present and emerging.