Music

SYDNEY CHAMBER CHOIR: GERMAN ROMANTICS @ THE GREAT HALL, SYDNEY UNI

Above: Conductor Sam Allchurch. Featured Image: Members of the Sydney Chamber Choir- Photo Credit Nick Gilbert

The Sydney Chamber Choir has started its impressive 2017 season with a concert swathed in exciting emotional moments and exquisite restraint. Audience members who can attend all events in this season will cherish some special experiences of major works. The choir’s skilfully balanced programmes will also successfully juxtapose smaller works from many different time periods.

For this ‘German Romantics’ concert the choir was led by Sam Allchurch in a joyous cavalcade of German choral music. The selected works ranged in chronology from Schubert’s Gott ist mein Hirt (The Lord is my Shepherd) composed in 1820 to Arnold Schoenberg’s Friede auf Erden (Peace on Earth) written in 1907.                   Continue reading SYDNEY CHAMBER CHOIR: GERMAN ROMANTICS @ THE GREAT HALL, SYDNEY UNI

BALMAIN SINFONIA IMPRESSES WITH ITS FIRST CONCERT FOR 2017

 

Director of Music for the Balmain Sinfonia, Gary Stavrou was awarded an OAM in the 2017 Australia Day awards. The orchestra’s first concert illustrated yet again the calibre of his service to the Sydney music scene. The orchestra performed admirably under his baton in a diverse and artistically challenging programme which featured a broad historic swoop of music from Mozart to Mahler.

Exciting as always was the procuring of a local soloist of high standard to collaborate with Stavrou and the orchestra. This time, much awarded soprano Zoe Drummond  demonstrated how effective the choice of a vocalist can be as a soloist in an orchestral concert. As in past concerts, the Balmain Sinfonia did rise to the occasion as a very sympathetic accompanist for the tonal colour of a vocal soloist.

The concert opened with an arrangement of Debussy’s Petite Suite originally composed for piano four hands in 1889. Each of the four movements was realised and performed with admirable clarity and appropriate sense of character. Continue reading BALMAIN SINFONIA IMPRESSES WITH ITS FIRST CONCERT FOR 2017

AUSTRALIAN ROMANTIC AND CLASSICAL ORCHESTRA : ‘ITALIAN ROMANCE’ @ CITY RECITAL HALL

Established in 2013 by Richard Gill AO, Rachael Beesley, Nicole Van Bruggen and Benjamin Bayl, the Australian Romantic and Classical Orchestra (ARCO) has adopted a thematic approach to its repertoire. This was exemplified by its recent concert Italian Romance at the City Recital Hall  which featured works by Beethoven, Hugo Woolf and Mendelssohn.

In the first half of the program the Orchestra was a smaller ensemble and stood. Beethoven’s Corialanus Overure was a particular choice as an example of Romantic Music. The work is not based on the Shakespeare play but on the equally gruesome story of a Roman General. The piece was played with precision and wonderful rhythm by the Orchestra. It was very much a  ‘Sturm and Drang’ experience.

Beethoven’s Romance for Violin and Orchestra No 2  featured Rachel Beesley as the soloist. Beesley played with tenderness and warmth, and created a wonderful dialogue with the woodwind section.

The next work which the Orchestra played was Beethoven’s 12 Contradances for Orchestra. Most of the Contradances were just 32 bars in length and the Orchestra glided through each dance to create a seamless whole. The joyful music was however made more poignant with Gill reading out extracts from a letter which Beethoven wrote to his brother about his impending deafness.

The Orchestra’s performance of The Italian Serenade by Hugo Woolf featured a delightful conversation between the violin and cello.

The Orchestra reconvened after interval with a larger ensemble and delivered an impressive performance of Mendelssohn’s Italian Symphony. The remarkable, glorious wall of sound that this Orchestra achieved was in spite of the fact that it was about half the size of a full Orchestra.

The success of  this pleasing concert can also be attributed to the concert’s guest conductor Benjamin Bayl. His relaxed yet disciplined conducting brought out the best in the Orchestra.

