All posts by Lidia Lamonaca

Lidia has had a lifelong passion for the arts and in particular music. She trained in classical piano and at times has taught it for personal enjoyment. Though she has pursued a corporate career (has a Bachelor of Commerce Degree, MBA and CPA) and has held numerous senior finance positions spanning over 2 decades , her passion is music, in particular classical music and live music. She is an avid supporter of live music and artists playing in Sydney across many different genres and regularly attends 2-3 music/arts events per week. She is presently the Organiser of a couple of social live music meetup groups which facilitate music lovers in attending recitals and other music gigs with a social group. She currently works as a business consultant, enjoys playing the piano, reading, dancing, theatre especially musical theatre and is an avid movie buff. In her earlier positions working in the Pay Television industry Lidia assisted with the financing and production of various Australian movies. She has received credits for the production and making of 3 Australian feature films ‘Takeway’, ‘Bad Eggs’ and ‘A Man’s Gotta Do’. A true believer of the famous words by Shakespeare ‘If music be the food of love, play on’.


American pianist Kenny Broberg returned to Verbrugghen Hall at Sydney’s Conservatorium of music for the last recital on his last leg of his 4  week Australian Tour of NSW and Victoria on the 8th September 2019.  Kenny placed fourth at the 2016 Sydney International Piano competition and since then has had much competition success zig zagging the globe and winning the third prize in the fiercely competitive 2019 International Tchaikovsky Piano Competition and second place in the prestigious Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in 2017. 

Broberg opened the program with Bach’sPrelude and Fugue in A Major BWV 862’ a familiar piece he played during round 1 of the Preliminaries at the 2016 Sydney International Piano Competition. The sparkly Fugue and gentler Prelude were delivered with vibrato and technical confidence. Having seen him perform at various stages during the 2016 Sydney International Piano Competition from Preliminaries to Finals this young and highly talented pianist has matured and come a long way with his recital performances since then.  Continue reading KENNY BROBERG RECITAL @ VERBRUGGHEN HALL


Australian Haydn Ensemble

“A wonderful journey into musical France in the late 18th Century”

A delightful concert was performed by the Australian Haydn Ensemble (AHE) titled ‘FRENCH TWIST’ on the 4th June 2019 at the intimate Utzon Room at Sydney’s Opera House. This was the second concert in AHE’s 2019 season and the program included works by Mozart and Haydn which were primarily written for a French audience in the latter part of the18th century as well as two quartets by lesser known French classical composers, Hacinthe Jadin and Francois Devienne.

The program began with Mozart’s ‘Flute Quartet in A major K298’ which was the last of Mozart’s four flute quartets, written later for a group of his friends. It is light and airy with vivid contrasts beautifully played by flautist Melissa Farrow (on loan from the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra where she is principal flautist). Lovely balance between the flute and strings and nice transition of the main variations on a theme by Hoffmeister between Viola, Flute and accompanying strings. The ‘Menuetto’ was well paced whilst all players handled the varying tempo markings in the final movement which Mozart wrote to amuse, allowing each player greater contrasted musical expression. Continue reading AUSTRALIAN HAYDN ENSEMBLE : FRENCH TWIST


Opera Australia’s ‘Turandot’. Production photography by Keith Sanders

This was a wonderful opening night of Giacomo Puccini’s ‘Turandot’ performed by Opera Australia at Sydney’s Opera House on Tuesday 15th January 2019. TURANDOT is Puccini’s final opera and one of his most well-known thanks to the unforgettable performance of the aria ‘Nessun Dorma’ by tenor Luciano Pavarotti. Considered by many as Puccini’s most musically adventurous and best known Opera. Sadly Puccini (born 1858) died in 1924 before it was completed. TURANDOT premiered on the 25th April 1926 at La Scala in Milan with the final scenes written by composer Franco Alfano, a successful opera composer in his own right, based the final ending on Puccini’s drafts and sketches.

