Tag Archives: The Metropolitan Orchestra


The final concert in The Metropolitan Orchestra’s eleventh season will cap off another incredible year of music-making with an energised performance setting the scene for an electrifying new year when TMO officially launch their 2020 concert season.

Conducted by Artistic Director and Chief Conductor Sarah-Grace Williams, Met Concert 5 begins with an absolute concert favourite, Borodin’s ‘In The Steppes of Central Asia’. This thematic work sets the scene for an incredible night filled with wonderful musical imagery. Max Bruch’s Violin Concerto No 1 is one of the most famous and most performed violin concertos of all time. TMO introduces their vivacious concertmaster, Victoria Jacono-Gilmovich as soloist for this lyrical and complex work for violin. Continue reading THE METROPOLITAN ORCHESTRA MET CONCERT 5 : BRUCH AND SIBELIUS


The Metropolitan Orchestra (TMO) with Chief Conductor Sarah-Grace Williams are thrilled to once again feature a world premiere work from Australian Composer Jim Coyle in their dramatic final Met Concert of the year.  Concert number 5 is called DRAMA.

The vibrant and enthusiastic work titled Dancing with Billy Bray is the second Coyle World Premiere to be featured by TMO.

Contrary to the vibrant optimism of the Coyle piece is Elgar’s contemplative and sorrowful Cello Concerto. TMO will introduce one of its formidable principal players, Ezmi Pepper, to perform this dramatic work for cello. To complete the rollercoaster of musical emotion will be Franck’s radical Symphony in D. Often regarded as one of the most significant nineteenth century French symphonies ever written, this impressive work will present a dramatically unique conclusion to The Metropolitan Orchestra’s triumphant 2018 Met concert season.

The MET CONCERT #5 from the Metropolitan Orchestra [Facebook] plays Saturday October 27th, 8pm at  Eugene Goossens Hall, ABC Centre, 100 Harris Street Ultimo.  Bookings here.  See more of TMO at their YouTube Channel.

Presented by Cruiseco 

COYLE Dancing with Billy Bray (World Premiere)
ELGAR Cello Concerto
FRANCK Symphony in D

Conductor: Sarah-Grace Williams
Soloists: Ezmi Pepper (TMO Co-Principal Cello)


Above: Piano soloist Tamara-anna Cislovska gave a stunning performance of Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No 2 with TMO.                                                                                                                                        Featured image: Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of TMO, Sarah-Grace Williams

The audience at the ABC Centre’s Eugene Goossens Hall were treated to an all-Russian programme from TMO for its Met Concert #4. Titled ‘Fever’, It presented works from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries by three giants of the Russian music scene . From the evening’s striking opening chord, it was clear that the Russian music would be celebrated with focussed energy, interpretative skill and frisson by the Australian artists.

Joining this busy Australian orchestra as soloist was pianist Tamara-Anna Cislowska. Through her recording, broadcasting, editing and concert work , Tamara-Anna has proved herself over and over to be one of this country’s great musical humans. Who better to join the joyous musical souls of the large-format TMO to clearly  present the heat and diverse complexities of the programmed Russian music. Continue reading THE METROPOLITAN ORCHESTRA : MET CONCERT 4 @ THE ABC CENTRE


Tenor Daniel Belle sang opera and musical theatre hits with TMO strings.

This concert showcased the precision and expressive power of The Metropolitan Orchestra Strings, both on their own and in collaboration with successful tenor Daniel Belle. The flexibility of TMO strings and this singer enabled the programme to shift smoothly from a late nineteenth century work for strings through to popular opera and musical theatre pieces delivered with a comfortable cabaret feel.

TMO strings explored the music of Czech composer Josef Suk in his lush and mostly well-humoured Serenade in E flat major Op 6 (1892).  They opened this concert with a consistently rich and well balanced sound across the ensemble. Continue reading THE METROPOLITAN ORCHESTRA : SERENADE @ THE INDEPENDENT THEATRE, NORTH SYDNEY


Above: Conductor of the Sydney Philharmonia Choirs, Brett Weymark. (©Keith-Saunders)            Featured image  by Michael Corridore.

A glorious performance with great storytelling oratorio fare resulted when Sydney Philharmonia Choirs collaborated very successfully for the first time with The Metropolitan Orchestra. They were joined by soloists Taryn Fiebig (soprano), Nicholas Jones (tenor) and Jud Arthur (bass).

The Creation Hob. XXI:2 by Haydn contains the composer’s unique brand of drama and ability to conjure up environments and creatively convey rousing feelings. Conductor Brett Weymark was in expert control of grading these elements. Overplaying or singing too early in the well- paced interpretation was avoided.

In this concert, the progression of this story with its text from sources including the Bible’s Old Testament and Psalms set to music grew from a crisp, clear and subtle beginning to later climaxes with all forces of immense and awesome proportions. These memorable moments resounded through the Town Hall venue, thrilling the audience and punctuating the three sections of this work. Continue reading THE CREATION : SYDNEY PHILHARMONIA CHOIRS @ SYDNEY TOWN HALL


Featured pic Conductor Brett Weymark. Pic by Keith Saunders.

