Sydney Conservatorium of Music http://music.sydney.edu.au Celebrating 100 years of music in 2015 Fri, 28 Nov 2014 02:13:19 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Professor Linda Barwick elected to prestigious Fellowship http://music.sydney.edu.au/professor-linda-barwick-fellowship/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=professor-linda-barwick-fellowship http://music.sydney.edu.au/professor-linda-barwick-fellowship/#comments Mon, 24 Nov 2014 05:50:32 +0000 Jacqui Smith http://music.sydney.edu.au/?p=3906 Sydney Conservatorium of Music’s Associate Dean (Research), Professor Linda Barwick, has been elected to the Fellowship of the Australian Academy of the Humanities, one of the highest honours available for achievement in the humanities in Australia. The Fellowship of the Academy comprises … Continue reading

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Professor Linda Barwick

Professor Linda Barwick, Associate Dean (Research)

Sydney Conservatorium of Music’s Associate Dean (Research), Professor Linda Barwick, has been elected to the Fellowship of the Australian Academy of the Humanities, one of the highest honours available for achievement in the humanities in Australia.

The Fellowship of the Academy comprises more than 500 distinguished individuals elected by their peers in recognition of the excellence and impact of their scholarship in fields including archaeology, art, Asian and European studies, classical and modern literature, cultural and communication studies, languages and linguistics, philosophy, musicology, history and religion.

The Academy embraces new and emerging fields in the humanities. It also promotes the crucial role of the humanities in interdisciplinary collaboration, for the key challenges and opportunities facing Australia in the twenty-first century are not merely technical or economic in nature, but are deeply embedded in our society and culture.

The Australian Academy of the Humanities is one of the four Learned Academies in Australia.

More details on the Fellowship can be found here: http://www.humanities.org.au/Fellowship/NewFellows.aspx

 

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London Symphony Orchestra visits the Sydney Con http://music.sydney.edu.au/london-symphony-orchestra/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=london-symphony-orchestra http://music.sydney.edu.au/london-symphony-orchestra/#comments Mon, 24 Nov 2014 04:17:49 +0000 Jacqui Smith http://music.sydney.edu.au/?p=3890 The Sydney Opera House in association with the University of Sydney’s Conservatorium of Music have chosen to take the exciting visit from the London Symphony Orchestra and use these talented professional musicians to drive an educational program involving students form … Continue reading

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LSO

Sydney Opera House and Sydney Conservatorium of Music are hosting the London Symphony Orchestra in an educational project on 27 November 2014.

The Sydney Opera House in association with the University of Sydney’s Conservatorium of Music have chosen to take the exciting visit from the London Symphony Orchestra and use these talented professional musicians to drive an educational program involving students form regional Conservatoriums all over New South Wales. This program is split into two sections, MAKE and PLAY, which will culminate in a by-invitation performance at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music  on Thursday 27 November.

MAKE
The Make project is an opportunity for 30 instrumental participants to explore their creativity through a series of workshops. The process will be led by the participants, supported by animateur Paul Rissmann with 3 LSO musicians and 3 Sydney Conservatorium of Music tertiary students.

Exploring story and musical elements from Stravinsky’s Petrouchka, the young people will devise un-notated music to express the story of Petrouchka, which will be narrated by Paul Rissmann. All musical material will be based on input from the young people (not the adults or buddies).

In the final performance the participants will be joined on stage by members of the LSO, who will play fragments of the Stravinsky score to frame the devised episodes.

The buddies are people who have a real interest in finding out about this kind of work with young musicians. As this is a performance project we would like them to participate as instrumentalists too. We hope they will learn through observation, and also help facilitate the process described.

PLAY:
Play is a program that runs for four days where up to 90 regional Conservatorium students participate in an orchestral workshop where they will prepare 3 pieces for a performance this Thursday afternoon. These three works are abridged versions of:

Prokofiev – Suite from Lieutenant of Kije
Elgar – The Enigma Variations
Bernstein – Symphonic Dances from West Side Story

The four day workshop conducted by Alexander Briger complete with sectionals and full rehearsals with various LSO players and 5 Sydney Conservatorium of Music tertiary students, will allow the Regional students to perform in a large orchestra of a high standard, opportunities that may not necessarily be available to them in their home town.

