Sunday on a sunny brisk Autumn afternoon, a small crowd gathered in the conference room of the Langham Hotel in central Sydney. As New South Wales descended at a glacial pace down through the various stages of covid lockdown The Langham, in cooperation with Andrew McKinnon Presentations, launched “The Salon Series”. This is a monthly event featuring a high profile performer or ensemble accompanied by a delicious meal – either a High Tea or Degustation dinner with wine package.
This month featured renowned pianist Gerard Willems AM. He is Associate Professor at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music but still regularly tours the world performing as a concert soloist and giving master classes. Willems is the first Australian pianist to record all 32 of Beethoven’s piano sonatas and also recorded the complete Piano trios by Mozart so has built a remarkable discography over the decades.
The Salon Series concert saw Willems as a soloist celebrating Beethoven’s 250th birthday (or rather the anniversary of Beethoven’s christening which is as close in history as we can find). The High Tea served by the Langham on a 3 tiered cake stand featured all manner of sweet and savoury delicacies. Willems worked with the chef creating a musical program of pieces to match each delicacy. Some of the matches had historical significance, others were just a playful excuse to enjoy a mouth watering morsel with a sublime piece of music.
There was much laughter, some moments of bliss and very few plates that were completely empty by the close of the concert. A wonderful performance and meal. The Salon Series can be found on the Langham website. Check out the performers for upcoming concerts here: https://www.langhamhotels.com/en/the-langham/sydney/events/the-salon-series/
Featured image : Gerard Williams performing at the Langham. Hotel. Pic David Rowden