The Sydney Philharmonia Choirs upcoming concert will feature the presentation of  one of the great 18th Century choral masterworks, Joseph Haydn’s visionary life-affirming masterpiece, THE CREATION.

Offered for one performance only, in one of the most grand performance venues in the country, THE CREATION will  features two of Australia’s finest soloists – multi-award winning soprano Taryn Fiebig, and acclaimed young counter-tenor Nicholas Jones, joined by more than 350 singers from Sydney Philharmonia’s acclaimed Festival Chorus and players from Sydney’s renowned TMO, The Metropolitan Orchestra.

 First performed in 1798, THE CREATION was an overnight success and remains to this day, a favourite amongst audiences worldwide. An epic work of sublime imagination and power, Haydn’s inspired oratorio evokes the creation of the universe with grace and grandeur.                     Continue reading SYDNEY PHILHARMONIA CHOIRS TAKE ON HAYDN’S EPIC ‘CREATION ‘


The creatives from SOQ, Graham Sattler (baritone) and Stephen O’Connell (saxophone) joined TMO to perform the premiere of their song cycle, ‘Beauty’. Photo credit for this and  featured image : John B Chen

It was a thrill to have the performance and interpretative talents of The Metropolitan Orchestra back before us for the start of their 2018 and tenth anniversary season. We heard a work from the Finnish composer Sibelius and the well-known Symphony No. 9 ‘From the New World’ by Sibelius’ contemporary, Dvorak.
These works by great late nineteenth orchestral composers framed an Australian song cycle in its premiere performance. Continue reading THE METROPOLITAN ORCHESTRA : MET CONCERT 1 @ EUGENE GOOSSENS HALL


Above : Guitarist Giuseppe Zangari plays Rodrigo’s  ‘Concerto De Aranjuez’ with TMO. Featured image : conductor Sarah-Grace Williams leads TMO during the final concert for 2017. Photo credit : John B C Images. 

‘New Beginnings’ was TMO’s final Met Concert in this year’s series, and the  last performance for 2017. It communicated with signature energy and freshness across a diverse programme. The concert began with a world premiere then forged an expressive path back through time, covering a guitar concerto before finishing with Beethoven’s mighty Symphony No 3 {‘Eroica’). Continue reading THE METROPOLITAN ORCHESTRA: MET CONCERT 5 @ PETERSHAM TOWN HALL


“I look forward to sharing another year of passion-fueled performances with you” says TMO Artistic Director and Chief Conductor Sarah-Grace Williams.

 The Metropolitan Orchestra have officially launched their 2018 concert season in conjunction with a brand new website designed to make it easier for busy people to navigate concerts and book tickets using mobile devices.

Their tenth concert season includes five performances, with two world premieres as part of their highly acclaimed Met Concert series, along with their much loved Cushion Concert series which includes both Babies Proms and Family Concerts along with a new chamber series featuring the Eight Cellists of TMO and the Winds of TMO. Continue reading THE METROPOLITAN ORCHESTRA LAUNCH THEIR 2018 SEASON



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.


TMO Met Concert 3 @ The Eugene Goosens Hall

TMO Chief Conductor Sarah-Grace Williams with piano soloist Simon Tedeschi

TMO’s MET CONCERT # 3 continued the 2015 season by enjoying another capacity crowd at the ABC Centre’s Eugene Goossens Hall. Its cohesive programme celebrated an Australian work evoking the spirituality of an iconic local landscape, a popular Australian pianist performing one of the nineteenth century’s best known concertos, and a symphonic favourite influenced by indigenous American melodies and culture.

Peter Sculthorpe’s ‘From Uluru’ (1992) was an intense and atmospheric start to an expressive night. It is perhaps not heard as regularly as his landscape-specific works ‘Kakadu’ (1988), ‘Earth Cry’ (1986), or ‘Mangrove’ (1979), but this shorter work is no less a gem with sustained sections of shifting atmospheres. TMO presented the work with pleasing clarity and richness of colour. Many shapes, aspects of Dreaming and a sense of a landmark’s impact were communicated through this performance. Continue reading TMO Met Concert 3 @ The Eugene Goosens Hall

The Metropolitan Orchestra: Met Concert 2 @ The Eugene Goosens Hall

TMO Chief Conductor Sarah-Grace Williams with piano soloist Bernard Walz
TMO Chief Conductor Sarah-Grace Williams with piano soloist Bernard Walz

The Metropolitan Orchestra (TMO) continues to illustrate their versatility and industry as an orchestra. Amongst some fourteen concerts and events for 2015, TMO appeared with John Farnham and Olivia Newton John in April. They have family concerts with children’s favourites Lah-Lah and Buzz planned for late May.

TMO took a gamble when programming Met Concert 2 with such savage contrasts between the works. It is a gamble which more than paid off for the orchestra. The sold out house could probably have sold a decent amount of tickets for a comfortably-seated repeat concert.

