Music

DAVID HOBSON AND LUCY DURACK IN CONCERT : THREE DOUBLE PASSES

The Producers of NIGHT AT THE BARRACKS, NORTH HEAD, MANLY, are excited to announce the full program for the inaugural concert series to be held from Friday 9 September over five weekends. This amazing line-up of artists will perform on a specially built outdoor stage in the beautiful setting of the historic barracks.  

New additions of Josh Pyke with Emma Donovan and the Putbacks, Something For Kate, The Rubens, Bjorn Again, Winston Surfshirt :  and Tim Finn will be joining the already announced line up for a series of unforgettable concerts in Manly this September. 

For the first time ever, audiences will bask in this enchanting location that is steeped in history and natural beauty while soaking up the artistry of Australia’s biggest names in music, theatre, pop, indie rock, opera, jazz and contemporary dance. Continue reading DAVID HOBSON AND LUCY DURACK IN CONCERT : THREE DOUBLE PASSES

HERE @ ANNANDALE CREATIVE ARTS

Formed in response to the lost bond of intimacy between neighbours during lockdown,  HERE explores the theme of locality and transition through a collaboration between words, music, and visuals.

Original poetry and integrative art unify the quiet story of  HERE and its reflections on place, identity, and the act of re-gathering in the wake of change. Interwoven musical compositions including 4 world premieres are brought to life by the unique colours of harp, recorder, saxophone, and piano.

Concert : HERE

Date : 30 May 2022 between 7.30pm and 8.30pm

Duration: 1 hour.

Venue: Chapel @ Annandale Creative Arts Centre, 81 Johnston Street, Annandale

Tickets are being offered on a sliding scale of $20-$40 in recognition of the impact of Covid; we encourage you to attend and pay what you can. This event is made possible through the support of the Inner West Council and Create NSW.

The concert is being performed by  Tristan Coelho, Alicia Crossley, Emily Granger, Nicole W. Lee, Andrew Smith

music by : Paul Castles, Alice Chance, Tristan Coelho, Anthony Moles

poetry by : Nicole W. Lee, Mkhululi Mabija, Sibyl Kempson

artwork by : Charlotte Fetherston

https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/here-tickets-332557547577

GINGER CAT! DARREN COGGAN’S TRIBUTE TO CAT STEVENS

 

This is a tribute show by Darren Coggan celebrating Cat Steven’s life events and not a mere re-production of the lyrics to his songs.  In fact Darren’s vocal authenticity and timbre delivers Cat Steven’s passionate songs.  The quality and nuances of Coggan’s voice were so close to Cat Steven’s original   that if the audience were blind-folded it would not be easy to differentiate between the two of them.

Darren’s enthusiastic sister Naomi Coggan (from Wagga) belted out impressive keyboard skills and provided boisterous but melodic accompaniment to her brother’s rendition of Cat’s prolific bass and baritone songs.  Darren is an outstanding singer, actor and musical story-writer, who not only re-created the live voice of Cat Stevens but portrayed his dramatic life narratives.

Stephen Demetre Georgiou was born on 21 July 1948 in Soho London.  His mother was Swedish and his father Greek-Cypriot.His family ran a restaurant where Steven – (later ‘Cat’ a reference to his feline eyes by a girlfriend) worked. In this Bloomsbury environment he  absorbed the heady Soho influence of the Beatles, and was influenced by Bob Dylan.  His father paid eight pounds for his first guitar and he  began writing his first songs. He realized that you could combine poetry with music.  Continue reading GINGER CAT! DARREN COGGAN’S TRIBUTE TO CAT STEVENS

SYDNEY PHILHARMONIA CHOIR : JUBILATION : HANDEL AND HAYDN : TWO DOUBLE PASSES

Sydney Philharmonia Choirs are set to mark their final Sydney Town Hall concert for 2022 with a grand afternoon of 18th century festive music, brought to life by their Festival Chorus. One of the Choirs’ biggest concerts of the year with more than  300 singers taking to the stage, Jubilation: Handel & Haydn juxtaposes momentous works from two of the world’s most  celebrated composers with fresh new contemporary compositions, for a powerfully uplifting performance that promises to lift  the roof. One concert only, 3pm Sunday May 22. 

Jubilation: Handel & Haydn begins with Handel’s four majestic Coronation Anthems, commissioned by King George II of  Great Britain for the occasion of his and Queen Caroline’s coronation at Westminster Abbey in October 1727. Perfectly  capturing the pomp and splendour of the occasion, the works are also renowned as a celebration of the Baroque era at its  most opulent and glorious – expect resounding voices and music that bursts with colour and energy.  