ARCO performed its concert Italian Romance at the City Recital Hall, Angel Place on Saturday 25th March.

 

NIKKI NOUVEAU CHANNELS THE GREAT EDITH PIAF @ THE BASEMENT

“Love is the only fire for which there is no insurance.” Edith Piaf

The fans were struggling to move the hot and humid air around The Basement, Sydney’s iconic music venue, and the atmosphere did not cool down for Nikki Nouveau’s sultry performance.

Nikki is a Sydney born Melbourne based singer and cabaret entertainer, who has had a long term fascination with Piaf, and subsequently travelled to Paris many times.

The show’s introductory number was an evocative instrumental piece by Andrew Scott on his piano accordion, conjuring up the feelings of an old French café. Continue reading NIKKI NOUVEAU CHANNELS THE GREAT EDITH PIAF @ THE BASEMENT

SYDNEY CHAMBER CHOIR DELVES INTO SOME GERMAN ROMANTICISM

The Sydney Chamber Choir, conducted by Sam Allchurch with pianist Jem Harding, invites  music lovers to attend its first performance for the year at the Great Hall, Sydney University in early April.

It will be a great opportunity to dive deep into the luscious music of the German Romantics, with this celebration of the rich beauty of choral voices: the delicacy of Schubert, the eloquence of Mendelssohn and the resonant harmonies of Brahms and Bruckner, culminating in Schoenberg’s passionate and powerful plea for Peace on Earth.

This was the age when music got personal, as composers shook off the old conventions of balance and restraint to seek out fresh ways to communicate feeling.

The Romantics, inspired by the magnificence of Nature, the unexplored paths of dreams and a deep awe of the divine, opened up choral music to unlimited horizons of both grandeur and intimacy.

SAVE THE DATE : –
Saturday April 8 at 7.30 pm at the Great Hall, Sydney University.

For more about German Romantics, visit http://www.sydneychamberchoir.org
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INTERESTED IN FORMING A BAND : READ THIS!

 

An open Evening is to be held on Thursday 30th March between 6:30 pm and 8.30 pm at Cammeray Public School Hall for anyone interested in learning a musical instrument and playing in a concert band.

THE SCHEDULE

6.30 pm: Talk to new starters – what’s this band thing anyway?

7 pm: instrument tryouts and chats with other band members

7.30 pm -8.30 pm: attendees can watch, or join in, with a regular band rehearsal

For more information  about this innovative event call Michelle on 0411733206 or email mburton1970@yahoo.co.uk. Alternatively you are welcome to just come along on the night.

You are are also welcome to visit  https://www.meetup.com/Sydney-Adult-Beginner-Band/events/238357909/

 

OMEGA ENSEMBLE PRESENTS ‘ROMANTIC VISIONS’ @ CITY RECITAL HALL

Featured image – Maria Raspopova.

This is a joyous and colourful program, put together by Co-Artistic Directors David Rowden and Maria Raspopova, featuring an elegant work from Rachmaninoff and a serenade of Beethoven’s septet.

Beethoven’s Septet in E flat major was first performed as background music at an aristocratic tea-party in 1800. Filled with Mozart like charm and elegance, the piece has gone on to become one of the most popular septets ever written.

The piece is full of both colourful musical dialogue and melodic and harmonic richness. It cleverly explores the vast array of colours and sonorities created through the intriguing and unique scoring of clarinet, horn, bassoon, violin, viola, cello and double bass. Continue reading OMEGA ENSEMBLE PRESENTS ‘ROMANTIC VISIONS’ @ CITY RECITAL HALL

WILLOUGHBY SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA : GENIUS @ THE CONCOURSE

The Willoughby Symphony Orchestra and conductor Dr Nicholas Milton were off to a terrific start for 2017 with their concert entitled GENIUS, part of the year long program entitled ENDURING PASSION.

The concert featured works by Beethoven, Mendelssohn and Brahms with special guest artist, gifted violinist Lily Higson-Spence.

Overall the orchestra was in fine, glowing form with a delicious rich tone. Dr Milton conducted very energetically yet extremely precisely .

