FourPlay String Quartet is an indie rock band that just happen to be a string quartet. They began their professional lives entering a UNSW Band Competition, then surprised themselves by winning. Their trajectory from there was fast and decisive, the band rapidly being booked for major festivals while selling out club gigs across Australia. Their first album Catgut Ya Tongue? was one of the most successful independent releases of the late ’90s, seeing the band self-distribute their albums through a PO Box, a fax machine, and a rather punk/DIY attitude.
FourPlay started by performing covers predominantly by a diverse array of artists: The Strokes, Rage Against The Machine, Radiohead, Leonard Cohen, Robert Johnson, Sufjan Stevens, and many, many more. They went on to tour the world, play the album Pet Sounds with Brian Wilson, collaborate with Plaid (Warp/UK) on a live filmscore to the animated feature Tekkonkinkreet, create live comic books scores, perform at three TEDx Sydney events, and most recently collaborate with wildly popular author Neil Gaiman.
The Gaiman collaboration was originally created for a live performance commissioned by the Sydney Opera House’s Graphic Festival, but Gaiman enjoyed the project rather a lot. So, it was recorded, Eddie Campbell — the illustrator of the work — painted 65 new pieces, and it became a book, an e-book and a CD released worldwide by Harper Collins and William Morrow, the performance recently taking them to sold out audiences at such esteemed venues as Carnegie Hall (New York) and the Barbican Centre (London).
(VIOLIN & VOCALS)
As a singer and violinist, Lara has worked in many genres and areas with a vast range of experience in her 30 years as a professional musician. As well as being a member of FourPlay, Lara is “Lulu” in their ARIA nominated French band Baby et Lulu (with Abby Dobson of Leonardo’s Bride fame, and their band of Sydney’s finest musicians) which has enjoyed much success over the past decade or so, having played at major festivals such as Womadelaide, Melbourne Festival, Adelaide Fringe, Port Fairy Music Festival and critically acclaimed sold out shows at the Adelaide Cabaret Festival. She is also one third of the Miriam Lieberman Trio, with fellow violinist Susie Bishop, which enjoys a vibrant presence amongst festivals and venues. Miriam’s most recent album was voted in the top 20 Albums of 2021 in The Guardian. She also plays with Abby Dobson (solo band), Hinterlandt and more. In the past, she was one half of folk duo, Joy & Lara which opened shows for the likes of Art Garfunkel, Lunasa, Leo Kottke, Luka Bloom, to name a few. She and Joy met Peter Hollo in the pop chamber group Peccadillo with Greta Gertler (cowriter with Tim Freedman of Blow Up The Pokies by the Whitlams).
As a session musician, she has contributed vocals and violin to many recordings and live performances of diverse genres. Some examples are Glen Hansard (The Frames, The Swell Season), Brian Wilson (Beach Boys), Bill Callahan (SMOG), Harry Manx (Canada), The Church, The Whitlams, Leonardo’s Bride, electro pop producer Josh Abrahams, folk pop singer Josh Pyke and many more. She has opened shows for The Corrs, Savage Garden, Youssou N’Dour, Ladysmith Black Mambazo and more. She continues to perform with musicians on a regular basis, including Abby Dobson, Miriam Lieberman and more.
She has also done work in theatre and film soundtracks working on Baz Luhrman films (guide vocals for Nicole Kidman in Moulin Rouge) and the plays The Recruiting Officer (Sydney Theatre Company) and The Little Cherry Orchard (Belvoir Street).
Lara founded a record label (which ran until 2009, at which time she had her son) called Craving Records supporting women singer songwriters in Australia. She released albums by Tania Bowra, Greta Gertler, Abby Dobson, Jackie Bristow and Kara Grainger. Lara holds an MA in French, a bachelor degree in Russian, French and Spanish and a diploma of languages in Yiddish. She is currently completing a Masters of Music Studies at the Conservatorium of Sydney in Contemporary Music Practice.
SHENTON GREGORY AKA SHENZO GREGORIO (VIOLA & VOCALS)
Shenzo started to play the violin at age 4 and picked up the viola 10 years ago when he first joined Fourplay String Quartet. He received his AmusA on Violin and a classical Violin Degree from the QLD Conservatorium in 1997.
Shenzo is now a full-time freelance multi-instrumentalist, composer and Music Director with a number of arts organisations and ensembles within Australia.
He composed and musically directed Opera Australia’s first indigenous musical, which went on to win the award for Best Community event in Australia in 2013. He also musically directed James Morrison and Graeme Connors for the 2013 QLD Music Festival production Tambo – Heart of an Open Country. He has also composed another three musicals prior, including Charters Towers The Musical (QLD music Festival 2005), Coorparoo Skate (Brisbane Festival 2008), Fire Water (Vivid Festival 2009), and a total of six mini operas with Wot Opera. Wot Opera is Australia’s only privately funded opera company dedicated to giving selected high school students the opportunity to compose their own opera, of which Shenzo continues to be MD/composer and keyboardist.
Shenzo currently performs with Australia’s leading percussionist Ben Walsh in his orchestral project ‘Orkestra of the Underground’, a 16 piece ensemble that requires each musician to have excellent reading and improvising skills in multiple styles of music. The orchestra has worked with Oscar winning animator Shaun Tan and with India’s top musicians touring Australia and India.