Still in use today, Handel’s centuries-old compositions remain the best known and most popular coronation anthems and  celebratory works ever written. Zadok the Priest, in particular, has been performed at every British coronation since its debut;  and since 1992 – when it was rearranged as anthem for the UEFA Champions League, one of the world’s most prestigious  football tournaments – become instantly recognisable as one of the most epic sports songs of all time.  Continue reading SYDNEY PHILHARMONIA CHOIR : JUBILATION : HANDEL AND HAYDN : TWO DOUBLE PASSES

MUSICA VIVA: VAN DIEMEN’S BAND – ‘BORDERLANDS’ @ CITY RECITAL HALL

 

Artistic Director and founder of Van Diemen’s Band, violinist  Julia Fredersdorff.

Van Diemen’s Band are touring nationally for Musica Viva. Members for this tour are (l to r) Simone Slattery (violin and recorder) Lara Vaughan (bass viol), Anton Baba (bass viol and cello), Julia Fredersdorff (Artistic Director and violin), Katie Yap (viola) and Donald Nicholson (harpsichord).

As a concert concept, Borderlands, with its connotations of cultural sharing, division, battle and even distance, isolation or loneliness is a meaty, still-relevant and emotional one indeed.

Artistic Director of Tasmanian-based early music outift, Van Diemen’s Band,  Julia Fredersdorff, has structured an elegant, thought-provoking, emotion-stirring event to take on national tour with Musica Viva. It will charm, wow and  impress both seasoned connoisseurs of early music and newcomers to HIP (Historically Informed Peformance) concerts alike.

Described as ‘Australia’s Baroque supergroup’, Fredersdorff and friends launch onto the Musica Viva stage with refined elegance, secure brand and innovative, intelligent band set list.

Assisted by Fredersdorff’s warm, candid commentary, the concert begins with the group’s signature seventeenth-century vibe. There are classic and new hits to be had here from the charismatic cohort. Continue reading MUSICA VIVA: VAN DIEMEN’S BAND – ‘BORDERLANDS’ @ CITY RECITAL HALL

BEL A CAPPELLA : ‘ANCIENT LANDS’ @ ST AUGUSTINE’S CATHOLIC CHURCH BALMAIN


Featured image: Bel a cappella and Artistic and Musical Director Anthony Pasquill got their 2022 concert season off to a great start with this programme. Photo credit : Karen Watson.

In the lush setting of St Augustine’s Catholic Church in Balmain this moving concert  delivered seven innovative works, predominantly from the last fifteen years.

Celebrating a variety of text languages and clever textural use of the choir, this substantial programme championed an effective creation of successful successive soundscapes. Local composers Kate Moore, Alice Chance and Joseph Twist explored in their works a unique painting of beautiful and demanding choral densities.

Conductor Anthony Pasquill and members of Bel a cappella gifted us a pleasing range of modern choral gesturing. This was not only from the three  Australian works featured. It was also in satisfying evidence from superstar northern hemisphere choral composers Rautavaara, Ešenvalds and Eric Whitacre.

This offering travelled to the lands of ancient church music and returned with  techniques and moods excitingly refreshed. The programme was bookended with stunning newness of approach from two of our local composers.

The traditional idea of church procession and flow in life as well as ceremony was developed in Kate Moore’s Eclipsed Vision (2006). This opened the event with all vocalists in orbit around the church and congregation.

Above : Composer Kate Moore’s ‘Eclipsed Vision’ opened this concert.

Cycles of moving singers chose cards indicating new single notes to emit into the area on each circuit. This created a magical musical counterpoint with hypnotic choreography as Bel a cappella took possession of the acoustic and physical space.

At the concert’s conclusion following another manipulation of church practice, namely hymn singing was Joseph Twist’s Hymn of Ancient Lands (2016) which ended the colourful programme.

Here the 7th century latin text in the choir’s lines surrounded soprano soloist Margot McLaughlin’s phrases. Her nicely shaped solo lines emanated from the complexity in true hymn-like even,  steadfast tone, but in a new hymn accent of ancient English. This was cleverly pitted against the Latin.

Above: Bel a cappella celebrated the text setting talent of Alice Chance  (pictured) by perfoming her work from 2018, ‘Holy Dreaming’

Australian composer Alice Chance’s  Holy Dreaming (2018) at the concert’s centre was a layered treat of reiteration and word shaping. This work and its performance was a joyous tracing of the vivid thanksgiving text by First Nations Rev Lenore Parker (A Prayer Book for Australia 1999)

Chance’s intensity of musical examination, re-examination, and celebration of the English text’s internal rhythmic code were seamlessly realised in lithe discussion by the choir.

Woven throughout the programme were movements of Einojuhani Rautavaara’s virtuosic Missa a Cappella (2010-11). This setting’s artillery of effects, sweeping vocal vistas and multi-tracked choral comments took the musical mass to new heights and challenging contemporary extremes.