The concert rocketed off to a tense, dynamic start with Beethoven’s Leonore Overture No.3. In the form of a dramatic full scale single symphonic movement, the piece was eloquently played and featured an augmented horn section. The work featured surging, crashing, tempestuous strings with a flute soaring above and  an inquisitive questioning woodwind, all leading up to an impressive, thrilling finale.

Guest artist Lily Higson-Spence, in a long flowing halter neck beige gown with a large bow at the back, dazzled playing Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E Minor Op.64.

The standard symphonic structure is used by Mendelssohn but slightly changed by the composer. It is regarded as one of the most lyrical and flowing works of its type and is one of the most frequently performed of all violin pieces. The work had its premiere in Leipzig on March 13, 1845.

For this work, Higson-Spence, Dr Milton and the Orchestra combined as one for a magnificent performance. It was mostly Higson-Spence ,however, leading the discussion between the three in collaborative harmony .

Higson-Spence’s bravura solos were mesmerising. Her violin had a pure tone, precisely controlled yet volcanic underneath. Sometimes the violin, singing its heart out, was lyrical and reflective, melancholic and passionate, at other times the violin darted about at a blistering pace.

There was a seamless flow between movements : the first was somewhat turbulent, with a wonderful bassoon transition to the ardent second movement and the third movement was animated , leading to an invigorating finale. Continue reading WILLOUGHBY SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA : GENIUS @ THE CONCOURSE

THE METROPOLITAN ORCHESTRA-“MASTERWORKS” @ EUGENE GOOSSENS HALL

 

Featured image: Conductor Sarah-Grace Williams and The Metropolitan Orchestra. 

This concert of two very well known ‘Masterworks’ brought TMO back to the stage in fine form for its first ‘Met Series’ concert of 2017. A warm and appreciative audience eagerly awaited the chance to hear Sibelius’ Concerto in D Minor for Violin and Orchestra followed by no less than Brahms’ mighty Symphony No 1 in C minor Op 68.

Joining TMO as soloist for the second year in a row was Anna Da Silva Chen. Her powerhouse performance was fresh and commanding in nature. Da Silva Chen is constantly developing as an athletic and thoughtful virtuoso.

The first movement reached out to us with a clean and crisp approach. TMO, as led by Sarah-Grace Williams, made the most of all opportunities to enhance rhythmic complexities, melodic development and successive levels of dramatic mood.

There was thankfully no over-interpretation nor self-indulgent over-playing from this soloist. Bravura passages added throughout the first movement by Sibelius to showcase the violin as much as possible were rendered with prodigious depth of strength but avoided awkward heaviness.

A delicate song-like restraint and no-nonsense rendition of the concerto’s famous opening was a real highlight. This approach was not fussy and immediately drew us towards the soloist and to the qualities of the featured instrument Sibelius was able to promote.

Da Silva Chen’s respect for a stable melodic architecture alongside dazzling and fluid virtuosity continued into the second movement. Here, a beautiful pursuance of line and intricate collaboration with the orchestra made for some fine moments.

The energy and character needed from soloist and orchestra to bring this concerto to a close was on offer during the final movement. A lithe, elevated display from Da Silva Chen and a gutsy, well punctuated dealing with Sibelius’ challenges from TMO earned both a standing ovation.

Following interval, TMO’s version of Symphony No 1 in C minor Opus 68 was interpreted with clear and direct Brahms like Romanticism

Conductor Sarah Grace Williams preserved momentum throughout the sprawling movements and the composer’s wish to present deep emotion on a large scale but not let unnecessary sentiment compromise the security of structure and direction in music.

Effective choice of tempi especially enhanced the flow of the opening and final movements. The iconic timpani part known by fans of this work was well performed here. Conductor Sarah-Grace Williams kept the reaching nature of the Andante sostenuto second movement at a level of gentle poise as Brahms’ shifting patterns of tone colours moved smoothly about. The result was a hushed, hypnotic, forward moving  bulk of calm.

