Music

AUSTRALIAN CHAMBER ORCHESTRA : ‘MOUNTAIN’ @ THE CITY RECITAL HALL

This event, a collaboration between the ACO and Jennifer Peeedom , will leave you overawed and breathless at the savage beauty of nature and music. It is in a similar vein to the ACO’s 2012 multimedia project The Reef it is full of stunning visuals (the film is directed by Peeedom with Renan Ozturk as principal photographer) and also features bravura playing by the ACO in dazzling form as led by Tognetti, who has some dramatic , shimmering and fiery solos.

The work is an epic exploration of the often fraught relationship between humans and mountains which really began with the Romantics. The film is narrated by Willem Dafoe, with text written by Robert Macfarlane – whose book Mountains of the Mind inspired Peedom’s approach to this project.

The film itself is a poetic rumination on humans’ relationship with mountains and explores the nature of our modern fascination with mountains – WHY are we so captivated by them? but there is little detail conveyed in the narration – Although some of the issues explored in Peedom’s 2014 film Sherpa are briefly mentioned – instead , Dafoe asserts broad ideas for which the film provides breathtaking images. Continue reading AUSTRALIAN CHAMBER ORCHESTRA : ‘MOUNTAIN’ @ THE CITY RECITAL HALL

AUSTRALIAN BRANDENBURG ORCHESTRA : HAYDEN, MOZART AND FRIENDS @ THE JOAN

There will be music in the air this Spring when the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra arrives in Penrith.

Casting back to the days when good mates, orchestra conductor Haydn and freelance composer Mozart would get together for pop-up gigs with brilliant results – two admiring friends, performing impromptu concerts together. Fast forward 250-odd years to two relatively new friends – a Belgian period horn player, Bart Aerbeydt and Australia’s leading baroque cellist, Jamie Hey.

Witness the results when excellence from the two eras comes together. A chance to let brilliance shine. The Australian Brandenburg Orchestra musicians join Bart and Jamie and put their signature style on some glorious classics as they bring to life the original colours of Baroque and Classical masterpieces from centuries ago, with the beautiful sound of instruments of the period.

The Brandenburg invites you to discover the exquisite music of the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries in a whole new way. The orchestra, with the help of charismatic Artistic Director Paul Dyer, will take you back to a historical era full of passion, electrifying vitality and artistic excellence.

“What stands out at concert after concert is the impression that this bunch of musicians is having a really good time. They look at each other and smile, they laugh…there’s a warmth and sense of fun not often associated with classical performance”,  Sydney Morning Herald.

Enjoy the elegance of The Joan’s Borland Lounge before the show, as it shines in salon style. You might even like to take the experience a step further and dress in your finest formal evening attire for a truly memorable night in the Concert Hall.

Let the Brandenburg sweep you off your feet on a Spring night to remember. Book your tickets now for a performance you won’t forget.

THE PROGRAM:
Cannabich Sinfonia in E-Flat major
Haydn Cello Concerto in C major, Hob.VIIb:1
Mozart Harmoniemusik of Die Entführung aus dem Serail –
Mozart Concerto for Horn No. 4 in E flat major K495

Tickets: Standard $70 Concession $65

To book call our Box Office on 4723-7600 or

http://www.thejoan.com.au.

This will be a night to remember. The Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre is located at 597 High Street, Penrith. Nearby parking and public transport is available.

AUSTRALIAN HAYDN ENSEMBLE : MOZART’S OBOE AND THE HUNT

“All the jolly chase is here
With hawk and horse and hunting-spear,
Hounds are in their couples yelling,
Hawks are whistling, horns are knelling…”

Hunting Song by Sir Walter Scott (1771 – 1832)

The Australian Haydn Ensemble is garnering an iconic reputation as one of Australia’s best chamber music performers.

Their performance last Sunday of works by Haydn Mozart Janitsch was a sell out event. It was held in the Utzon Room of the Opera House..an intimate setting looking out past the opal blue bay of Farm Cove towards Mrs Macquarie’s chair.

The program derived its inspiration in part from the 18th century fascination with the Hunt, in particular Haydn’s Op1 No.1string Quartet “La Chaisse”. Also in the program was an Oboe Quartet in G Minor By Johann Gottlieb Janitsch, an eighteenth century German Composer whose prolific output of chamber and orchestral symphonic works is beginning to be recognised.