This demanding work was managed by the skilful vocal ensemble with breathtaking clarity and newness of nuance.

In collaboration with percussionist Josh Hill on marimba, the text from the Ute people of North America shone in complex overlap in Ešenvalds’  Earth teach Me Quiet (2013).  Conductor and choir carefully shaped the successive proverb-like affirmations and English text transformations with bold layers of yearning.

Above: Joseph Twist’s work ‘Hymn of Ancient Lands for divided choir and soprano was a stunning conclusion to this concert.

An exploration of scene and narative imbued the performance of American composer Eric Whitacre’s Sainte-Chapelle (2013). The work also gave us this concert’s most reverberant moments.

Intersecting lands of the ancient Latin language and the scenario of a modern girl experiencing the awesome chapel were vibrantly explored. The work was composed originally  for The Tallis Scholars and served here to showcase this capable choir.

This programme also delved into the twentieth century via Igor Stravinsky’s 1959 completion of Gesualdo’s  fractured score of Da pacem Domine. This inclusion enabled more verve, colour, contour and expert combination of ancient and new vistas by the choir.

As throughout the entire event, we were enticed in this work into the rewarding land of unaccompanied choral comment that this concert continually offered and celebrated.

The next Bel a cappella concert also promises to thrill us with premiere performances and Australian music, on August 21.

 

NEXT CHAPTERS ABOVE/BELOW : A WONDROUS EXPERIENCE

A visually spectacular and aural feast as the combined talents of the Willoughby Symphony Orchestra (WSO) and Legs on the Wall ( Legs ) unite to bring us NEXT CHAPTERS ABOVE/BELOW .It was performed and filmed at the Concourse , Chatswood as part of the Chatswood Bites season and streamed by the Australian Digital Concert Hall. 

Musically we hear contemporary classical works, mostly by Australian composers but also Arvo Part. Included are Elena Kats-Chernin’s Wild Swans Suite (which accentuates the use of harp, piano and celeste) and Graeme Koehne’s Just Walk Beside Me. Not forgetting Matthew Hindson’s The Stars Above Us All

They are joined by soprano Susannah Lawergren,.  in a rich, multi-layered, highly accomplished performance energetically, enthusiastically led by Willoughby Symphony conductor Dr. Sarah Penicka-Smith.

There are great sequences showing the Orchestra.  The three performers from Legs on the Wall, Isabel Estrella , Anna McCulla and Romain Hassanin, perform on the thrust stage at the front of the Orchestra. Sometimes, very briefly, Lawergren also ‘flies‘ while singing. Continue reading NEXT CHAPTERS ABOVE/BELOW : A WONDROUS EXPERIENCE

MONSIEUR CAMEMBERT @ THE CAMELOT LOUNGE

Closely after it was conceived in 1997 I have been following and thoroughly entertained by Monsieur Camembert over the years. When my late father saw them play at Manly Beach in the early 1980s he enthused that it was the best Klezmer band  that he had heard since he left Poland in 1939.
On the most recent occasion I found myself for the first time attending at the band’s spiritual and physical home, the Camelot Lounge in Marrickville. As a result the band played in an expanded format which included a grand piano and a full set of drums.
The Camelot Lounge was founded by lead singer and South African import Yaron Hallis. The band’s mixture of gypsy, tango and yiddish melodies with a smattering of Leonard Cohen songs had the audience toe tapping and swaying if seated and dancing in the cramped aisles.
The band will be playing an alternate set of music entitled ‘Golden Earrings’ on May 30, 2022.
All images by Ben Apfelbaum

AUSTRALIAN MONODY : A NEW ALBUM FROM THE MARAIS PROJECT : THREE CDS

Susie Bishop

The Marais Project – an early music ensemble – is releasing  a brilliant and typically eclectic new album this month: AUSTRALIAN MONODY. And it will celebrate the launch with a concert PRECIOUS COLOURS at the Independent Theatre North Sydney this Saturday afternoon 7 May!

Performers include Russell Harcourt, countertenor; Susie Bishop, voice & violin; Jennifer Eriksson, viola da gamba; Catherine Upex, viola da gamba; and Tommie Andersson, theorbo, 9 course lute & 9-string classical-era guitar.