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Streicher piano strikes an historical chord for the Conservatorium http://music.sydney.edu.au/new-old-streicher-piano-strikes-historical-chord-conservatorium/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=new-old-streicher-piano-strikes-historical-chord-conservatorium http://music.sydney.edu.au/new-old-streicher-piano-strikes-historical-chord-conservatorium/#comments Fri, 14 Nov 2014 06:05:55 +0000 Jacqui Smith http://music.sydney.edu.au/?p=3824 In 1870 the famous Viennese piano making firm J.B. Streicher and Sons gave Johannes Brahms a piano that was made in 1868. Brahms kept this piano in his apartment in Vienna for the rest of his life and used it … Continue reading

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Associate Professor Neal Peres da Costa with the replica Viennese-action grand piano (1868) after J.B. Streicher and Sons made by Paul McNulty (2014)

In 1870 the famous Viennese piano making firm J.B. Streicher and Sons gave Johannes Brahms a piano that was made in 1868. Brahms kept this piano in his apartment in Vienna for the rest of his life and used it to compose and to play on in private. In a letter to Clara Schumann Brahms explained: “It is quite a different matter to write for instruments whose characteristics and sound one only incidentally has in one’s head and which one can only hear mentally, than to write for an instrument which one knows through and through, as I know this piano. There I always know exactly what I write and why I write one way or another.”

J.B. Streicher came from a very eminent line of piano builders. His mother was Nannette Streicher (née Stein) who made pianos for many early nineteenth-century pianist-composers. Her father Johann Andreas Stein was among the first to produce successful five-octave Viennese fortepianos, the sort that had so impressed Mozart.

Streicher’s instruments retained the qualities of the earlier Viennese-models. Brahms’s Streicher piano was a straight-strung wooden framed piano with leather (rather than felt) covered hammers which produced a warm, clear tone throughout its 7-octave range. It was characterised by distinct registers in the treble, middle and bass – very much like the earlier Viennese models.

Associate Professor Neal Peres Da Costa (Chair of the SCM’s Historical Performance Unit) commissioned the replica of this instrument from Paul McNulty, whose workshop in Diviŝov near Prague in the Czech Republic. Diviŝov is near an old forest that provides him with very suitable wood for piano building. Paul is one of few world-leading makers of historical pianos and a brilliant craftsmen.

“This is a world first, as far as we know, and no other maker has attempted to copy such a late instrument. Because of its construction style it has a unique sound scape ideally suited to the music of Brahms and many other late-ninteenth century German composers. Its tonal characteristics help make sense of the markings in his music and his textures.”

More information, video and photos can be found in Streicher 1868 photo album: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mcnultymusic/sets/72157648227037786/ and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZT4ur2RyNSQ

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Ebbs and Flows of Dragons’ Dreams http://music.sydney.edu.au/ebbs-flows-dragons-dreams/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=ebbs-flows-dragons-dreams http://music.sydney.edu.au/ebbs-flows-dragons-dreams/#comments Mon, 10 Nov 2014 02:20:31 +0000 Jacqui Smith http://music.sydney.edu.au/?p=3802 A review from PhD student Peter Stone of our recent concert featuring the Sydney Conservatorium Jazz Orchestra and Mike Nock on 27 October 2014. http://music.sydney.edu.au/events/greenway-series-conservatorium-jazz-orchestra-play-the-music-of-mike-nock-27-10-2014 Storytelling is a distinct art form that Mike Nock embraces with profound elegance. Mike’s painted tablet … Continue reading

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A review from Mike-Nock_suit-300PhD student Peter Stone of our recent concert featuring the Sydney Conservatorium Jazz Orchestra and Mike Nock on 27 October 2014.

http://music.sydney.edu.au/events/greenway-series-conservatorium-jazz-orchestra-play-the-music-of-mike-nock-27-10-2014

Storytelling is a distinct art form that Mike Nock embraces with profound elegance. Mike’s painted tablet of life and musical insights infuse his life and work with a uniquely dedicated power. There is in Mike’s work a sense of anticipation and mystery. A sense that we are being taken on a journey to the unknown. Yet always there is an implied and inherent underlay of more and yet more.