The performance featured some some sterling performances by its members..in particular violinist Simone Slattery whose playing with a baroque bow and  infectious enthusiasm breathed life and vitality into both the Janitsch and the Mozart String Quartet. Anthony  Albrecht’s cello playing gave the concert depth and incisiveness. Mozart’s Oboe Quartet, composed to show off the virtuosic talents of his friend Friedrich Ramm, was effortlessly played by Amy Power, indicating the profound evolution of the instrument and its technique over the past few hundred years. The Janitsch was a moody and reflective work, interesting and quite uncharacteristic of the era.

The occasion also was one of maternal celebration for Skye McIntosh the founder and Artistic Director of the ensemble, who had recently had a child…coincidentally as pointed out by the cellist Anthony Albrecht, both the string quartets the ones by Haydn and Mozart which buttressed the program, were in b flat major, a key said to reflect hope and optimism  …a motherhood key!

 

BLUE – THE SONGS OF JONI MITCHELL @ THE HAYES

Over last weekend I went and checked out Queenie Van De Zandt’s cabaret tribute show, BLUE – THE SONGS OF JONI MITCHELL.

This was a touching low key, small scale tribute show to one of the most respected figures in popular music. Hopefully one day a fully fledged tribute show/musical will be mounted along the lines of  the current Broadway musical Beautiful : The Carole King Musical,  currently playing around Australia. Mitchell is certainly deserving of it.

All her big songs got a whirl. The concert started with on a sublime note with Queenie’s incisive version of the title song from Mitchell’s most personal, compelling album.

BIG YELLOW TAXI was given a rousing rendition. A gentle version of THE CIRCLE GAME saw Queenie ask the audience to sing along, which of-course we were dying to do. Continue reading BLUE – THE SONGS OF JONI MITCHELL @ THE HAYES

SONGS OF MY COUNTRY @ THE CONCERT HALL, SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE

Gondwana Indigenous Children’s Choir and the Vienna Boys’ Choir come together for an exciting world-first collaboration to perform Songs of My Country, a unique celebration of culture and language.

Vienna Boys’ Choir will travel to Australia to perform two uplifting concerts with Gondwana Indigenous Children’s Choir in Sydney, NSW on October 10 and Cairns, QLD on October 13.

The exclusive concerts will feature Australian and Austrian compositions, including the world premiere of a work by Australian composer Owen Elsley written in collaboration with Gudju Gudju of the Gimuy Walibara Yidinji, the Traditional Owners of Cairns (Gimuy).

The new composition, Boori Guman, is based on a local traditional story about the origin of fire and will be performed in English and Gimuy Walibara Yidinji language by the combined ensembles.

The Sydney concert will be held at Sydney Opera House Concert Hall on Tuesday, 10 October at 7pm, featuring the Gondwana Indigenous Children’s Choir, Vienna Boys’ Choir and the Sydney Children’s Choir.

The concert is suitable for all ages and will feature choral music for young voices that highlights the singing traditions of each choir.

For more information and tickets, please visit www.gondwana.org.au/whats-on

DATE FOR THE DIARY
Tuesday, 10 October 2017 between 7:00pm and 9:30pm at the Sydney Opera House.

For more about Songs of My Country Sydney, visit http://www.gondwana.org.au/whats-on
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MYRCZEK AND TOMASZEWSKI @ THE BASEMENT

This multi-award winning duo has been created by two young, but already widely acclaimed jazz musicians from Poland, singer Wojciech Myrczek and pianist Pawel Tomaszewski.

The strength of the duo lies in collaboration of two individuals who exude charisma, musical ingenuity and attention to every sonic detail. They engage in a musical dialogue not refraining from ambitious song or crazy improvisation, always adding a touch of humour.

During their dialogue, these artists perform jazz and pop standards that in their interpretation gain a previously unknown form of musical sound. Myrczek & Tomaszewski is without a doubt one of the most interesting voice and piano duos of the past decade.

DATE FOR THE DIARY
Tuesday 8th August 2017 at 7:00pm at the Basement.

For more about Myrczek & Tomaszewski (Poland) @ The Basement, visit http://www.moshtix.com.au//v2/event/myrczek-tomaszewski-poland/96455?ref=calendar&skin=291
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QUEEN : IT’S A KINDA MAGIC @ THE STATE THEATRE

It is no easy task to recreate legendary British rock band Queen, led by the uniquely quirky and charismatic Freddie Mercury on lead vocals and piano. The four piece tribute act showcased a selection of Queen’s best known and lesser known songs capturing the distinct fusion of progressive rock and operatic parody with elements of heavy metal.

A large crowd of fans gathered around the glimmering State Theatre entrance doors, made up of die hard Queen fans of the 70’s and 80’s through to whole families of second and third generation Queen fanatics. The ornate and majestic State Theatre was transformed into a rock concert hall featuring a grungy, stripped-back stage with elevated drum kit platform centre stage.  