The repertoire for Australian Monody spans from greats of the past – Henry Purcell, John Dowland, Marin Marais and colonial composer, Isaac Nathan – to works by living composers Carl Vine, Gordon Kerry, Alice Chance, and Michael Nyman. Marais Project singer, Susie Bishop, also contributes an original song. In all, there are three world premieres including a new movement written by music director and viola da gambist Jenny Eriksson – composed to close the Marais suite. Continue reading AUSTRALIAN MONODY : A NEW ALBUM FROM THE MARAIS PROJECT : THREE CDS

MUSIC FOR UKRAINE : A CLASSICAL GALA CONCERT

Six weeks ago Maria Timofeeva and Victoria Stepanenko thought of having a charity concert in aid of Ukraine. Within the next three weeks philanthropist Judith Neilson, the City Recital Hall, Caritas Australia, four commercial organisations, fifteen musicians and a dozen volunteers were ready to promote Music for Ukraine. Three weeks later, April 27, almost 1000 people filled the City Recital Hall and heard an amazing gala concert. That’s six weeks from inception to concert! This amazing feat speaks of the support Sydney feels for Ukraine.

The engaging Vladimir Fanshil, a Ukrainian by birth and talented Australian musician, introduced the fifteen pieces played by Australia’s top classical musicians, playing Leonard Bernstein (whose grandparents were Ukrainian), Prokofiev (born in Ukraine), Handel, Rachmaninov, Bruch, Schubert, Puccini, Bellini and Mozart. Katie Noonan’s signature piece ‘Bluebird’ was accompanied by the Alma Moodie String Quartet. Noonan’s take on ‘Somewhere’ in Westside Story, accompanied by the wonderful Alice Giles on harp, sings the right sentiment: “There’ll be a new way of living” ….  everyone hopes there will one day be a new way of living and humankind might grow up and grow out of warring.  Continue reading MUSIC FOR UKRAINE : A CLASSICAL GALA CONCERT

PINCHGUT OPERA : THE SPIRITUAL FOREST

A luscious, gorgeous concert brought to us by the excellent Pinchgut Opera.It was filmed at the City Recital Hall on April 3 and streamed as part of the Pinchgut at Home series .As ever Erin Helyard conducts the distinguished Orchestra of the Antipodes and there are some impressive singers.

Pinchgut here performs ten selections of mostly psalm settings from the challenging 1641 opus, Selva morale e spirituale by Monteverdi , utilizing the landmark anthology of liturgical works that he composed during his career in Venice. The last collection of Monteverdi’s music published in his lifetime, it embodies the ultimate flourishing of his brilliance.

In this setting , Monteverdi fuses instruments , text , music and voices. While its intention is spiritual, the compilation is full of dance ,drama and blends words and music, voices and instruments. Monteverdi combines old and new styles of writing.As always , Helyard and Pinchgut play close , detailed attention to the structure and text of the music.

Pinchgut Opera’s eight-strong vocal ensemble comprises sopranos Chloe Lankshear (the inaugural Taryn Fiebig Scholar) and Amy Moore, mezzo-sopranos Hannah Fraser and Anna Fraser, tenors Louis Hurley (who was recently appointed as The Humanity Foundation Taryn Fiebig Scholar) and Richard Butler, and basses David Greco and Andrew O’Connor. Continue reading PINCHGUT OPERA : THE SPIRITUAL FOREST

OMEGA ENSEMBLE: ‘CONTINUUM’ @ SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE

Above:  Dr Lou Bennett and Omega Ensemble musicicans in workshop. Photo credit : Laura Manariti. Featured image : Dr Lou Bennett, whose commissioned work, ‘nyernur, nyakur – to hear, to see’ was heard in world premiere at this concert. Photo credit: Romaine Moreton.

This touching concert programme amplifies the ability of bold, courageous, innovative composers to use music as a response to predicament and environment. From reflecting daily routine, through displacement, being a victim or continuing to create as a survivor, the music featured in Continuum is presented in parallel to suffering or restarts.

The penetrating performances by Omega Ensemble musicians and Dr Lou Bennett resonate well in the current national and global climate. The concert communicates using musical and extra-musical strength and colour.

This continuum of artistic strength and the shifting, variegated strength of an accomplished ensemble voice is excitingly explored in this event. The soundscapes created, no matter how horrifying the scene or how challenged the society it emerges from, remain in the hands of these performers an energetic expression as pure, joyous and integral to our environment as birdsong, spirituality and a meditative stillness.

This event begins with Arvo Pärt’s well known Spiegel im Spiegel in the composer’s arrangement for cello and piano rather than the original violin and piano version. The gentle, continuous triadic flux on keyboard with restrained, distanced bird-like or bell chime effects is perfectly introduced by Omega Ensemble pianist Vatche Jambazian. It is an indication of the precise and wide-ranging nuance to follow in this concert.

Above : Omega Ensemble pianist Vatche Jambazian. Photo credit : Keith Saunders.

The darker timbre of cello for this modern classic is here seamlessly evoked and maintained in beautiful slow-burn cycles of song by cellist Paul Stender. The gentle complexity of the subtle statements fill the Utzon Room landscape in measured line.