Mike’s big band concert, directed by David Theak, in the Music Workshop of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music on 27 October excelled in this domain. Original works with eloquent titles drew us all into the phantasmagoria of the Bard at work. As the evening unfolded our own musical empathy embraced the patinas and palettes that reflected the big band genre, yet held to the inner truths of Mike’s own sensibilities, his creative musical genius and aspirations.

There were fragments and shades of Lalo Schrifrin, Kenton, Dorsey, Heath, Ellington and Herman. Yet never was there a hint that there was a ‘pastiche stylism’ at work. Originality was the breathe of life of the whole concert. Mike reaches deeply into his own musical soul and this has been portrayed time and time again with his continuum of creative aspiration and fervour.

The concert opened with an enigmatic Blues For…. This work opened up corridors of incisive blues elegance swinging with a pulsating depth. Mike’s own blues piano was anchored by Hampton Hawes style chords in the left hand then developing into blues riffs adding luscious articulated single notes. Trumpet work from that section gave crisply defined statements of structural underlays. There were also some bebop references as the work unfolded. The form of the work always being strengthened by the excellent percussion, bass and guitar.

Outstanding jazz writing characterised the whole evening with a broad range of fascinating titles: Isospin, Doors, Hadrian’s Wall, Floating Cloud, Flowing Water, Nata Lagal, and Earthbound.

The wonderful palette that unfolded as the evening concert continued was demonstrated by rich storytelling in chordal colouring that exemplified the aims in the titles.

In Doors for example our minds were taken down medieval style pathways with haunting insights. There was a great sense of the deeper story being told. An inspiring alto solo too gave textural omnipresent power to the whole work.

In Floating Cloud and Flowing Water a guitar solo by Felix Lelanne added finesse as the thoughtfulness of the piece unfolded. The tonality of the guitar echoed that of the great Billy Bauer. The deeper sonority of the baritone sax solo completed the sense of the poetic landscape in Mike’s panoramic artistry.

In Nata Lagal the magic and mystery of the power of the musical genre was given great power in the writing as the whole band seemed to understand the imaginary story being grasped in our minds. Lennie Tristano style phrasing set a haunting underlay with a certain elusiveness. The whole work exploding with exacting shapes and colourful powers.

Mike’s ideas released night’s shapes and shadows, through his composition Hadrian’s Wall with dragon caves, birds with many wings, giant causeways of giant treads.  The evening provoked the power of stunning creativity tempting the mind’s aural eyes.
It was the poetic power of Mike excelling and maintaining the jazz genre idiom and fever that ended up a giving us a desire to be taken through more imaginary musical caverns and corridors of this kind.

The Mike Nock directed band was made up by students from the Con. Their excellence never faulted. They were at one with the Mike Nock compositions. The soloists were;

Felix Lalenne, Guitar Michael Avgenicos, tenor sax, Evan Atwell–Harris, alto sax, Nishchal Manjunath, tenor sax, Greg Chilcott, trombone, Ollie Nelson, drums, James Hazelwood–Dale, double bass, Luke Stephens, trumpet Will Endicott, trumpet.

All the soloists showed superb understanding of the works and reflected this cognisance in their creative expositions of the jazz genre that Mike set out to establish in his very original compositions.