Starring the energetic Giles Taylor as Freddie Mercury, audience members were invited to stand up, clap and dance from the get go but took a while to warm up; it seemed that the formality of the venue didn’t lend itself so well to the participatory, laidback style of a rock concert. Fortunately the band’s excellent musicianship alongside dramatic lighting design and Giles’ wonderfully camp costumes, made for an engaging and impressive show. Continue reading QUEEN : IT’S A KINDA MAGIC @ THE STATE THEATRE

OMEGA ENSEMBLE: ‘SCHUBERT’S TROUT’ @ CITY RECITAL HALL

Above: Omega Ensemble’s quintet performed Schubert’s ‘Trout’ quintet. Alexandra Osborne (violin), Neil Thompson (viola), Maria Raspopova (piano) Alex Henery (double )bass and Paul Stender (cello).  Featured image: For the Schubert Octet D 803, the string players above were joined by Veronique Serret (violin), Michael Dixon (horn), Ben Hoadley (bassoon) and David Rowden (clarinet). Photo credit – Bruce Terry.

The audience for this Omega Ensemble concert was treated to some very sophisticated Schubert. The performances of two substantial Schubert works  displayed all the elegance we love from this master of melody. Schubert’s command of  classic forms and a subtle but sure glance forward in history with sudden outbursts of Romantic drama albeit were rendered at all times with finesse within the works’ architecture.

This concert demonstrated Omega Ensemble’s ability across its annual concert series to cover a wide range of styles and  repertoire. In the concert, the group illustrated its flexibility of instrumentation and ability to attract some Australia’s finest string and wind players into its ranks when needed. Continue reading OMEGA ENSEMBLE: ‘SCHUBERT’S TROUT’ @ CITY RECITAL HALL

MUSICA VIVA PRESENTS THE SITKOVETSKY TRIO @ CITY RECITAL HALL

Above: Cellist Bartholomew LaFollette, who joined Alexander Sitkovetsky (violin) and Wu Qian (piano) for this national Sitkovetsky Trio tour for Musica Viva.

The second tour of Australia by the Sitkovetsky Trio  has left no doubt in listeners’ minds that this trio is a definite  powerhouse capable of meeting the emotional challenges of any composer it encounters. The trio’s big sound and equality of parts explored both new and well-known repertoire with incredibly spontaneous, energetic and passionate playing.

For those who have never heard recordings by this trio nor have had the thrill to witness them dealing spectacularly with classics of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, this listening experience would have been a real baptism of fire and a quick upgrade to fan status.

This continually breathtaking evening began with  Rachmaninoff’s Trio Elegiaque No 1 (1892). Sitkovetsky trio introduced us to their capacity for big and beautifully balanced playing with formidable  expressive range.

The exchange between strings was a fine conversation throughout this single movement work , and the atmospheres created by them were a perfect backdrop for rich Rachmaninoff chordal work on the piano.  Here, pianist Wu Qian’s arsenal of so many degrees of nuance made for some exquisite moments in melodic exposition and development. Continue reading MUSICA VIVA PRESENTS THE SITKOVETSKY TRIO @ CITY RECITAL HALL

SAINT NICOLAS: SYDNEY CHAMBER CHOIR @ SYDNEY UNIVERSITY GREAT HALL

Above: Guest conductor, Brett Weymark. Featured image: The Sydney Chamber Choir.

This concert showcased the Sydney Chamber Choir at its dramatic best. The group’s stunning vocal precision, capacity for warmth of tone and command of textual detail ensured quality delivery of Britten’s cantata Saint Nicolas Op 42 and a collection of short, evocative sacred works to fill the concert’s first half.

The thorough realisation of Britten’s music and narrative sweep was a true highlight of this event. Reflecting  the origins of this work as a composition for the centenary celebrations of Lancing College in 1948, the choir was joined by school-age voices and instrumentalists.

This young talent came from the NSW Public Schools Junior and Senior Singers, Santa Sabina College Chamber Choir and the NSW Public Schools Percussion Ensemble. Student Shirley Zhu was joined by Katherine Day on Piano

Such collaboration brought with it exciting energy. A small and confidently spoken  string ensemble (Anna McMichael and Stephen Freeman-violins, Nicole Forsyth-viola, Anita Gluyas-cello and Theo Small– double bass) joined the student percussion and focussed piano duet to manage Britten’s atmospheric requirements in excellent fashion.