A highlight of this symphony’s agile interpretation was the sunny pastoral interlude which the third movement embodies. Fine playing from the winds, especially the clarinet theme, transported us to a gentle and well-balanced place.

Challenging rhythmic complexities and Brahms’ manipulations of orchestral textures were well-handled in this interpretation and they also rocketed the work to an exciting conclusion. The flow of developing ideas and changing colours were presented with easy eloquence in the final movement as it had been previously.

The successful juxtaposition of two giant Romantic period works was a bold programming choice. It was one which definitely paid off, cementing TMO’s ‘tour de force’ status in the local music scene very early in this year’s musical calendar.

 

MADISON MCKOY BRINGS SOME GREAT RHYTHM AND BLUES TO THE FACTORY THEATRE

Born on an April Monday afternoon under the sign of Aries, soul and rhythm and blues singer Madison McKoy grew up in rural North Carolina, the youngest of 10 children.

Like many music lovers of his generation, Madison has a passion for the emotional and uplifting songwriting styles of great artists such as Marvin Gaye, Lionel Richie, Phil Collins, Sade, Janet Jackson, Seal and of course, Stevie Wonder.

These influences are reflected in Madison’s original compositions; some of which are included in his album releases — 10TH CHILD and DEEP WITHIN. Continue reading MADISON MCKOY BRINGS SOME GREAT RHYTHM AND BLUES TO THE FACTORY THEATRE

PRELUDE IN TEA : THE STREETON TRIO @ THE INDEPENDENT THEATRE

After a delicious afternoon tea we were treated to a magnificent concert by the Streeton Trio, part of the Prelude in Tea series of concerts held at the beautiful Independent Theatre.

The concert was given the umbrella title The Vienna Congress.

Before the concert began violinist Emma Jardine set the program in context, explaining the turbulent times of the period and the dominant influence of Napoleon Bonaparte. She advised that the program explored the complex musical situation in Vienna, the capital of European music at the beginning of the nineteenth century.

Two decades of great cultural ferment saw the Vienna Congress (1814/1815) as the turning point between the ideals of the Enlightenment and those of the Restoration. What took place was a radical change in the social role of music, which was no longer used as an instrument of awareness and knowledge, but instead became ‘the opium of the masses ‘ and proved useful in disguising the harsh reality of post-Napoleonic and post-Enlightenment society. Continue reading PRELUDE IN TEA : THE STREETON TRIO @ THE INDEPENDENT THEATRE

MUSICA VIVA PRESENTS ‘EIGHTH BLACKBIRD’ @ CITY RECITAL HALL

EIGHTH BLACKBIRD send you to musical seventh heaven with their Musica Viva set which includes the world premiere performance of a work by home grown composer Holly Harrison.

Named from a Wallace Stevens poem that talks about lucid, inescapable rhythms, EIGHTH BLACKBIRD is a sizzling sextet originally hailing from Ohio celebrating twenty-one years performing new works that defy easy classification. True to say, there’s no pigeon-holing the EIGHTH BLACKBIRD.

The program for the Musica Viva Tour combines pieces they have worked on in recent seasons with music from two of their recent recordings, one of which, Filament, won them their fourth Grammy. Continue reading MUSICA VIVA PRESENTS ‘EIGHTH BLACKBIRD’ @ CITY RECITAL HALL

OMEGA ENSEMBLE-HAYDN AND MOZART @ THE UTZON ROOM

Above: Composer Ben Hoadley, whose Clarinet Quintet ‘Broken Songs’ was premiered in the concert.  Featured Image : violinist Natsuko Yoshimoto.

The first Master Series concert for the Omega Ensemble this year was a standing-room-only event at the Sydney Opera House’s Utzon Room. ” The crowd was treated to exciting versions of masterpieces for string quartet and clarinet quintet, as well as the premiere of Ben Hoadley’s new clarinet quintet, Broken Songs. ” A capable backbone for all items on the programme was the assembled string quartet of Natsuko Yoshimoto, Ike See(violins),Neil Thompson(viola) and Paul Stender(cello)

In general across all works this quartet securely delivered playing of precision and sensible dramatic depth. We were given an introduction to newer works on the programme and rediscovered well-known ones. A scintillating blend of individual expression resulted from this quartet’s balanced playing. Continue reading OMEGA ENSEMBLE-HAYDN AND MOZART @ THE UTZON ROOM

AUSTRALIAN CHAMBER ORCHESTRA : MURDER AND REDEMPTION @ CITY RECITAL HALL

 

Featured image – Guest violinist Pekka Kuusisto.

