Tag Archives: Melissa Farrow


Celebrating chamber music from the English and French Baroque, ‘Ayres & Graces’ by the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra featured striking images curated by Australian designer Silvana Azzi Heras projected as background on a stage-wide LED screen behind the musicians with a period music program that spans both sides of the English Channel. We travel to the court of the Sun King Louis XIV in France and Charles 11 in London. The concert was curated and directed by Principal Baroque Flute and Recorder Melissa Farrow. (Artistic Director Paul Dyer was in the audience.)

This performance saw both the audience, heavily reduced in number, temperature checked and Covid spaced and the Orchestra also affected – here reduced to Farrow and Mikaela Oberg on flute and recorders, Rafael Font on violin, Marianne Yeomans on viola, Anton Baba on baroque cello and viola da gamba, and Tommie Anderson on theorbo, baroque guitar and archlute – and spread evenly across the stage. Continue reading AUSTRALIAN BRANDENBURG ORCHESTRA : AYRES AND GRACES



Happy Birthday to the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra! This year marks their 30th birthday and the season began with a glittering , joyous concert. There were many VIPS in the audience and the Orchestra’s playing under the enthusiastic and very energetic baton of Paul Dyer was in superb form . There were huge garlands of flowers across the middle balcony above the Orchestra .

Introductory speeches were made by Bruce Appelbaum the Managing director and then Dame Quentin Bryce .

We heard five of Bach’s Brandendburg Concertos. Written in 1721 the concertos were submitted to a possible patron the Margrave of Brandenburg and are a magnificent showcase to feature the musicians of the Orchestra on their period instruments and continual refinement of Historically Informed Performance style .

First was No. 4 in G major, BWV 1049 in three movements which featured recorders as played by Melissa Farrow and Mikaela Oberg. The first movement was bright and sprightly , the music leaping cascading and pulsating. Shaun Lee Chen had a fiery, insistent solo on his violin .The fluid music became a breathless dialogue for the ensemble.

The second movement was slower with a looping repeated melody and in the third the violins were energetic and emphatic with a featured very fast bubbly trio for Lee- Chen ,Farrow and Oberg on recorder , with another showy solo for Chen . Again a great dialogue ensued between all the ensemble leading to an emphatic conclusion. Continue reading AUSTRALIAN BRANDENBURG ORCHESTRA : BACH’S BRANDENBURG CONCERTOS


Above : Guest Director for this concert, Daniel Pinteño, Baroque violinist. Featured image :  Daniel Pinteño with Australian Brandenburg Orchestra. Photo credit – Steven Godbee

Who better to give Sydney  some previously unheard Baroque music from Spain in vivid premiere this spring than the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra? Their latest instalment in this year’s diverse set of concert formats is MEDITERRANEO. It is a joyous return to instrumental playing alone without stage production. Led and inspired by charismatic Spanish violinist Daniel Pinteño, the orchestra and soloist took us on a vibrant tour of Baroque music from the Mediterranean.

The rich fabric of the chosen programme exposes us to native composers and works from Spain alongside those of Italy and England. The result was striking and fresh as well as giving us the chance to discover also the sensitive and spectacular playing of skilled Baroque violinist Daniel Pinteño. Continue reading AUSTRALIAN BRANDENBURG ORCHESTRA : ‘MEDITERRANEO’ WITH DANIEL PINTEÑO @ CITY RECITAL HALL

Australian Haydn Ensemble: Haydn’s Bravura @ Utzon Room Sydney Opera House

Soprano Celeste Lazarenko sang Haydn and Mozart.
Soprano Celeste Lazarenko sang Haydn and Mozart.

An energetic and enlightened example of a concert format from the late 18th century was welcomed heartily by the crowd attending HAYDN’S BRAVURA. The collaboration between the artistic director of the Australian Haydn Ensemble (AHE), Skye McIntosh and musical director Erin Helyard was dynamic as they led the ensemble with informed resolve and joyous music making in the Sydney Opera House’s Utzon Room.

In late eighteenth century style, this programme added continuo layers to embellish set standard formats such as the string quartet. Also, the Symphony No 102 by Joseph Haydn was not performed as a whole or even in order. Other music was interspersed between the movements in a ‘mash-up’ style to provide events with even more variety. Continue reading Australian Haydn Ensemble: Haydn’s Bravura @ Utzon Room Sydney Opera House

Mozart’s Flute-Australian Haydn Ensemble

Skye McIntosh-Violin, Anthea Cottee-cello and James Eccles-Viola
Inset pic- Skye McIntosh-Violin, Anthea Cottee-cello and James Eccles-Viola. Featured pic- Flautist Melissa Farrow

A concert experience with the Australian Haydn Ensemble (AHE) is one where the carefully and creatively structured programme both delights and educates. This concert, featuring period flautist Melissa Farrow is no exception to such a rule.

In this second concert of the AHE’s 2015 series we are exposed to the chamber music formats of string trio and flute quartet. These two genres alternate throughout the programme. We are presented eighteenth-century fare from well-known composers as well as compositions by Mozart’s lesser known flute-virtuoso contemporaries. Continue reading Mozart’s Flute-Australian Haydn Ensemble

The Marais Project CD -Smörgåsbord!

Tommie Andersson- Arranger, theorbist, period guitarist

For the past fifteen years the Marais Project has augmented their continuing exploration of the 600 works composed by Marin Marais with concerts and recordings of considerable diversity and innovation.

The Project’s fifth CD, SMÖRGÅSBORD! is no exception. Recently released on the Move Records label, it shares aspects of the Swedish musical tradition from pastoral hymn tune through folksong and Baroque instrumental music to 21st century composition.

A stellar cast of a male vocalist and period instrumentalists bring to life a work from Marin Marais’ oeuvre as well as the variety of Swedish music. Fine arrangements by Tommie Andersson in the Baroque guise make up an impressive thirteen of the twenty-four tracks. Continue reading The Marais Project CD -Smörgåsbord!