Guest conductor Brett Weymark (Sydney Philharmonia Choirs) harnessed all forces and the participation of the audience for hymn singing to present this varied work with clarity and poignant momentum.

Also pivotal to the success of Britten’s cantata was tenor Richard Butler’s penetrating plaintiveness in the role of Nicholas. Text and emotional development were delivered clearly and with appropriate passion. We were taken on an interestingly coloured vocal excursion as the dialogue and description of Nicolas’ acts or miracles reverberated around the Sydney University Great Hall space.

Effective staging for various characters and character groups was also dramatically pleasing. Use of the back of the venue and the centre worked well. Female voices singing lined up the side of the hall as mothers of the soon to be resurrected Pickle Boys brought the audience very close to their laments and the story.

This successful re-enactment of Britten’s formidable cantata in some ways made it tempting to want a programme with a large work of similar nature balance and flesh out the programme’s first half also. This concert began instead with a collection of shorter pieces from composers various. Perhaps one extended early sacred or secular dramatic piece would have reflected the larger Britten work well.

However, in the collection of works opening the concert we had the chance to hear from Sydney Chamber Choir sacred settings of music by none other Hildegard von Bingen, Hans Leo Hassler Bach and Buxtehude in a blend of clear and precise performance with a satisfying degree of religious drama.

Apart from the fine choral interpretation, Edwin Taylor’s continuo organ accompaniment was a highlight throughout this half of the concert, as was the string ensemble joining Sydney Chamber Choir soloists and choir for the exquisite setting of the Magnificat attributed to Buxtehude, which was exquisitely performed.

The Ave generosa chant of Hildegard von Bingen was pure atmosphere with which to begin the event, once again using the venue space well with a procession-style entry of voices above Nicole Forsyth’s solo viola.

The next Sydney Chamber Choir concert on the evening of Saturday October 7 promises to please once more. It includes a performance of Purcell’s opera Dido and Aeneas and smaller works by Monteverdi, Palestrina and Marenzio. This concert will be conducted by Roland Peelman and features the early music ensemble The Muffat Collective.

QUEEN IT’S A KINDA MAGIC

Bohemian Rhapsody, the single from Queen’s fourth studio album A Night at the Opera was a groundbreaking work of art in 1975.

Everyone remembers the innovative and stunning video and the weird, operatic, clever, hybrid song that catapulted Queen into everyone’s consciousness. It is still considered to be one of the greatest songs of all time.

They were marvellous times too. The Vietnam War was put to bed and the future looked fabulous: everything was big. Big hair, big flares, shoes, sounds, personality. Money.

The 80’s were even better. People wore white jeans and flashy fake gold jewellery and the whole thing was enormous fun. The nasty Grim Reaper started hanging about with dire warnings but otherwise all was grand for the happening people of the day.

Those “happening people” are now in their 50’s and 60’s, the dreadful Baby Boomers who are hogging the property market and leaving a financial black hole for everyone else. And there they were at Wests City, Newcastle for the QUEEN IT’S A KINDA MAGIC show, performed on Friday 21st July, a sea of blonde bobs, grey or balding heads and some ears with obvious earplugs in. Gosh, when did everyone become so sensible and start wearing earplugs to a music concert? Continue reading QUEEN IT’S A KINDA MAGIC

MARAIS MEETS MUFFAT @ INDEPENDENT THEATRE NORTH SYDNEY

Above : Jennifer Eriksson from The Marais Project performs with guest violinist Stephen Freeman and The Muffat Collective’s cellist Anita Gluyas.  Featured image : members of The Muffat Collective
This was a joyous collaboration of two passionate and committed local early music ensembles. It took us back to a time where monarchs and patrons craved the French musical style which was de rigeuer internationally.

In this concert the Marais Project’s Jennifer Eriksson and The Muffat Collective (Matthew Greco and Rafael Font-Viera -violins, Anita Gluyas-period cello /bass viol, Anthony Hamad-harpsichord and guest violin Stephen Freeman) combined their performance experience and specialist training to supply a beautiful and exciting stream of instrumental music from the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

The six accomplished musicians explored the work of five composers through short works, excerpts from dramatic formats of the day or dance-inspired concert suites.

And dance this programme definitely did. The joyous and comfortable blending of talent presenting contrasting  pieces of music worked  very well.  Joyous performances resulted and were received enthusiastically.

A special highlight of this programme was the inclusion of two concert suites in the fashionable French style but featuring a concerto style part for a string soloist in the Italian style. These suites celebrated the French love of dance music but also displayed amazingly virtuosic passages for the soloist.