This was not your standard Australian Chamber Orchestra (ACO) concert, but as always it featured absolutely superb playing by the ACO who were in inspired form and dynamically led by the charismatic, bouncing, at times close to dancing guest violinist Pekka Kuusisto, who has taken the place of Richard Tognetti, who is currently in residence at the Barbican in London. (The ACO will play at the Barbican next month).

The concert was divided into two halves,as befits the concert’s title. There was a fascinating blend and contrast of blues grass folk songs sung and played on guitar and banjo by  guest artist Sam Amidon, with a turbulent, passionate Janacek piece (his first string quartet, The Kreutzer Sonata, as well as a dazzling version of a John Adams work entitled, Shaker Loops (1947) .

In the first half, Murder, the turbulent , at times quite spiky Janacek piece was magnificently played by the ACO. The wprk was inspired by the Tolstoy novella of the same name. At one time there was a stormy argument between sections of the orchestra tensely, breathlessly played, and this was contrasted with more melancholic and reflective sections .

Amidon’s folk songs, played in both halves, appeared at first to be simple tunes but then proved to be more complex. In the first half, in the work Way Go Lily, there were rippling flowing rhythms.  How Come That Blood featured a fluid, clip clop almost galloping rhythm – Amidon on banjo , the orchestra accompanying him, and there was an interesting use of pizzicato.

For the first half the songs were arranged by Nico Muhly.  Amidon’s rough hewn, sincere vocal style gave his retelling of these folk songs a powerful punch.  Amidon’s raw playing contrasted with the more refined tomes of the Australian Chamber Orchestra.

The Redemption set opening the second half was a selection of songs performed by Amidon and Kuusisto alone, in a delightfully intimate yet casual and relaxed manner. This contrasted with, and allowed some relief, from the darker subject matter of the program’s first half.

Kuusisto treated his violin more like a folk fiddler, and occasionally joined his voice to Amidon’s in a delightful performance that also included a showy violin solo.

This half also featured an acapella like, haunting and powerful version of Brackett’s Simple Gifts, (the most famous hymn of the Shaker sect) as sung by Amidon.

John Adams work Shaker Loops was rich and multi layered and featured an aching ‘centre’. At times, the piece evoked the ‘music of the spheres’, shimmering and delicate, at other the playing was strident, with bubbling violins and  cellos rumbling underneath.

This was a dazzling concert with a running time of two  hours and ten minutes.

The Australian Chamber Orchestra’s toured the concert  MURDER AND REDEMPTION nationally between the 2nd and 14th February.

The Australian Chamber Orchestra in Murder and Redemption was on national tour February 2 -14

https://www.aco.com.au

WORKING CLASS BOY : THE EARLY LIFE OF JIMMY BARNES

Just finished reading WORKING CLASS BOY the first instalment of the story of James Dixon Swan, aka – Jimmy Barnes. As usual I am about six months behind the times, the book was published to much fanfare last year, ironically when Barnsey was doing publicity for the book at various venues in Sydney I was in Glasgow. In a pub, about ten minutes from Cowcaddens, the rough area that Barnes lived in until the age of five.  That’s just how life is sometimes, but back to the real story.

Barnes’ home life in both Glasgow and Elizabeth, SA (where he spent most of his youth) was shambolic, the family lived in poverty and violence was commonplace. The stories he tells make your hair stand on end, the two bottles of vodka a day that became a regular feature of his later life start making sense. His substance abuse was not the usual garden variety abuse of the ‘sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll crowd. Barnes was in need of more anesthetizing, to banish the memories of his troubled upbringing. Yet he tells it with such candour and humour that the reader is drawn in to the grey streets of Glasgow and South Australia willingly and we are happy to take the journey with him, and to some pretty dark places. Continue reading WORKING CLASS BOY : THE EARLY LIFE OF JIMMY BARNES

MOSMAN MUSICAL SOCIETY PRESENTS ‘MUSIC FROM THE SILVER SCREEN’

MUSIC FOR THE SILVER SCREEN is a concert which will showcase some of the most beautiful numbers written over decades for the silver screen.