This year’s revival of Graeme Murphy’s 1990 production leans heavily into the fairy tale and Puccini’s view of early 20th century China which he developed from studying books about old Chinese music and information from his friend who had been the Italian Consul in China at the time. Continue reading OPERA AUSTRALIA PRESENTS ‘TURANDOT’ @ THE JOAN SUTHERLAND THEATRE


The joy of singing and the magic of Christmas was on full display on Friday 7th December at Sydney’s Opera House. The Sydney Philharmonia Choirs (SPC) performed a heady program of Christmas classics conducted by the Music Director, Brett Weymark. It was a magical evening of carols, music, readings and lots of wonderful entertainment ushering in the festive season.

In the very capable hands of long time Artistic and Music Director Brett Weymark the 500 strong choir consisted of the Sydney Philharmonia Chamber Singers, VOX, Symphony Choir and the Christmas Choir (apparently they had only 6 weeks to rehearse). Accompanied by the Sydney Philharmonia Orchestra and supported by two outstanding guest soloists Kerrie Anne Greenland and Teddy Tahu Rhodes presented a great collection of music spanning centuries including famous songs from stage and screen and so much more.

The evening opened with a tongue in cheek introduction by ‘Her Majesty- The Queen’ and the deep resonant sounds of the Concert hall organ and horns which heralded ‘The many moods of Christmas Suite 1’ sung beautifully by the choir singing ‘Christ is born today’.

There was a wonderful balance between Orchestra and Chorus throughout the concert.

Audience participation was strongly encouraged by Weymark commencing with ‘Silent Night’ which celebrated its 200th birthday year this year and continued with other carols. These included ‘O Come, All Ye Faithful’, ‘Good king Wenceslas’, ‘Hark! The Herald Angels Sing’, ‘Joy to the world’, ’The First Nowell’ ending with a very joyful and prestissimo ‘Deck the Halls’. Its increasing fast tempo ended nicely with a slower paced finale. Continue reading SYDNEY PHILHARMONIA CHOIR : CAROLS AT THE HOUSE


After a much awaited return of 48 years Maestro Barenboim with the Staatskapelle Berlin delivered a first rate symphonic performance and a thrilling musical experience of Brahms Symphonies No. 3 and 4 in their second concert of three performed at Sydney’s Opera house on Monday 26th November 2018.

The much revered conductor and virtuoso pianist Barenboim conducted the Staatskapelle Berlin orchestra, one of the oldest orchestras in the world founded in 1570. Since 1992 Barenboim has honed this orchestra into one of the world’s finest ensembles whose huge repertoire is firmly rooted in the music of the great German composers. Brahms was a natural choice in their program. In 2000 Barenboim was nominated Staatskapelle’s conductor for life. Such is the special long-term relationship this conductor has with his orchestra along with their impressive musical history and experience. The fruits of their relationship was demonstrated with this outstanding performance.

Barenboim is an expert in drawing as many shimmering colours from this orchestra as possible and on this note he over-delivered. The Staatskapelle Berlin playing was high spirited and splendid and just about every moment was filled with magic. Continue reading DANIEL BARENBOIM & STAATSKAPELLE BERLIN – BRAHMS SYMPHONIES NO. 3 & 4 PROGRAM II


On May 4th, Maestro Riccardo Muti and the Australian World Orchestra delivered a brilliant and extraordinary concert magnifying the excellence of top Australian musicians.

For those fortunate to have attended the Australian World Orchestra performance conducted by the Italian born living treasure Maestro Riccardo Muti on Friday 4th May at Sydney’s Opera house experienced a most intense sublime musical evening.   Continue reading MAESTRO RICCARDO MUTI DELIVERS A BRILLIANT CONCERT WITH THE AWO


The Australian Romantic and Classical Orchestra (ARCO) under the leadership of Australian musician and educator Richard Gill OAM performed its third and final concert for 2017 at the City Recital in Sydney on Sunday 17th September.

An exquisite Revolutionary Romance concert was performed by the ARCO Chamber Soloists. Fine chamber musicians passionately performed the sublime chamber works by Mozart and Spohr. They delivered the rich sounds, colours, ornamentation and textures on classical period strings played with heartfelt passion.