Viola da gambist Jennifer Eriksson and Baroque violinist Matthew Greco worked sensitively within the ensemble texture of these works but also dazzled us with demanding filigree above the general character of the dance movements.

The first of these concert suites was Telemann’s Ouverture-Suite in D Major TMV55:D6. The French overture styled opening was boldly played. it was a confident start to the string of dance movements. This work was imbued with a fine sense of subtle shading and contrast from all members of this concert’s new collective. Eriksson shaped Telemann’s challenging interludes of bravura for her instrument in effective broad strokes.

In the second such concert suite, by JS Bach’s cousin  Johann Berhard, Matthew Greco’s baroque violin sang with finesse alongside the other instrumentalists. The intricacies of the various dances were realised with finesse, but Greco also soared above the texture in solo display and out to the astonished listeners. This was the concert’s final offering on the programme  and a stunning conclusion to an elegant kaleidoscope of early music.

Another intimate delicacy which danced elegantly before us was the concert suite Concert pour quatre parties de violes . This was another example of the French stylistic fare, this time by four players from the ensemble, presenting the well-articluated work  by French composer Charpentier.  The contrasting dance movements were skilfully delineated.

Music from the theatre was a sharp, dramatic  addition to the event and a good way for each half of the programme to begin . It also showcased the musicians’ historically informed performance style in presenting works with a narrative or stage basis  as well as purely instrumental entertainment.

The concert opened in attention-grabbing fashion and with theatrical flair as the ensemble introduced its expressive potential by playing Lully’s Prologue from  the tragedie en musique,  Armide‘ Following interval the full ensemble welcomed us back into the world of of their study with a short energetic march from the comedie-ballet Le bourgeois gentilhomme by Lully.

Energy, committed performance and elegance were features of this successful collaboration. Informed commentary by members of the combined groups brought the music and musicians close to us. This is always a great human touch from performers in the modern climate and a good accompaniment to fine playing. Anthony Hamad’s historical perspective in this regard was as endearing, expressive and  clear as his playing throughout.

The expressive work La Sultane by Francois Couperin unfolded as a performance rich in moments of contrast, as well as balanced and lyrical  instrumental combination. The level of poise, interplay between parts and authentic gesturing  made this work drip with elegant chic and vibrant shifting colours. Even though such playing was consistent with the overall treats supplied by other items on the programme, this work was a definite highlight alongside the  Bach and Telemann suites.

This immensely successful collaboration project was a tribute to the training and talent of  members from both collectives. The Marais Project and The Muffat Collective continue with their individual 2017 Sydney concert seasons. We look forward to the next meeting of these two important early music groups.

Continue reading MARAIS MEETS MUFFAT @ INDEPENDENT THEATRE NORTH SYDNEY

THE METROPOLITAN ORCHESTRA : ‘SUMPTUOUS STRINGS’ @ CONGRESS HALL

Above: TMO’s Artistic Director Sarah-Grace Williams and members of TMO Strings. Featured:  Duo Histoire’s Murilo Tanouye and Nicholas Russoniello. 

The recent TMO Met Concert #3 was an evening of exciting firsts. A new city venue option of the Congress Hall in Elizabeth Street successfully accommodated this event. As with many Met Concerts in any TMO subscription year, a world premiere composition, or arrangement in this case, added to the programmes richness. This concert contained the first collaboration between TMO and Duo Histoire, performing a version of Piazzola’s Double Concerto, arranged by saxophonist Nicholas Russoniello. When we heard this rewarding arrangement for the first time, the blend of strings, guitar and saxophone would have been a first for many in the crowd.

This concert featured TMO strings separated from the rest of the orchestra. This capable string orchestra presented famous and signpost works from the genre with pleasing precision and blend.

TMO’s Artistic Director Sarah-Grace Williams deftly guided all possibilities for shifting string timbres and articulation through the range of works string orchestra works by nineteenth and twentieth-century composers. Continue reading THE METROPOLITAN ORCHESTRA : ‘SUMPTUOUS STRINGS’ @ CONGRESS HALL

TORONTO ALL STAR STEEL ORCHESTRA (TASSO) @ SYDNEY TOWN HALL

All the way from Canada, Toronto All Star Steel Orchestra will give the command performance at the conclusion of the 28th annual Australian International Music Festival taking place tomorrow– July 15– at Sydney Town Hall.

Festival organisers selected TASSO for the honour immediately following the band’s adjudicated presentation at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music on Thursday night.

A distinctive melodious sound combined with a high level of musicianship help TASSO stand out in a festival setting.