The  concert will be performed by the voices of the Mosman Musical Society accompanied by  the orchestra of the Mosman Music Club.

There will be two concerts, both on Sunday March 12. First concert is at 2 pm and the second concert at 4.30 pm.

Light refreshments will be served after each concert with a chance to meet the performers.

For more about Music for the Silver Screen, visit
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TAPESTRY: THE SONGS OF CAROLE KING with Debra Byrne and Vika Bull.

Photography by Ros O’Gorman.

Without confirming or denying whether I might have been involved, I can report that there was a kind of geriatric mosh pit for the finale of TAPESTRY: THE SONGS OF CAROLE KING with Debra Byrne and Vika Bull. I can also report that the encores were played to standing audiences and that the roof was raised. It was a marvellous concert. Wonderful songs that have stood the test of time and voices to soothe the savage beast of some very hot and cross looking audience members on a 43 degree day.

Byrne and Bull hit the stage bare footed. You know it’s going to be good when artists want the freedom to move easily or plant their feet and belt. WAY OVER YONDER begins and the voices fill the room and wrap around us before the power of a yearning bass guitar sneaks in. Calm descends and “true peace of mind” is sweet and longing as the artists swap leads back and forth.

Their blend is just lovely, Bull with those magnificent top notes deliciously combining with Byrne’s rich, full lower notes. The crowd went nuts about this time, and it didn’t let up through I FEEL THE EARTH MOVE when the seating started to shake with the audience’s rhythmic nod-along.

Byrne and Bull spoke often to the audience, explaining their joy in celebrating with us the work of Carole King, about the history of the album and titbits concerning their relationship with the songs. Bull was five years old when TAPESTRY came out. But Byrne, like the older women and slightly fewer older men who made up most of the crowd, found that for every life experience, King had written a song. As the singer explained , they couldn’t do them all but they gave it a bloody good try.

The Brill band, named for the iconic building associated with Carole King and explored in the BRILL BUILDING LEGENDS recording series, are lovely in support but the night belongs to the two women. And their moves.

Byrne has lost none of her YOUNG TALENT TIME dance skills. She glides and stomps and taps around the stage yet the highlight of the night for me was the two of them on stools: still and soulful. Seated downstage centre for YOU’VE GOT A FRIEND the voices melded in the sheer joy of wonderful piano orchestration and the love of expressing emotion. Goosebumps! TAPESTRY was also superb as they stood together in that downstage area, arms around each other in a soft amber light.

Everyone seemed to have their favourites. The band would give the first few bars of any intro and a cheer would go up somewhere. Byrne and Bull rollicked or gently meandered through I THINK I CAN HEAR YOU; SMACKWATER JACK; BEAUTIFUL; GOING BACK and heaps more.

Second favourite? COME DOWN EASY with Bull’s unparalleled harmonics, and featuring only bongos and triangle behind Byrne’s soulful rendition. No wonder I was out of my seat for the encores. Oops!

TAPESTRY: THE SONGS OF CAROLE KING, with Debra Byrne and Vika Bull, was performed for one night only, Friday 10th February at the Enmore Theatre.

 

Cementa17 – contemporary arts festival in Kandos

The contemporary arts festival Cementa is back for 2017, offering an entirely FREE four-day showcase of independent and experimental arts spread across the New South Wales post industrial town of Kandos from Thursday 6 to Sunday 9 April.

Cementa17 will present the work of over 60 artists at the vanguard of Australia’s creative community and artist collectives. Since its debut in 2013, Cementa has grown to become a popular destination event with its total focus on arts, community and the environment.