A real highlight was the basset clarinet played by the Australian star of this instrument Nicole Van Bruggen. I will remember her performance on this wonderful instrument and Mozart’sClarinet Quintet in A Major, K581’ for a long time. It is no wonder these superb musicians are so committed to delivering historically informed performances ‘HIP’ in such intimate settings.

The program began with Louis Sphor’s ‘String Sextet in C major Op. 140’ in Allegro Moderato. Spohr was German born with a reputation during the first half of the 19th century as a violin virtuoso, conductor, author, teacher and a prolific composer.  Spohr commented when he wrote this piece that his spirits were raised by the current events in Germany. He wrote upon the manuscript, “At the time of the glorious people’s revolution…& reawakening of Germany.” Continue reading ARCO : REVOLUTIONARY ROMANCE @ CITY RECITAL HALL


Czech Masterpieces presented with warmth and eloquence by the masterly Streeton Trio

A most enjoyable Sunday afternoon’s ‘A Prelude in Tea’ concert was performed by the Streeton Trio. They delighted Sydney audiences with a program of Dvorak, Suk and Smetana. This concert was part of the Independent theatre’s ‘A Prelude in Tea’ chamber series which offers a delicious afternoon tea at 2.30pm followed by the concert one hour later.

The youthful and internationally acclaimed Streeton Trio consisting of Emma Jardine (violin), Meta Weiss (cello) and Benjamin Kopp (piano) delighted the audience with their rendition of Czech Masterpieces.

Celebrating the release of the Streeton Trio’s new CD, this program explored masterworks by some of the most beloved Czech composers.

The program consisted of the following:

Dvořák: Piano Trio No. 4 in E minor Op.90 “Dumky”

Smetana: Piano Trio in G minor Op. 15

Suk: Elegy for Piano Trio Op.23

Violinist Emma Jardine opened the program with an introduction to Dvořák’sPiano Trio No. 4 in E minor, Op 90 ‘Dumky’ “as there were no printed program notes. Emma explained that Dvořák was well established during the time this piece was written. The work was first performed in 1891 and is amongst Dvorak’s most popular compositions. It was so well received that Dvořák performed it on his forty-concert farewell tour throughout Moravia and Bohemia before he left for the US to start a music school in NYC.   Continue reading THE STREETON TRIO : DVORAK, SUK AND SMETANA @ 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


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


A joyous celebration of Rossini and Schubert by the formidable Australian Romantic and Classical orchestra performed on dynamic period instruments.

The Australian Romantic & Classical Orchestra (ARCO) which specialises in Historically Informed Performance or ‘HIP’ – performed its second concert in the 2017 concert season. A superb Romantic and Classical program of Gioachino Rossini and Franz Schubert first time performed on beautiful period instruments in the perfectly intimate City Recital Hall.    

Sadly Richard Gill AO was unable to conduct this night’s performance due to his sudden indisposition. He was replaced on very short notice by the talented guest concertmaster Jakob Lehmann. We sensed from the start that we were in very capable hands. His passion and leadership shone through navigating the orchestra to its splendid finale.

Lehmann is currently concertmaster of the wonderful Anima Eterna Brugge and one of his chief interests is period performance, mostly of the 19th and early 20th Centuries, aptly stepping into Richard Gill’s significant musical shoes. Kudos to Lehmann for having lead ARCO to such a fine performance.   Continue reading AUSTRALIAN ROMANTIC AND CLASSICAL ORCHESTRA: ‘UNFINISHED ROMANCE’ @ CITY RECITAL HALL


The Regals Musical Society’s revival of 42nd Street opened with a wonderful brass heavy Overture played by a solid 14 piece Orchestra led by Peter Sampson as Musical director.

A strong opening to the revival of this quintessential musical comedy directed by Christie Koppe who was drawn to this project due to it’s large-scale, its classic tunes and effervescent storytelling. Continue reading REGALS MUSICAL SOCIETY’S PRESENTS A TAPFASTIC PRODUCTION OF 42ND STREET


The perfect Sunday afternoon out!