Pärt’s gentle voice and cleverly architectured style, despite harsh criticism by the Soviet regime which also plunged his original homeland into crisis is a fitting prelude to the sentiment of firm spirit continuing in the  works which follow it.

Continuum as a concert programme pivots around the world premiere of a composition by Dr Lou Bennett AM. This is a joint commission by Omega Ensemble and Musica Viva. The composer’s approach to listening is explained in the concert’s excellent programme notes.

This involves respectfully listening to sound in the environment as a human, a non-intrusive part of the landscape, then reorganising it for Western chamber ensemble, which has thrilling results here.

The work’s completion and premiere follows workshops with Omega Ensemble by the Yorta Yorta Dja Dja Wurrung songwriter, director, curator actor and founding member of the popular nineties vocal group Tiddas.

 This work, nyernur, nyakur – to hear, to see includes arrangement contributions by Iain Grandage. It begins with the playing of recorded birdsong from sunrise, which the composer moulds into individual strands for the ensemble to play after this introduction.

Above : Artistic Director and Founder of Omega Ensemble, clarinettist David Rowden. Photo credit: Keith Saunders.

Over the transformed, interlocking instrumental gestures gifted from nature, a recorded vocal line at this concert in language from Lou Bennett adds the human element to the other immense range of birdsong and instrumental colour.

The Omega musicians take good care here to maintain a delicate balance with the vocal element and evoke the sunrise as well as music of nature and Country.

This work’s multi-stranded, networked design demands intricate single lines and skilful overlap of the voice, recording and instrumental elements. Here an active stillness is virtuosically, respectfully achieved by the Omega superstars of piano (Vatche Jambazian), violin (Alexandra Osborne), clarinet (David Rowden) and cello (Paul Stender).

The exciting conclusion to this concert event is Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time. This classic born in a WW2 Stalag in 1941 was written for performance to entertain Nazi officers and Messiaen’s fellow prisoners. Using available instruments discovered in the prison, this somewhat rare chamber music line-up continues the concert’s focus of chiming bells, birdsong, meditatitve elements across changing ensemble textures and spirituality of the bigger picture.

Pianist Vatche Jambazian is a formidable anchor across the sprawling work as Messiaen’s unique and changeable rhythmic and colour language depicts in elaborate, simmering architecture the biblical Book of Revelation fragment.

Above : Cellist Paul Stender. Photo credit : Keith Saunders.

Omega Ensemble in this work moves in broad strokes as it conquers the difficulties of creating the composer’s signature drive, unique shapes, rhythmic language, demanding reiterations and textural shifts. Here the work speaks out in broad strokes and with clarity despite complexities as rigorous shifts in mood, volume and juxtaposition of musical motifs are managed.

For anyone who has never heard David Rowden’s solo clarinet work in the third movement, Abyss of the Birds, it is worth attending this concert just to witness his approach to extremes of volume, shape and depiction of emptiness and loss. String effects and undulations of colour and surfaces from glassy to spikiest, scariest on-edge protest are also scintillating.

This concert concept is a dynamic, moving  package of sound and a thrilling celebration of ensemble music. Entertaining us is the directness of these ensemble musicians and composers so gifted in portraying feeling and features of landscapes various. We survive the continuum together.

This combination of powerful works cries out as being major-recording ready. However, its flow is also such a worthwhile live experience.

The Opera House concerts have finished, but two concerts remain at the Melbourne Recital Centre on April 28.

 

AHE WITH SYDNEY CHAMBER CHOIR PRESENT HAYDN’S ORATORIO THE CREATION

HAYDN’S CREATION : Presented by the Australian Haydn Ensemble in partnership with Canberra International Music Festival and in collaboration with Sydney Chamber Choir.

Sunday 1 May 5pm at City Recital Hall, Sydney

Bookings
cityrecitalhall.com or 8256 2222
Tickets from $75/$65 Under 30s $40
Roland Peelman
 Conductor

Sydney Chamber Choir
Australian Haydn Ensemble 
directed by Skye McIntosh
Alexandra Oomens 
Soprano
Andrew Goodwin 
Tenor

James Ioelu
 Baritone

224 years after its premiere, Sydney Chamber Choir joins the Australian Haydn Ensemble and three superb soloists under the guest direction of Roland Peelman for the Australian period-instrument premiere of Haydn’s monumental oratorio The Creation.

This majestic oratorio has always been one of the composer’s most popular works, and in many ways represents the summit of his craft. His transition from a musical depiction of nothingness to the choir’s blazing ‘And there was light’ is one of the great moments in music, and enough to raise the hair of believers and cosmologists alike. The Big Bang is a hard act to follow, but Haydn effortlessly nails it, sustaining over 100 minutes of orchestral tone painting, mighty choruses and lilting arias.