Cementa is an independent not-for-profit Australian cultural festival event that takes place in Kandos, a small regional town located on the side of Coombermelon Mountain between Lithgow and Mudgee in Central West NSW. The region provides the backdrop to which artists make, exhibit and perform work relating to the social, historical, or environmental context of the town and its surrounds.

A unique festival experience, Cementa17 will offer four days and nights of performance, sound, cabaret, interactive and electronic arts, video, installation, painting, photograpy and ceramics spread across more than twenty venues. Artworks will pop-up in Kandos’ shopfronts, cafes, on the streets, in the local museum & nursery, at parks, garages, cars, backyards, the tennis courts, a golf club, community halls, church yards and for the first time beyond the town perimeter to include two new satellite sites – the natural arena of Ganguddy, (Dunns Swamp picnic grounds and nearby Bird’s Hut) and a local farming property, Marloo.

Building on the success of the previous two festivals, Cementa celebrates the state of Australian contemporary art across the spectrum of practice, from emerging to established, from urban to regional.

Highlights include: A performance by ‘Dauntless Movement Crew’, a Fairfield Parkour, hip-hop and tricking team that will adapt their technique to the unique pagoda rock formations at the stunning landscape at Ganguddy (Dunn’s Swamp).

‘Super Critical Mass’ – a large-scale found object orchestra composed of regional choristers with up to 40 participants performing in The Kandos Community Hall.

‘Correspondence of Imaginary Places’ – an exchange of work between seven Australian artists with seven New York artists, (with the Australian work being installed in Manhattan and the New York artist’s work being installed in an historical hut outside of Kandos).

Artist John A. Douglas remaking scenes from sci-fi classic, ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind’, adapted to the local landscape.

Installations from acclaimed Aboriginal artist Tony Albert and a portrait series by legendary documentary photographer, Mervyn Bishop, plus much much more.

Cementa17 is a celebration of contemporary art in Australia and of the small town that hosts it – developed and fostered by three creative directors who live and work in the region: Ann Finegan, Christine McMillan and Alex Wisser.

info@cementa.com.au

DATES
6th – 9th April 2017

For more about cementa17 – contemporary arts festival, visit https://www.cementa.com.au
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THE MARAIS PROJECT STARTS OFF THE YEAR FOR THE INDEPENDENT THEATRE

Over the years Sydney Arts Guide has keenly followed the progress of this eclectic group. Next Sunday, The Marais Project begins its 2017 season with the concert IT TAKES TWO : A VIOL SPECTACULAR, the first of three very diverse events in its 18th year of fine, distinctive  musicianship.

Since its founding by Jennifer Eriksson in 2000, The Marais Project has released 5 CDs, three of which have been selected as “CD of the Week” on ABC Classic FM.  A 6th CD will appear in 2017.  The group regularly features in national and local studio broadcasts and radio interviews.  They have performed across Eastern Australia and as guest artists in New Zealand.

In an Australian first, IT TAKES TWO will see Erikkson perform  on both the acoustic and electric viola da gambas. Continue reading THE MARAIS PROJECT STARTS OFF THE YEAR FOR THE INDEPENDENT THEATRE

ALL ON BOARD THE ELVIS EXPRESS TO PARKES

The Parkes Elvis Festival is held in the 2nd week of January to coincide with Elvis’ January 8th birthday. It was started 25 years ago by some Elvis fans who ran the Graceland Restaurant when at that time of year, tourists were non existent.

Elvis had an early hit with Mystery Train, whose lyrics inspired indie writer/director Jim Jarmusch to make a cult film with the same name, but the Elvis Express is anything but enigmatic.

The exuberance, joie de vivre and sense of anticipation at Central Station on January 12th was infectious. Thousands of fans lined up, first to be entertained by some excellent Elvis impersonators and then to queue for the rebranded XPT.

The variety of costumes of the train travellers to Parkes, would have added a riot of colour to the 150 events with this year’s theme – Viva Las Vegas.

The town’s population triples, as 25,000 visitors are hosted by a majority of Parkes’ 12,000 residents.

