Cycling crash could silence string quartet

JO MOIR
Last updated 05:00 08/03/2013
Helene Pohl
DIEGO OPATOWSKI/Fairfax NZ
FORCED BREAK: Violinist Helene Pohl is part of the New Zealand String Quartet and is out for up to 12 weeks after breaking her finger when a person opened a car door on her as she cycled past.

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A cycling crash that broke the finger of a Wellington violinist could mean the New Zealand String Quartet having to cancel up to three months of bookings.

Helene Pohl was cycling down Durham St, in Aro Valley, to Oriental Parade about 6.30pm on Tuesday when a young man opened his car door in front of her, causing her to flip over the handlebars.

Pohl does not remember much of the collision, because of the speed with which it happened, but said she hit the car door and her finger took most of her weight when she landed.

Pohl had to have surgery on the finger. "Now I have wires and a small brace on it."

A broken left little finger would be a lucky escape for most people, but not for a violinist.

Pohl has been part of the string quartet since 1994 and said her injury was not only frustrating for her but for her musician colleagues, who will also be unable to work.

"We are meant to be performing in the South Island on the 19th of March, so they will do one concert without me but then postpone the rest," she said.

The concert going ahead as scheduled is in Christchurch, but ticket-holders for performances in Geraldine, Oamaru, Te Anau and Wanaka will receive refunds or be given the chance to rebook.

"We also had a couple of concerts booked back in Wellington after the South Island tour that we will also have to postpone," Pohl said.

ACC will compensate Pohl while she recovers, and the quartet's manager will ensure her colleagues are not left out of pocket.

It is likely to be between eight and 12 weeks before her finger heals, which is the longest time she has spent without playing.

"We've had things stop us playing before, and you just have to get over it and stay committed.

"We're lucky we've had our busy patch and things are a bit quieter. Not like this time last year when we were on our way to Europe for a big tour."

The driver of the car helped her back home, but she did not get his name.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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