The orchestra explored the musical portraiture of Englishman Edward Elgar, visited Kodály’s nationalistic response to historical Hungarian music, and collaborated with pianist Bernard Walz to revive Gershwin’s marriage of jazz elements with the traditional concerto form. Continue reading The Metropolitan Orchestra: Met Concert 2 @ The Eugene Goosens Hall

Met Concert #1 @ Eugene Goossens Hall

Guest violinist Lisa Stewart gave an exciting performance of Vivaldi's Four Seasons
Guest violinist Lisa Stewart gave an exciting performance of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons

The TMO’s  Met Concert #1 was stunning! This first concert in the 2015 season contained a challenging programme of very well-known works from the Baroque and Classical eras. These challenges were met by the soloists, orchestra and conductor Sarah-Grace Williams with discipline, energy, artistry and genuine enthusiastic music-making. If this concert is an indication of what is to emerge from TMO in 2015, then its audiences are in for quite a year.

As in many previous Met Concert series, the format included works highlighting one of the orchestra’s principals and also a guest artist. TMO strings were showcased in both chamber music and string orchestra contexts. The string orchestra was augmented and inspired by the talented Australian violinist Lisa Stewart.

TMO Principal Clarinetist Andrew Doyle presented us with a fine Mozart Clarinet Quintet in A Major, K 581 with well-balanced playing from the TMO’s string quartet featuring Nataliya Lukich, Christina Ong, Luke Spicer and Steve Meyer. Continue reading Met Concert #1 @ Eugene Goossens Hall


Violinist Kirsten Williams
Violinist Kirsten Williams was outstanding in the TMO’s last concert for the year

The final Met Series concert for 2014 saw TMO in fine form delivering drama and atmosphere within the structure of works by Mozart, Sibelius and Brahms. The soloist for this evening was violinist Kirsten Williams, accompanied attentively by the orchestra.

Opening the program was the overture to Mozart’s opera ‘The Magic Flute’. Its contrasted sections of solemn and energetic music evoked the colourful layers of this fanciful story well. It was also a suitable prelude to the drama waiting to unfold in the Met Concert program.

In the hands of Kirsten Williams, excerpts from Sibelius’ Violin Concerto showed a mastery of rendering the sprawling melodic lines and constant changes of mood. Her tone was searching and pure in the upper register. There was a pleasing rapport with TMO, which supported with warm tone and consistency of mood alongside the soloist. The hushed anticipation in strings for the opening to the first movement was exquisite. Continue reading MET CONCERT # 4


Svetlana Yaroslavskaya and Sarah Grace
Conductor Sarah Grace (right) with orchestra member and now soloist, flautist Svetlana Yaroslavskaya

It is always an exciting concert moment when a member of any orchestra’s ranks emerges as a soloist. In this first Met Concert for 2014, TMO’s brand was given a boost when Svetlana Yaroslavskaya performed Carl Vine’s Pipe Dreams for Flute and Orchestra.

For the 2014 Met Concert series, the orchestra has moved into a new venue, namely the ABC Centre’s roomy and reverberant Eugene Goosens Hall. There was a definite theme of expansion, new horizons and adaptability in both the performance environment and the ground-breaking programmed works for this new subscription series.

Carl Vine’s ingenuity ensures his work explores many subtleties of texture for soloist and orchestra rather than a soloist dominating the moment. The promotion of Yaroslavkaya to soloist in this unique style of virtuosity also demonstrated flexibility of single line and the orchestral accompaniment, as well as the resources of the TMO itself.

Mozart’s Symphony No 31 ‘Paris’, K297/300a continues the theme of change and new horizons with Mozart writing in altered forms for a larger Parisian orchestra. This programme of works breaking new ground in their time also included an exciting rendering of Robert Schumann’s five movement Symphony No 3 ‘Rhenish’, which includes a large number of players including sizeable brass choir.

Svetlana Yaroslavkaya was spellbinding in her performance of Vine’s Pipe Dreams for Flute and Orchestra. She captured the seamless contour and virtuosic balance of the flute part against Vine’s innovative orchestral effects. Impressively long threads of often angular phrasing expressively evoked the complexities of reverie.

The ‘Paris’ Symphony was full of excitement and the necessary operatic-like drama required for Mozart playing. The first movement, offered a solid declamatory opening and the development section was a fine example of clarity despite drama and momentum

Schumann’s ‘Rhenish’ symphony occupied the concert’s entire second half. This sprawling work comes from a creative surge in the composer’s troubled later life. The highlight for this performance was witnessing the large 2014 orchestra complete with French horns and trombones shape the complexities of Schumann’s score in busy but well-articulated broad strokes.

Some entries exchanged between instruments could have been even more resonant above the full and busy orchestra in the finale to this concert. However, such blurred moments were very short lived. The orchestra, and especially the brass choir which augmented it, triumphed in treating the audience to a full Schumann sound.

The many and varied appearances of the entertaining TMO throughout the rest of 2014 range from family concerts through choral collaborations to luxury cruise entertainment. There is something in these symphonic sounds for everyone.

For more about TMO – Met Concert 1, visit http://www.metorchestra.com.au