Peter Stone
PhD student

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Brahms specialist awarded 2014 Geiringer Scholarship http://music.sydney.edu.au/brahms-specialist-awarded-2014-geiringer-scholarship/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=brahms-specialist-awarded-2014-geiringer-scholarship http://music.sydney.edu.au/brahms-specialist-awarded-2014-geiringer-scholarship/#comments Mon, 03 Nov 2014 05:03:37 +0000 Jacqui Smith http://music.sydney.edu.au/?p=3734 We are very pleased to announce that the Karl Geiringer Scholarship in Brahms Studies for 2014 has been awarded to Robin Wilson, recent PhD graduate of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, in recognition of his dissertation, “Style and Interpretation in … Continue reading

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Robin Wilson

Robin Wilson Photo: Pia Johnson

We are very pleased to announce that the Karl Geiringer Scholarship in Brahms Studies for 2014 has been awarded to Robin Wilson, recent PhD graduate of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, in recognition of his dissertation, “Style and Interpretation in the Nineteenth-Century German Violin School with Particular Reference to the Three Sonatas for Pianoforte and Violin by Johannes Brahms.” Robin was supervised by Associate Professor Neal Peres da Costa, Chair of the Conservatorium’s Historical Performance Unit.

Wilsons work focuses on the violinists in Brahmss circle, Joseph Joachim and his students Marie Soldat-Roeger and Leopold Auer, and examines aspects of performance including vibrato, bowing, portamento, articulation, tempo, and rhythmic flexibility. The scholarship committee was particularly impressed by Wilsons sensitive and careful use of spectrogram analysis in conjunction with contemporaneous treatises, letters, reminiscences, and annotated editions, and by the rigor and originality of his work.

Established in 1990 to honour the dedication of the late Karl Geiringer to graduate education and to build upon his legacy to Brahms research, the Karl Geiringer Fund in Brahms Studies is awarded annually as meritorious candidates present themselves. The competition is open to students internationally. Only those projects that demonstrate significant original thought and research are considered competitive. The decision on awarding the fund rests with the Board of Directors of the American Brahms Society.  The Board of Directors consists of leading scholars from prestigious universities such as Yale, Colombia, Stony Brook and Washington.

Robin has been invited to attend the American Musicological Society annual meeting to convene with the Board of Directors.

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New fellowship to honour Peter Sculthorpe AO OBE http://music.sydney.edu.au/new-fellowship-honour-peter-sculthorpe/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=new-fellowship-honour-peter-sculthorpe http://music.sydney.edu.au/new-fellowship-honour-peter-sculthorpe/#comments Mon, 27 Oct 2014 00:15:21 +0000 Jacqui Smith http://music.sydney.edu.au/?p=3695 A new Fellowship was announced at the special concert on Saturday night at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music to honour the contribution of the late Australian composer and Emeritus Professor of the University of Sydney, Peter Sculthorpe AO OBE, to Australia’s … Continue reading

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Peter Sculthorpe AO OBE

William Barton, didgeridoo, Maestro Eduardo Diazmunoz and the SCM Symphony Orchestra Photo: Bill Green

A new Fellowship was announced at the special concert on Saturday night at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music to honour the contribution of the late Australian composer and Emeritus Professor of the University of Sydney, Peter Sculthorpe AO OBE, to Australia’s musical heritage.

The Hon. Trevor Khan, representing Deputy Premier and Minister for the Arts, Troy Grant, said the $30,000 Sculthorpe Fellowship will be offered by the NSW Government and the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, University of Sydney every second year beginning in 2015.

“Peter Sculthorpe is internationally-renowned and widely acknowledged as Australia’s most significant composer and his passing this year was felt by those who worked with him and enjoyed his music,” Mr Grant said.

“The Fellowship will support the professional development of an emerging NSW-based composer or performer dedicated to producing new Australian music.

“The NSW Government will fund the Fellowship in line with its commitment to support the professional development of artists across NSW,” Mr Grant said.

“The Conservatorium is honoured to continue the legacy of Peter’s composition and support for new Australian music with the announcement of this new Fellowship,” said Dr Karl Kramer, Dean of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

“Peter was a passionate Australian and a renowned teacher whose contribution to the development of Australian music is immense. It is appropriate that this legacy is recognised through the establishment of a new fellowship in his name for an emerging artist. He would have been delighted and honoured,” said Anne Boyd, on behalf of the Peter Sculthorpe Trustees.