Lead by musical director Salmon Cupid, the 29-member band has members ranging in age from 12 to 20 and is one of more than 40 wind, choral, jazz and orchestral ensembles with an estimated 1,200 participants competing at AIFM this year from around the world. Continue reading TORONTO ALL STAR STEEL ORCHESTRA (TASSO) @ SYDNEY TOWN HALL

DESCENT INTO THE MAELSTROM : THE STORY OF RADIO BIRDMAN

DESCENT INTO THE MAELSTROM is the warts and all, no holds barred story of groundbreaking Sydney band Radio Birdman.
Written, directed, edited and co-produced by filmmaker Jonathan J Sequeira, the documentary chronicles the rise and fall of the band – from the vibrant music scene they created, to the legions of bands they influenced in their wake.

The ascent into the maelstrom began in 1974 at a house in Kensington, where band members met up and decided to play together. Two of them, Deniz Tek and Pip Hoyle, were med students.

From their first gig at the Exelsior Hotel IN 1974, where the quintet outnumbered the audience, through to 1978, Radio Birdman’s uncompromising, high-energy ethos inspired a ‘New Race’ of disaffected youth, ready for a change, while their DIY attitude and self-released records were the prototype for the indie music scene.

It was a fraught four years with break -ups and bust-ups fuelled by a brutal combustibility, somewhat a Catch 22 as this unstable chemistry created the explosive energy of the band’s music and persona.

Radio Birdman’s volatility as a unit came to a head on their UK tour, where emotionally and economically stressed, their touring vehicle, a Kombi, became known as the van of hate. Continue reading DESCENT INTO THE MAELSTROM : THE STORY OF RADIO BIRDMAN

AUSTRALIAN HAYDN ENSEMBLE WITH MELVYN TAN@ CITY RECITAL HALL

Above: Australian Haydn Ensemble’s Artistic Director Skye McIntosh with some ensemble members. Featured image: visiting fortepianist  Melvyn Tan.

The Australian Haydn Ensemble’s (AHE) 2017 season continued with the group’s signature elegance, intellect and visceral precision on exciting display. ‘Melvyn Tan and Haydn’s Paris’ was a  brilliantly devised programme of 18th century works with wonderfully interlocking connections. It also featured a fine collaboration with internationally renowned fortepianist Melvyn Tan.

As well as the concert including AHE favourites Mozart and Papa Haydn, it introduced us to the music of Parisian star performer, composer, dancer and fencing champion Chevalier de Saint Georges. We heard music from this dazzlingly individual and contemporary of Mozart in both the formal programme as well as in encore.

Chevalier de Saint Georges’ Symphony Op 11 No 2 in D major (1779) was presented in an Australian concert premiere. The bold delivery was carefully controlled by Artistic Director and violinist Skye McIntosh. Continue reading AUSTRALIAN HAYDN ENSEMBLE WITH MELVYN TAN@ CITY RECITAL HALL

MUSICA VIVA SESSIONS: KIRSTY MCCAHON and KERRYN JOYCE @ NSW HERBARIUM

Above : Percussionist and Taikoz member Kerryn Joyce performed in session alongside Kirsty McCahon, pictured below.

This entertainment concept, which took the Musica Viva audience away from the regular concert stage venue was a clear success.

It brought the intimacy of chamber music to a space within an historic building, namely the National Herbarium of NSW’s lecture theatre. As an audience we walked through the working spaces of the herbarium’s archives and down stairwells to arrive at the lecture space.

Following the session experience, with the range of carefully chosen music freshly sown in our memories, we were treated to a night time walk through the surrounding Royal Botanic Gardens to one of its main gates.

This event was not accompanied by a typically detailed Musica Viva printed programme. This allowed greater focus on the two session artists, bassist Kirsty McCahon with percussionist, composer and taiko specialist Kerryn Joyce. Continue reading MUSICA VIVA SESSIONS: KIRSTY MCCAHON and KERRYN JOYCE @ NSW HERBARIUM

THE PRELUDE IN TEA SERIES : THE SERAPHIM TRIO @ THE INDEPENDENT THEATRE

An adventure of sound, emotion and glorious celebration of the history of Piano Trios superbly performed by the talented Seraphim Trio.

The Seraphim Trio consisting of Anna Goldsworthy (piano), Helen Ayres (violin) and Tim Nankervis (cello) delighted a very keen Sydney audience last Sunday afternoon to a wonderful program celebrating the artistry and musical achievement of Piano trios through time.

This concert was part of the Independent theatre’s ‘Prelude in Tea’ chamber series which offers a delicious afternoon tea at 2.30 (be sure in future to get there early to secure a much prized seat) followed by the concert one hour later.