 

THE ABO IN CONCERT WITH ACCLAIMED CLARINETIST CRAIG HILL

Australian period clarinetist Craig Hill 

The Australian Brandenburg Orchestra  (ABO) will perform with special guest soloist, Australian period clarinetist Craig Hill for Mozart’s Clarinet. Featuring Mozart’s Concerto in A major for basset clarinet, this is the composer’s final instrumental work before his early death two months later at 35-years-old. The concerts will take place at Sydney’s City Recital Hall (28 April – 14 May), Melbourne Recital Centre (5 – 8 May) and finally at Parramatta’s Riverside Theatres (13 May).

Friend of the Brandenburg, Craig Hill has an over forty-three-year history with Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto, performing the piece over many decades including twice with the Brandenburg. While the wistful Adagio is familiar to many from its use in numerous well-known film scores such as Out of Africa and The King’s Speech, Hill will perform on the traditional period basset clarinet in a rare chance for audiences to hear the work on the instrument it was originally intended and from one of the country’s leading clarinetists. Continue reading THE ABO IN CONCERT WITH ACCLAIMED CLARINETIST CRAIG HILL

SIMON TEDESCHI TO PERFORM GERSHWIN @ THE JOAN

Well it may not be ‘Summertime’ right now, but ‘the livin’ is easyat the Jazz Joint when extraordinary concert pianist, Simon Tedeschi, comes to The Joan on Friday 6 May for one not to be missed performance of the music of the legendary George Gershwin. 

Perhaps more than any other classical pianist, Simon is renowned for his performances of Gershwin, who has in many ways been a musical ‘accompaniment’ to Tedeschi’s life. With three celebrated albums of Gershwin’s music and countless acclaimed performances of ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ under his fingers, Simon presents a suite of favourites including iconic works such as ‘Summertime’, ‘I Got Rhythm’ and more, alongside music of composers from Gershwin’s world, such as Rachmaninov, Chopin, Debussy and Fats Waller. Continue reading SIMON TEDESCHI TO PERFORM GERSHWIN @ THE JOAN

THOROUGHBASS CONCERT : MARY AND ME @ MOSMAN ART GALLERY

Mary Sambell and Diana Weston

Long-standing friends finally meet up for some personal music-making. Mary Sambell – pianist, accompanist, teacher and music educator – joins Thoroughbass director Diana Weston for some truly delightful duets.

Come join us to hear a celebration of Australian music – Ross Edwards’ A Flight of Sunbirds, Diana Blom’s Cloud Studies and Ann Carr-Boyd’s starry pieces from Starburst alongside her absolutely captivating newly minted suites Percy crosses the Nullabor and Percy goes to Mudgee. 

Ann’s pieces have recently been recorded by Mary & Me and will appear as ‘Space Junk’ under the Wirripang label. 

Thoroughbass : Mary and Me

Saturday June 18 at 4 pm

Mosman Art Gallery, Art Gallery Way, Mosman

Pay at the door $35, credit cards accepted, bookings 0411 375 821

http://www.thoroughbass.com.au

 

 

ACO ANNOUNCES OPENING FESTIVAL @ WALSH BAY ARTS PRECINCT

Jimmy Barnes in concert.

The ACO celebrates the opening of its new home with special guests including William Barton, Jimmy Barnes, Jane Campion, Omar Musa, Genevieve Lacey, Slava Grigoryan and more.

The Australian Chamber Orchestra will celebrate the opening of its spectacular new home at Pier 2/3 with a full weekend of festivities including thrilling live concerts, boundary-pushing collaborations, stimulating talks, engaging family shows, digital live streams and more.

Over three days, the ACO will throw open the doors of its harbourside home at Pier 2/3 in Sydney’s revitalised Walsh Bay Arts Precinct, inviting audiences to experience the full spectrum of its new programming offerings at this state-of-the-art performing arts space for the first time. Continue reading ACO ANNOUNCES OPENING FESTIVAL @ WALSH BAY ARTS PRECINCT

BLACKHEATH CHAMBER MUSIC FESTIVAL 2022 NEXT WEEKEND

William and Veronique

After a stellar debut in 2021, Blackheath Chamber Music Festival returns in April 2022 for a wonderful 4-day ANZAC weekend of exquisite classical music, featuring some of Australia’s outstanding artists – sourced nationally, internationally and locally.

Featuring a dozen concerts and 45 top-drawer artists, the festival – this year with the theme of ‘Blue Mist’ –  takes place in the Phillips Hall, opposite Blackheath Railway Station, next to picturesque Blackheath Gardens.

