Season 2024

Posthumous Composer in Residence - Franz Schubert

The Firm presents another year of new music across the centuries. Franz Schubert

Concert programs will feature the return of Franz Schubert as our composer in residence, alongside new music by local composers.
Full details of Season 2024 will be available soon on our Concerts page.

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Marianna Grynchuk with Raymond Chapman Smith and Quentin Grant
Jamie Cock in rehearsal
Emma Horwood in rehearsal

The Firm

The Firm is an Adelaide-based organisation that promotes the performance of new solo and chamber works, particularly those of South Australian composers. It also provides a performance platform for some of Australia’s finest young musicians. Quentin Grant and Raymond Chapman Smith

The Firm's annual concert seasons are conceived, programmed, curated and directed by composers Quentin Grant and Raymond Chapman Smith. Their innovative approach to music presentation invites audiences to engage with newly written - 21st Century - art music that embraces a poetic, romantic aesthetic, alongside great works from the repertoire of the 18th, 19th and 20th Centuries.

The structure of the concert programs is an integral part of music presentation by the Firm. The complimentary program booklet that accompanies each concert provides quotations and images that invite the audience to share the artistic preoccupations of the composers, in their quest for the poetic shape of the ideal program. Programs from past Firm seasons can be found through the Firm Archive.

The Firm was formed in 1996 through the collaboration of composers Raymond Chapman Smith, Quentin Grant, David Kotlowy and John Polglase. Known then as Chapman Smith, Kotlowy, Polglase & Grant, the long, corporate-sounding list of surnames quickly earned the organisation the affectionate nickname of ’The Firm’. In 2005, Raymond Chapman Smith and Quentin Grant took on the management and core composing activities for the organisation.

Firm Hospitality

The newly created Schubert Torte After each concert, the audience is invited to share complimentary refreshments and convivial conversation with the composers and players. Since 2002, a significant part of the Firm concert experience has been the post-concert catering by Gabriele, featuring a range of authentic Austrian tortes and other delicacies, voraciously enjoyed and greatly appreciated by audience, performers and composers.

Sacher Torte Particular favourites include Vanillesterne Alt-Salzburger (Salzburg Vanilla Stars), Fürstenfelder Apple Torte, Coconut Macaroons, Viennese Walnut-Apple Torte, Tiroler Mohnguglhupf (Tyrolean poppy-seed coffee cake), the ever popular Mozart Torte and Sacher Torte, and the coffee and walnut Schubert Torte, devised in honour of Franz Schubert during his residency with the Firm in 2013.

Posthumous Composer in Residence

Each year, the Firm works with a nominated Posthumous Composer in Residence, who provides a focus and impetus for the creation of new works and programming of existing works for performance. Through the Posthumous Composer in Residence programme, the Firm has presented many significant works of the classical repertoire, including the song cycles of Schubert and the late Beethoven piano sonatas, and covered a broad stylistic range of 20th Century works, from the Second Viennese School to European modernist György Kurtág, rarely heard by Australian audiences.

The Firm’s selection of the Posthumous Composer in Residence refects the artistic preoccupations of the directors, and often celebrates a significant event, such as the 250th anniversary of Mozart’s birth during 2006 and Chopin’s 200th birthday in 2010. In 2014, in a break with tradition, the Firm featured a Form in Residence, paying homage to the Viennese Waltz.

The Ensembles

The Firm have created their own ensembles to perform in the concert series - the Langbein String Quartet, the Settembrini Piano Trio and the vocal quartet Ensemble Iona.

The Langbein String Quartet was established in recognition of the late Brenton Langbein, violinist of international repute, friend and mentor to many South Australian composers and musicians, and a composer whose works are just beginning to be appreciated. The establishment of this ensemble is also an acknowledgement of the leading players from the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra with whom the Firm has been privileged to work.

Musicians and established ensembles regularly performing for the Firm include the Robert Walser Ensemble, Eve Vocal Trio, Seraphim Piano Trio, the Zephyr Quartet; pianists Leigh Harrold, Jamie Cock, Marianna Grynchuk and Anna Goldsworthy; sopranos Emma Horwood and Greta Bradman; tenor Robert Macfarlane; violinists Nicholas Milton, Michael Milton and Hilary Bruer; violist Rosi McGowran and cellist David Sharp.

Performer in Residence

The Firm has a Performer in Residence programme, where each concert of a season focusses on a talented young Adelaide performer. In 2005, The Firm presented soprano Emma Horwood and in 2006 pianist Leigh Harrold.

In 2005 The Firm, with Performer in Residence soprano Emma Horwood and pianist Jamie Cock, collaborated with Brink Theatre in This Unchartered Hour.

BeethovenHaus in Gneixendorf / Bauer Karl / CC BY-SA 3.0
Schubert's house, Zselíz
Mahler's hut / Thomas Ledl / CC BY-SA 3.0