All images by Ben Apfelbaum (c).

THE OMEGA ENSEMBLE PRESENTS ‘HAYDN AND MOZART’ @ THE UTZON ROOM

The Omega Ensemble’s upcoming concert features this tantalising program : –

Debussy – String Quartet in G minor, Op. 10
Ben Hoadley – Clarinet Quintet World Premiere
Haydn – String Quartet Op. 64, No. 5 ‘The Lark’
Mozart – Clarinet Quintet in A major, K. 581

Of Haydn’s eighty-three string quartets The Lark is a perfect representative of the entire genre. Like the majority of string quartets throughout the history of the form, its four movements provide a superior entertainment in four acts, aptly described as ‘a story, a song, a dance and a party.’ Continue reading THE OMEGA ENSEMBLE PRESENTS ‘HAYDN AND MOZART’ @ THE UTZON ROOM

SYDNEY BAROQUE MUSIC FESTIVAL PRESENTS ‘NOBLE YOUTH’ @ GLEBE TOWN HALL

The Sydney Baroque Music Festival’s fourth venture will take place at the beautiful Glebe Town Hall. The festival is an entirely student-driven initiative bringing together young musicians from all over Australia who share a passion for early music. The musicians will be working intensively through the week of January 16-20th, to present the concert NOBLE YOUTH.

This year’s festival is mentored by baroque ensemble The Muffat Collective, and features the Collective’s Matthew Greco performing alongside exciting baroque flautist Mikaela Oberg in Telemann’s Concerto for Flute and Violin. Continue reading SYDNEY BAROQUE MUSIC FESTIVAL PRESENTS ‘NOBLE YOUTH’ @ GLEBE TOWN HALL

AUSTRALIAN HAYDN ENSEMBLE : HAYDN’S PASSION @ SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE

This was the Australian Haydn Ensemble’s (AHE) final concert for the year. The concert focused on the ‘Sturm and Drang’ movement of the 18th century, this concert was a treat in every way. The Sturm and Drang movement was characterised by drama and passion with sudden shifts of dynamics and rhythm. The four works presented in these concerts delivered these in spades.

The program consisted of three works by C.P.E Bach (son of Johann) together with Haydn’ Symphony no 49 (The Passion) to conclude. Guest director was the superbly talented Erin Helyard recent musical director for Pinchgut’s production of Theodora and he certainly raised this talented ensemble to new heights of excellence. Continue reading AUSTRALIAN HAYDN ENSEMBLE : HAYDN’S PASSION @ SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE

A SPOOKY NIGHT WAS LOVED BY ALL @ THE CAMELOT LOUNGE

The quirky Camelot Lounge, owned by Monsieur Camembert’s Yaron Hallas, was the venue for this ‘unknown’ group. Whenever I hear of Australia’s most forgotten impressionist I always know that it is John Russell because he is mentioned as such so I can’t forget it.

This wonderful group formed in 2001 has a cult like following. Despite playing for fifteen years and having won overseas singing competitions, this group is truly forgotten and unknown to the general public. In a men’s shed like fashion it brought together a bunch of guys from all walks of life who lived in the Blue Mountains area. As time evolved some of the group moved from the Blue Mountains to Canberra with its leader and chief composer Stephen Taberner moving to Melbourne. Continue reading A SPOOKY NIGHT WAS LOVED BY ALL @ THE CAMELOT LOUNGE

JINGLE BELLS XMAS FAIR @ THE CONCOURSE

JINGLE BELLS XMAS FAIR is an exciting new festive event that puts the fun back into Christmas shopping. This retro Christmas shopping and entertainment extravaganza features a carefully curated array of vintage, retro, festive and rock ’n’ roll stalls. It’s an all weekend Christmas party too featuring a fantastic line-up of swing, retro and rockabilly bands, plus swing and rock n roll dancing lessons for adults and kids.

DATES
10/12/16 10am – 7pm and 11/12/16 10am – 5pm

VENUE – The Concourse, 409 Victoria Avenue, Chatswood.

For more about JINGLE BELLS XMAS FAIR, visit
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