The sublime music-making begins on Friday afternoon 22 April 12.30pm with an appropriately bluesy, ‘saxy’ feel and an Afternoon of Gershwin, featuring Nexas Quartet joined by one of Australia’s best-loved pianists, Gerard Willems AM.  At 3.30pm, shimmering New York-based Australian pianist Andrea Lam (pictured left) presents a recital showcasing her “thrilling virtuosity, melting lyricism and spirited eloquence” –  with the audience able to choose some of the pieces she will play! In the evening, from 8.00pm, the popular Goldner String Quartet return with a classical selection both elegant and silkily stylish.   Continue reading BLACKHEATH CHAMBER MUSIC FESTIVAL 2022 NEXT WEEKEND

SYDNEY PHILHARMONIA CHOIRS BACH : MASS IN B MINOR

Sydney Philharmonia Choir. pic Keith Saunders

A fine Easter Saturday in Sydney, The Sydney Philharmonia choir, Bach – three ingredients guaranteed to make a most enjoyable afternoon and this concert at the Stdney Town Hall certainly did not disappoint.

The Sydney Philharmonia choir is a wonderful Sydney institution. The near to capacity audience on a sunny Saturday afternoon confirms the affection in which they are held by the public. I have participated in their public choirs on more than one occasion in the past and it has been a fabulous experience each time. I urge everyone to do this!

Today’s concert featured the Chamber Singers and Vox choir. The Vox choir is a group of talented singers aged 18-30,and together with the more experienced Chamber choir  under the talented  leadership of Elizabeth Scott they gave a wonderfully measured rendition  of  Johann Sebastien Bach’s Mass in B minor.

This is one of the great Bach’s final works, begun in 1733 but finished in the 1740’s when Bach had already grown blind. It was never performed in its entirety in his lifetime. It is a huge work of enormous complexity and one of the finest achievements of classical music – in the words of Elizabeth Scott: ‘containing some of the best music written by arguably the best composer to have ever lived.’ Continue reading SYDNEY PHILHARMONIA CHOIRS BACH : MASS IN B MINOR

BEL A CAPPELLA : ANCIENT LANDS @ ST AUGUSTINE’S, BALMAIN

Sydney based chamber choral ensemble Bel a cappella has a concert
coming up on May 8 – Mother’s Day.

What better way to spend some time with Mum than to treat her to some  beautiful music in the stunning acoustic of St Augustine’s, Balmain?

Artistic and Music Director Anthony Pasquill’s style of programming is  renowned for creating an exciting combination of both unknown  compositions and some signature works in the choral repertoire that  always delights both singers of Bel and their audiences. This concert  is no exception…

In ANCIENT LANDS Bel a cappella perform Einojuhani Rautavaara’s Missa  a cappella, undoubtedly one of Rautavaara’s finest works, alongside  Australian composers Kate Moore – Eclipsed Vision and Joseph Twist –  Hymn of Ancient Lands, a work which expresses Australia’s passion for traveling overseas and exploring many different lands, combined with a  deep sense of belonging and respect for our own unique and magnificent  landscape.

Also in the concert are works by renowned choral composers including  Ešenvalds (featuring Josh Hill on Marimba), Gesualdo, Whitacre, plus  Alice Chance’s setting of Revd Lenore Parker’s prayer God of Holy  Dreaming. Many of these works were performed by Bel just a few weeks ago in the Bowral Autumn Music Festival to great critical acclaim.

PROGRAM
Alice Chance: Holy Dreaming
Eriks Ešenvalds: Earth teach me quiet
Gesualdo/Stravinsky: Da pacem Domine
Kate Moore: Eclipsed Vision
Einojuhani Rautavaara: Missa a Cappella
Joseph Twist: Hymn of Ancient Lands
Eric Whitacre: Sainte-Chapelle

BEL A CAPPELLA | ANCIENT LANDS
SUNDAY MAY 8, 3PM
ST AUGUSTINE’S, BALMAIN
$45 | $35 | $20
https://www.trybooking.com/BXGUB
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MUSICA VIVA AUSTRALIA PRESENT VAN DIEMEN’S BAND

Musica Viva Australia will present Tasmanian Baroque ensemble, Van Diemen’s Band, in  seven cities across Australia from 26th April to 14th May. 

Van Diemen’s Band, referred to as “Australia’s Baroque supergroup”, is made up of the  country’s most highly respected early music specialists. Founded in 2016 by violinist Julia  Fredersdorff, Van Diemen’s Band explores the creativity and freedom of expression in music  of the baroque while deferring to historical sources on style and instrumentation. 