The concert was opened by a brief introduction by Ayres (violin) who explained the difficulty in selecting only 3 Piano trios amongst the vast array of alternate and significant piano trio histories.

From the Viennese salon of Mozart to the stirring folk imaginings by Dvorak and then to the majesty of Ravel the dynamic properties between the piano, violin and cello in a balanced dialog were presented at their best by these superb musicians. Continue reading THE PRELUDE IN TEA SERIES : THE SERAPHIM TRIO @ THE INDEPENDENT THEATRE

ALL WELCOME TO MIDWINTER DINNER @ ALL SAINTS ANGLICAN CHURCH

Featured image- Veteran broadcaster John Cleary.

The Royal School of Church Music NSW invites all lovers of good church music to dinner at All Saints Anglican Church, 2 Ambrose St, Hunters Hill

The audience will enjoy Choral Evensong and then sit down for a traditional roast dinner, perfect for this time of year. Guest speaker will be John Cleary, veteran broadcaster and one of Australia’s best known commentators on religion. Everyone is invited to bring their own favourite bottle of wine.

Bookings can be made by calling 91505219 or online at http://trybooking.com/event?eid=292633&

DATE FOR THE DIARY 

14th July 2017 at 6.30pm for Choral Evensong and 7.30pm for dinner

For more about RSCM NSW Famous Midwinter Dinner, visit http://rscmaustralia.org.au/?page_id=46
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YOUNG PIANISTS COMPETE FOR MAJOR SCHOLARSHIP

With four outstanding pianists competing for a total prize purse of $13,500, the final round of The John Allison & Sydney Eisteddfod Piano Scholarship showcases the finest talent from across the nation. The concert is sure to impress all loves of piano music!

Two Finalists will also be invited to comprete in the ‘2017 Fine Music 102.5 Young Virtuoso State Final’ on Sunday August 27 at the Fine Music Performance Studio.

When: Saturday 8 July 2017, 2.30pm

Where: Recital Hall West, Sydney Conservatorium of Music

Cost: Adult $30; Concession $25 (+bf)

Bookings:

https://sydneyeisteddfod.com.au/the-john-allison-and-sydney-eisteddfod-piano-scholarship-16-25-years/#tickets

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A CONCERT OF CHORAL EXCELLANCE COMING TO THE JOHN VALLANCE HALL

Presented by Sydney Eisteddfod in partnership with the Rotary Club of Sydney Cove, this special sing-off will feature the some of Australia’s best choristers performing favourite songs like you’ve never heard them before!

This exciting Sunday afternoon entertainment is something the entire family is bound to enjoy, with the stand out choral performances from this year’s Sydney Eisteddfod selected to participate.

Choirs will be singing for the audience and jury vote, with the winners walking away with their share of the $20,000 prize pool.

Raising funds for both Sydney Eisteddfod and the Rotary Club of Sydney Cove, proceeds will go towards the Sydney Eisteddfod Scholarship Fund and enabling the continuation of the Rotary Club of Sydney Cove’s work in the community both in Australia and overseas.

FOR THE DIARY :

When: 20th August at 2.30 pm

Where: Sydney Grammar School, John Vallance Hall

Tickets: Adult $44, Concession $33, Family $99 (+bf)

For more information about the Australian Choral Grand Prix visit:-

https://sydneyeisteddfod.com.au/australian-choral-grand-prix-for-any-age-and-youth-19u-choirs/#tickets
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LIVE AT LUNCH : NOCTURNES AND SONGS TO THE MOON @ THE CONCOURSE

Featured photo – Jane Rutter.

This was a delightful concert the theme of which was nocturnes and songs to the Moon – appropriate for a performance on the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year.

Jane Rutter’s special guests artists this time were soprano Catherine Bouchier, pianist John Martin and singer/guitarist Bertie Boekemann.

For the concert Rutter wore a striking, elegant blue gown with a draped over the shoulder long silver shawl.

The concert opened with Dvorak’s Song to the Moon  from his opera Russalka in a passionate performance. Schumann’s Mondnacht was melancholic and Strauss’ Die Nacht was somewhat brighter in mood with a rippling piano and flute. Continue reading LIVE AT LUNCH : NOCTURNES AND SONGS TO THE MOON @ THE CONCOURSE

ENSEMBLE VINIFERA : THE FEMALE OF THE SPECIES @ THE INDEPENDENT THEATRE

Ensemble Vinifera – Ellie Brinch, John Lewis and Andrew Wilson

The myth of ‘no female composers’ will be exploded – in style! – in a wonderful winter afternoon concert on Sunday 30 July  when Ensemble Vinifera makes its appearance in the popular Prelude in Tea series at the Independent Theatre, North Sydney.