A committee will be established comprising representatives from the Sculthorpe Trustees, the NSW Government and the University of Sydney to administer the Fellowship.

Further details on the Sculthorpe Fellowship will be made available early in 2015.

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A trio of gifts to cultivate musicians for world stage http://music.sydney.edu.au/trio-gifts-cultivate-musicians-world-stage/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=trio-gifts-cultivate-musicians-world-stage http://music.sydney.edu.au/trio-gifts-cultivate-musicians-world-stage/#comments Tue, 30 Sep 2014 23:59:49 +0000 Grace Hall http://music.sydney.edu.au/?p=3635   The University of Sydney’s Conservatorium of Music announces three major philanthropic gifts, which will see the creation of a string quartet development program and two new annual conducting and piano scholarships, offered to the Con’s brightest tertiary students from … Continue reading

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Gerald Westheimer AM and Associate Professor Alice Waten with the 1858 Gustave Bernadel, part of the Westheimer instrument collection held by the Con.

Gerald Westheimer AM and Associate Professor Alice Waten with the 1858 Gustave Bernadel, part of the Westheimer instrument collection held by the Con.

The University of Sydney’s Conservatorium of Music announces three major philanthropic gifts, which will see the creation of a string quartet development program and two new annual conducting and piano scholarships, offered to the Con’s brightest tertiary students from 2015 in perpetuity.

The gifts come from three alumni of the University of Sydney: an Australian vision scientist and passionate violinist Gerald Westheimer AM; the family of the formidable international conductor Helen Quach; and Australian film and stage producer Brian Abel.

Professor Karl Kramer, Dean and Principal of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music said: “We’re privileged to have received these generous gifts that will make a real difference to the experience we can offer some of the most talented students who wish to study with us.

“It’s the passion of our donors that helps to fine tune our vision, so that we continue to provide the training that develops top-class musicians for the world stage.

“It’s been wonderful to work with the three donors to develop new programs and scholarships that fulfill their music interests, and continue the Con’s long tradition of providing a music education like no other in this region.”

German-born Gerald Westheimer, who now lives and works in the US, is an accomplished recreational violinist.  Westheimer and his family emigrated from Nazi-occupied Germany to Australia in 1938.  Settling in Sydney, Gerald finished high school and vocational studies in optometry at Sydney Technical College, before attending and graduating from the University of Sydney with a Bachelor in Science in 1948.

“I began playing the violin as a boy growing up in a middle-class, German Jewish family in Berlin in the 1930s. It wasn’t until the late 1940s that I started studying it more seriously at the Conservatorium with Haydn Beck who was, at one time, the concertmaster of the ABC Sydney Symphony Orchestra.

“Walking up Macquarie Street to the Con, carrying my violin for my lessons with Haydn Beck in one of the turrets, is still a vivid memory of that period of my life.

“I have remained a sturdy amateur violinist for nearly 80 years now, and make the point of getting at least half-an-hour of practice a day, through thick and thin, playing almost exclusively chamber music.

“The string quartet is an enduring music ensemble. Therefore, when Dean Kramer and I talked about possible ways of playing a part in the Con’s development and an endowed string quartet program was suggested, it seemed an obvious fit,” said Gerald Westheimer.

The Gerald Westheimer String Quartet Fellowship, a performance development program, will give four string players added training opportunities including masterclasses, competitions and overseas travel to music festivals whilst studying at the Con. The program also gives the quartet access to a collection of the best string instruments, made by the Italian maestro of violin makers Sandro Asinari.

Helen Quach, a Chinese migrant from Vietnam who arrived in Sydney in 1950 during the White Australia Policy era, overcame many challenges during her rise to fame as a highly-acclaimed conductor of several world-leading symphony orchestras.

She had studied and graduated from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music aged only 19 years old. Then in 1959 she won an Australian Broadcasting Commission scholarship as an apprentice to Nicolai Malko, the resident conductor of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. A year later Quach made her debut as an SSO conductor aged 20.