From 1999 to 2013 Shenzo created and performed his world first performance act ‘Shenzo Gregorio – Stunt violinist’ where the combination of high wire aerial stunts meets classical violin. A band was created (Shenzo’s Electric Stunt Orchestra), which went on to extensively tour Australia, Asia and the Middle East. Notably, playing suspended 27 metres high inside Sydney’s iconic Queen Victoria Building made world wide news on the 27th of June 2011.
Having freelanced professionally since 1997, Shenzo has performed in concert with Natalie Cole, James Morrison, Leo Sayer, Neil Gaiman, John Walters, Elena Kats-Chernin, Graeme Connors, Smokey Dawson, Greg Sheehan, Casey Donavan, Bobby Singh, Katie Noonan, Maggie Noonan, Johnny Diesel, Flamenco Fire, Monsieur Camembert, Bandaluzia, Gerard Mapstone, Alesa Lajana, Laique, All Jigged out, Lyndon Terrachini, The Date Brothers, Il Divo, The Ten Tenors, Christine Anu, Shellie Morris, The Tango Saloon, and supported international acts such as Mariah Carey, Mike Patton, Leo Kottke, and the Buena Vista Social Club.
TIM HOLLO(VIOLA & VOCALS)
Tim started studying violin at the age of 6, picking up the viola at 16. He was awarded AMusA in 1991, was principal viola and sectional tutor of the SBS Youth Orchestra from 1996 to 1998, and was selected for membership of the Australian Youth Orchestra from 1994 to 1996.
Founding FourPlay with Peter in 1995, he has since recorded and performed live with Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys, Jodi Phillis, george, Jimmy Little, Stiff Gins, Karma County, Deborah Conway, The Whitlams, David Lane, Primary, Paul Mac and Paul McDermott, Glovebox, Max Sharam, The Klezmer Extravaganza Orchestra, Company B Belvoir, the Sydney Theatre Company and many, many more.
Tim is a committed environmentalist, campaigning for climate action since 2000 for Greenpeace, 350.org, The Greens and others. He has run for election as the Greens candidate for Canberra, and is currently Executive Director of The Green Institute. He was Director of Communications for Christine Milne, has sat on the board of Greenpeace Australia Pacific, writes for publications including The Guardian, Crikey and Meanjin, and has appeared regularly on political panels on Sky TV and ABC News 24. His first book, Living Democracy: an ecological manifesto for the end of the world as we know it, was released by New South Press in 2022.
Tim’s impetus led to FourPlay’s efforts to reduce our environment impact, including reducing energy use and transport, packaging our CDs in recycled card and investing in renewable energy and energy efficiency through www.climatefriendly.com. Following this work, in 2013, Tim founded Green Music Australia, a not-for-profit organisation working to help the music industry green up its act, reducing climate pollution and waste streams, replacing hot stage lights with LEDs, plastic water bottles with good old fashioned jugs and glasses, thinking about cleaner transport options and more.
Tim has a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Laws and Masters of Environmental Law. His passion for theatre combined with his love for music led to him Directing and Musical Directing various plays and musicals such as The Threepenny Opera and Guys and Dolls for the NSW University Theatrical Society and the Footlight Theatre Company.
Tim’s proudest creative achievements, however, are his two beautiful children, both of whom are showing budding talent as performers!
(CELLO & VOCALS)
Peter has been playing music since the age of six and cello since he was eight. He received his LMusA on cello in 1994. Peter was lead cellist and sectional tutor in the SBS Youth Orchestra for many years, and played in the Australian Youth Orchestra (1995-1996) as well as in the Camerata of the AYO in 1996.
Peter creates experimental music as raven using cello, piano, found objects, pedals and laptop. He is a member of postrock/improv/electronic group Tangents with Ollie Bown (Icarus), Adrian Lim-Klumpes (Triosk) and Evan Dorrian (Spartak); Persian doom trio Black Aleph with Lachlan Dale and Timothy Johannessen; indietronica trio Haunts with Greg Stone and Matt Furnell of Underlapper; and Close to Forever with Ben Fink (The Whitlams, Voices From The Vacant Lot), Dale Caldwell (Voices From The Vacant Lot, Martenitsa), Chris Abrahams (The Necks), Danny Heifetz (Mr Bungle) and Sam Golding (Darth Vegas, The Fantastic Terrific Munkle). He also plays with the international hammered dulcimer-led postrock group Memory Drawings. He regularly performs and records with pianist Sophie Hutchings.
He has recorded and played live with many artists including (but not limited to): Shoeb Ahmad, Oren Ambarchi, aMute, Michel Banabila, Lachlan Dale, Melanie Eden, Neil Gaiman, Grün, Sophie Hutchings, Jimmy Little, Machinefabriek, Manyfingers, Part Timer, Pleq, Mark Pritchard, Kevin Purdy, Saddleback, SEIMS, the Stiff Gins, Sub Bass Snarl, Holly Throsby.
Highlights include performing a live improvisation on stage at the Concert Hall of the Sydney Opera House with Lisa Gerrard (Dead Can Dance), and performing a live cello & laptop accompaniment to an exclusive hallucinatory prose poem read by Grant Morrison, also in the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall.
Every Sunday night Peter hosts Utility Fog on Sydney's FBi Radio, a long-lived, experimental, boundary-shifting radio show which explores and explodes the boundaries between acoustic & digital, live & post-produced, bedroom & dancefloor, abrasive & beautiful music.
Peter has completed a BSc/BA from UNSW — gaining first class honours in Philosophy and Pure Maths in 1996 — and is also a qualified book editor. Outside of music, he is Head of Technology at a respected medical publishing & database company.