A PRELUDE IN TEA is a Sunday chamber music series offering a delicious afternoon tea as a prelude to a virtuosic afternoon concert of music at the splendid Independent Theatre in North Sydney.

Whilst last Sunday’s performance was not quite the Chamber music that some had subscribed to it was nevertheless a very enjoyable one.

This month’s recital featured the accomplished and renowned Australian pianist and composer Mark Isaacs.

Isaacs replaced the previously scheduled Enigma Trio on extremely short notice after a 12 month absence from the recital stage. He had just a mere two weeks to prepare and perform a lovely program of Chopin, Rachmaninoff, Debussy, Satie, Poulenc as well as playing some of his own original compositions, all delivered with fervour and passion.

Isaacs is one of the few musicians with interests both in the classical and jazz music world including film, television and theatre. His output encompasses both classical (over 90 works) and jazz, and takes in orchestral music – including a symphony (2013) as well as works for piano and orchestra

The concert began with Chopin’s Nocturne in D flat Major, Op. 27 No. 2, a glorious piece of music in Lento sostenuto style i.e. “slow and sustained”. His left hand played beautiful arpeggios throughout the entire piece and his right hand brought out the melody in a sustained yet delicate manner. His crescendos and decrescendos were gradual and the cadenza towards the end was delivered superbly.

What followed next were Chopin’s Etude Op. 10, No. 3 (“Tristesse”) with its poetic and lingering ‘sad’ melody played confidently by Isaacs with feeling and emotion. It’s a most beautiful melody. This was followed by the Etude Op. 25 No.  1 “Aeolian Harp” with its flowing use of rapid arpeggios requiring both dexterity and velocity.

Next came 3 Rachmaninoff Preludes in D major, Op. 23 No. 4, Prelude in E flat major, Op. 23 No.6 and Prelude in G sharp minor, Op. 32 No.12. The soulful melancholy melodies and noted use of arpeggios in these piece suited this pianist well.

The Debussy ‘Arabesque No. 1’ piece followed. One could sense that this piece resonated strongly with this pianist. The flowing, melodic and impressionistic style of Debussy has been quoted as an influence on some of Isaac’s style and compositions.

Eric Satie Gymnopedie No. 1 followed played in a highly restrained soulful manner completing the first half of the program with Francis Poulenc ‘Intermezzo No. 2 in D flat major’.

The second half of the program followed after a short interval.

Isaac’s performed excerpts from his “Children’s Songs (2011) original compositions No. 2 “Gentle Swing’, No. 4 Lullaby 1 and No. 18 Absheid (nicht). These are amongst a collection of eighteen piano pieces that describe a childhood scene or mood and contain both classical and jazz elements. The mood of these pieces were a mixture of the wistful and playful with the tempo at a moderate pace. Gentle Swing (#2) was very soothing and innocent, while Lullaby (#4) could almost put the listener to sleep. Abscheid (#18) was also hypnotic and serene.

The concert ended with the world premiere of “Three Impromptus (2017)” which was quite a treat. These pieces were entirely extemporised i.e. the pianist just made the pieces up on the spot without any prior idea of what he was going to play.

Isaac’s classical background and considerable technique shone through. The first piece commenced with gusto, forte with a high use of octaves delivering a forceful lovely melody. The second and third pieces were more melodic, beautiful and soulful with lots of chord progression.

Isaac’s has described his third piece as “quite grandiloquent”, “being surprised when it came out like that” and “I just play what I hear in the moment”. I would most certainly have to agree with him.

After a resounding applause he treated the audience to his unique jazz version of the “Wave” by Antonio Carlos Jobim, the famous Brazilian bossa nova composer.

This was a delightful concert featuring a pianist playing classical music with passion.

Be sure to see Mark Isaac perform jazz with his new trio at Foundry 616, Ultimo on Wednesday May 17 2017Together with his new trio they will be exploring great melodies – whether standards or “not-so-standards” – with fervour and lyricism.