Presenting a program that explores the historic borderlands of Europe, Van Diemen’s Band  will highlight some of the remarkable music that was composed in times of significant, sweeping change – whether that be as the result of cultural exchange or violent conquest.  Continue reading MUSICA VIVA AUSTRALIA PRESENT VAN DIEMEN’S BAND

PACIFIC OPERA AND WILLOUGHBY SYMPHONY : THE MAGIC FLUTE

Directed by Peter Coleman-Wright AO, conducted by Luke Spicer and showcasing the magnificent talents of Pacific Opera and Willoughby Symphony ,this is a bright, bold and colourful abridged version of Mozart’s opera. Performed and filmed at the Concourse, Chatswood, it was streamed online by the Australian Digital Concert Hall.

The MAGIC FLUTE was sung in German with English and traditional Chinese scene descriptions. Produced in association with the Australia China Institute for Arts and Culture at the Western Sydney University, the opera, staged with an Asian aesthetic,was part of Chatswood Culture Bites 2022 and Willoughby Council’s Year of the Tiger festival.

The opera recounts the adventures of Prince Tamino, an Asian price, and the bird-catcher Papageno on their quest to rescue Princess Pamina. Lost in a foreign land, Tamino is pursued by an enormous dragon, among the many trials and tribulations they must conquer. To assist their mission, they are given musical instruments with magical powers, which they use on their journey towards a deeper understanding of true love and happiness .The opera is multi layered but at times sprightly , a quest of self discovery ,worldly mysterious , metaphysical yet dynamic .Mozart’s score ranges from folk melodies , noble classical arias for Tamino and the Baroque fierceness of the Queen of the Night’s showcase aria There are also the Masonic elements alluded to that got Mozart into such trouble at the time. Some arias are absent as are the animals and chorus.

Staging and choreography are kept simple but are very effective, with great lighting effects and an uncomplicated set, often green, with small square ottomans for characters to sit on if necessary.

The plot is condensed into its crucial points.The gaps are filled in with the synopsis on the back screen , the excellent costuming and make-up (bright colours and face makeup for the good characters; dark colours for the evil ones) and the clear, dramatic lighting .
Luke Spicer enthusiastically,scrupulously conducted the somewhat reduced orchestra (yet every section was included). Musically it was splendid, the orchestra adroitly supporting the singers.

Our hero Prince Tamino (Daniel Verschuer) was all in white and has a charismatic presence and gave a warmly lyrical performance. Princess Pamina was given a fine performance by Mikayla Tate.

Nick Geddes as Papageno was tremendous, boisterous and jocular in his tattered , patched bright and colourful outfit . (Not forgetting his Pan pipes and xylophone).

Rachel Mink as Papagena was fresh and delightful and was in fine form with her sonorous voice. Her duet with Geddes was charming.

Ayako Ohtake as Queen of the Night was extremely striking and impressive with her showcase aria where she shoots furious icy sparks. She was majestically, imposingly clad in a black gown with a dragon motif and a crown.

Kirralee Hillier, Elizabeth Cooper and Rebecca O’Hanlon as the three attendants of the Queen of the Night are striking in red and are engaging in their ensemble , while the three sprites in white,Melanie Jha, Megan Kim and Olivia Morberger are consistent in their deft trios.
A terrific production, a great way to introduce audiences to opera.

The Pacific Opera/Willoughby Symphony performance of Mozart’s The Magic Flute was performed live at the Concourse, Chatswood 19 February 2022 and was streamed by the Australian Digital Concert Hall 31 March 2022
https://australiandigitalconcerthall.com/#/item/73002
running time 90 minutes no interval

CONCIERTOS DESTILADOS @ JOAN SUTHERLAND PERFORMING ARTS CENTRE

Andrew Blanch. Live at Ken Done Gallery. pic Live Photography

THE PIANIST DANIEL ROJAS INTRODUCES HOW LATIN RIFFS ON HIS BABY GRAND PIANO FUSE WITH ANDREW BLANCH’S VERSATILITY ON HIS GUITAR.  DANIEL CERTAINLY DELIVERS – HE BRINGS THE TANGO OUT OF THE LEGACY OF THE ‘CLAWS’ OF TRADITION WITH HIS NEW UPBEAT LATIN TEMPO.  SO THEIR DUO VERSIONS FOR GUITAR AND PIANO EVOLVE AS AN INSTRUMENT CLOSEST TO AN ORCHESTRA IN ITSELF. SO, HOW DO CONCIERTOS DESTILADOS MAKE AN ORCHESTRA EMERGE FROM ONE PIANO AND ONE GUITAR ACCESSIBLE TO THE AUDIENCE?

THESE ECLECTIC LATIN MUSICIANS ARE SPONTANEOUS AND COUNTER INTUITIVE AS THEY NAVIGATE THEIR WAY THROUGH A BROAD PALETTE OF SOUND. Continue reading CONCIERTOS DESTILADOS @ JOAN SUTHERLAND PERFORMING ARTS CENTRE