Partners - Quartet of Peace

The ARCO Project is in partnership with the Quartet of Peace. Their aim is to support the education and training of gifted young South African musicians who would not otherwise be able to advance their studies. The QoP Trust (UK) (Charity no. 1151479) exists to propagate the values of the four Nobel Peace Laureates of South Africa --- Freedom, Peace, Reconciliation, and Hope --- by promoting musical education, and enabling exceptionally talented SA musicians to further their careers and musical education.

The QoP have supported ARCO in a multitude of ways since the project began in 2015. This support has entailed not only financial assistance, but also introductions, expert advice, and loyal friendship. Thanks to an introduction from the Quartet of Peace, eight of the ARCO students performed at the "Voorkamerfest" 2019 in Darling, a unique arts festival in South Africa where all of the shows are performed in people's front rooms. In 2017 the QoP  financially supported the inaugural ARCO exchange, which saw Njabulo, Mbali, and Kwanda officially open the Cecil Aronowitz International Viola Competition and Festival 2017 at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. The Trust subsequently supported exchange opportunities for Kamogelo to attend the Pro Corda North 2018 course, as well as Lesedi's exchange opportunity in the same year.

The board of trustees, Deborah Lavin (chair), Lauren Jacobson, and Penny Silva, alongside our director Louise Lansdown, see the partnership as crucial to supporting the development of the project. The core aims of the ARCO Project and the Quartet of Peace are closely aligned, and through this partnership we seek to build further upon the work already achieved between the Quartet of Peace and MIAGI. 

The Quartet of Peace strives to promote reconciliation, mutual respect, and tolerance, through music; to create music and performances that will serve as a vivid reminder of where we came from and what we have achieved; to provide financial assistance to individuals who are financially disadvantaged, and who need additional resources in order to fulfil their artistic potential; and to address the critical shortage of qualified instrument-repair training in South Africa.

With the funding and support of arts organisations and foundations at critically low levels, it is key for organisations to come together and support music education.

Deborah Lavin, chair of trustees said:

"The Quartet of Peace Trust (UK) sees ARCO as embodying the raison d'etre of the Trust by identifying and training a steady stream of potential applicants for support.  While the Trust looks as widely as possible in selecting its beneficiaries, the partnership enables us to collaborate rather than competing for scarce funding. The partnership will seek to develop further the distinctive ARCO model combining distance learning with periods of face-to-face interaction to enlarge the pool of South African students benefiting from a musical education.”

Companies and groups


Louise Lansdown, Lucy Nolan, Peggy Nolan, Rosie O’Callaghan, Duncan Fielden, Jan Smaczny, Katie McEntergard, Kirstie Lovie, Bob Grace, Oliver Wille, Tamsin Waley-Cohen, Jiafeng Chen, Matthew Johnstone, Alistair Rutherford, Claudia Dehnke, Emily Dore, Jack Gillett, Lieva Starker, Eileen Smith, Elsabe Raath, Maria Parfitt, Toby Holden, Martha Evans, Griffith Wadkin, Ursula Miethe, Orlando Corea, Catherine Rowland, Stephen Threlfall, Nicholas Jones, Jan Repko, Thomas Riebl, Michael Freyhan.