The monthly concerts featuring outstanding chamber musicians include refreshments – and a delectable selection of cakes!

“Why are there so few female composers?” It’s a question that resurfaces regularly and yet, there are in fact many first-rate female composers;  this concert will feature works from several, spanning the early 19th century through to the present day.  The feature work is Ensemble Vinifera’s first commissioned work from Sydney composer Jessica Wells.

Vinifera will also be performing works by contemporary American composer Libby Larsen as well as Nadia Boulanger, Rebecca Clarke,  Clara Schumann (student and wife of Robert) and Fanny Mendelssohn-Hensel (brother of Felix and considered a child prodigy of similar stature).

Ensemble Vinifera features Andrew Wilson (cello), Ella Brinch (viola) and John Lewis (clarinet).  The group was created in 2013 by several Sydney musicians who regularly perform together in the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra.

Based around i ts core group, Vinifera metamorphoses as required to perform anything from solo Bach to octets for mixed winds and strings.  The ensemble is inherently flexible, playing music from a wide variety of eras, genres and  national backgrounds across a broad palette of instrumental combinations.

The musicians particularly enjoy bringing less frequently seen groupings, composers and works to Australian audiences.  The founding members have studied and performed throughout Australia, the UK, Europe and North America  covering the broad spectrum of chamber, symphonic and operatic repertoire.

As well as a love for great music, the ensemble members share a love for good food and wine  in the company of good friends – hence their choice of name!

Guest artists for the concert will include Christina Wilson (mezzo-soprano), Ewan Foster (violin), Lisa Osmialowski (flute) and Azumi Lehmann (harp) with Alan Hicks (piano).

DATE FOR THE DIARY

Ensemble Vinifera’s THE FEMALE OF THE SPECIES will play the Independent Theatre, 269 Miller Street, North Sydney on Sunday 30 July from 2.30 (afternoon tea) for a 3.30 pm concert.

Sydney Arts Guide has one double pass to offer- editor.sydneyartsguide@gmail.com The winner will be advised by email.

 

 

 

 

 

COMING SOON : QUEEN : IT’S A KINDA MAGIC @ THE STATE THEATRE

The world’s premier Queen tribute show, Queen: It’s A Kinda Magic, will complete a 15-stop national tour from May – taking fans back to the glory days of Freddie Mercury and his iconic band Queen.

Capturing the imagination of Queen fans both locally and internationally, Director Johnny Van Grinsven attributes the show’s continued success to the attention-to-detail; everything from the costumes, instruments and even the lighting cues have been designed to replicate those seen in real Queen concerts.

Making QUEEN : IT’S A KINDA MAGIC extraordinarily authentic is the close consultation of Peter Freestone, Freddie Mercury’s best friend, biographer, assistant and constant companion for the final 12 years of his life. Freestone has schooled the cast and producers on the characteristics and nuances of the original band in order to perfect the performance. Continue reading COMING SOON : QUEEN : IT’S A KINDA MAGIC @ THE STATE THEATRE

FLINDERS QUARTET SHINES WITH ITS DEBUT CONCERT @ THE INDEPENDENT THEATRE

The highly polished Flinders Quartet, comprising Shane Chen and Nicholas Waters on violin, Helen Ireland on viola and Zoe Knighton on cello, made its debut appearance at North Sydney’s lovely Independent Theatre with special guest cellist, Timo-Veikko Valve.

They presented a delightful program by Peter Sculthorpe, Boccherini and Schubert chamber pieces for strings. With such a program one could readily identify the composer’s country of origin as in the case of Sculthorpe and country of adoption in the case of Boccherini.

Following a fine introduction by Knighton (founding Cellist) it was clear from the start that this ensemble has a strong affinity for contemporary Australian composers. In fact Sculthorpe’s “String Quartet No.18” was written on the Quartet’s 10th birthday. It was jointly commissioned by Peter and Leila Doyle for the Flinders Quartet and by the Edinburgh International Festival for the Tokyo Quartet, first performed in June 2010.

The program opened with Sculthorpe’s “String Quartet No.18” which is a heart-felt expression of the composer’s concern about climate change. Peter Sculthorpe wrote, “rather than attempt to write a work that addresses the plight of the planet itself, I chose to use Australia as a metaphor for it”. Continue reading FLINDERS QUARTET SHINES WITH ITS DEBUT CONCERT @ THE INDEPENDENT THEATRE