Quach went onto conduct many prestigious orchestras in the USA, including one of the world’s best, the New York Philharmonic, assisting the great Leonard Bernstein for a year in 1968. During the late 1970s and early 80s, she spent much of her time in Asia, working with the Hong Kong Philharmonic and Manila and Taiwan Symphony Orchestras.

Following a long fight with breast cancer, Quach passed away last year.  Her brother Peter Quach and his family wanted to set up the Helen Quach Conducting Scholarship, to give student musicians the support that he knew Helen would have longed for at the outset of her career.

Helen was totally dedicated to her music, as she embarked on a profession that was male dominated. She didn’t have any support – she did it alone, achieving everything through hard work, great determination and a lot of talent.

“She never married, so music was her life. She had the ability to inspire musicians to perform to their best – it didn’t matter whether they were professional or amateur orchestras.

“It’s a shame Australia never really benefited from her talent, since she spent her entire career overseas, but now young Australian talent will gain from this scholarship in memory of her,” said Peter Quach.

After living in London and New York for the last thirteen years, Brian Abel recently returned to Sydney.  Growing up in Townsville in the 1970s, Brian Abel undertook AMEB and Trinity College piano exams, but there was no opportunity to study music at a university level.  So as a mature-aged student, Abel completed a bachelor degree at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music in 1992, studying piano under Albert Landa.

The new Brian Abel Piano Scholarship reaches out to financially-disadvantaged students to help with tuition fees and living expenses whilst studying music.

“I was fortunate to be able to study at the Con, where I really developed a love of western art music and more confidence as a musician.  Talented students shouldn’t have to miss out on opportunities just because they can’t afford to move to the city to study. This is why I have initiated this scholarship,” said Brian Abel.

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Sydney opera premiere of Little Women http://music.sydney.edu.au/sydney-opera-premiere-little-women/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=sydney-opera-premiere-little-women http://music.sydney.edu.au/sydney-opera-premiere-little-women/#comments Thu, 25 Sep 2014 04:48:20 +0000 Mandy Campbell http://music.sydney.edu.au/?p=3596 Mark Adamo’s operatic adaption of the much-loved classic tale of Little Women premieres in Sydney this October at the University of Sydney’s Conservatorium of Music. With several cast members graduating from the Con at the end of this year, the … Continue reading

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Little Women starring Con students Audrey Gabor (Beth), Anna McDougall (Jo), Jessica Westcott (Meg) and Bridget Patterson (Amy). Photo: Ian Brown.

Little Women starring Con students Audrey Gabor (Beth), Anna McDougall (Jo), Jessica Westcott (Meg) and Bridget Patterson (Amy). Photo: Ian Brown.

Mark Adamo’s operatic adaption of the much-loved classic tale of Little Women premieres in Sydney this October at the University of Sydney’s Conservatorium of Music. With several cast members graduating from the Con at the end of this year, the Sydney premiere of Little Women promises to be a launching pad for the next crop of Australian opera stars.

Since its world premiere in New York in 1998, Little Women has become one of the top ten operas in the US, with more than 70 productions performed world-wide. With the first of four performances kicking off at the Con on 11 October, Sydney audiences will be treated to Adamo’s lush, tonal and searing score and imaginative libretto, which provides an engaging frame for this seminal American tale.

Dr Michael Halliwell, Associate Professor of Vocal Studies and Opera at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music said: “There’s been a recent boom in new operas and much of it has its source in the American literary canon. One of the most successful operas has been Mark Adamo’s operatic version of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women.

“Adamo is part of a youngish generation of American composers who have opera at the centre of their musical output, and have an obviously passionate love of the operatic voice. These composers have returned to many of the traditional structures of opera, and while they draw on the gestures of musical modernism, the fundamental element of their operas is melody. One can actually come out of a performance of Little Women, like many other contemporary operas, whistling the tunes. This has a lot to do with a growing fusion between musical theatre and opera.

“Suffice to say, Sydney is in for a treat and there will most certainly be a few furtive tears at the end of this heart-warming and life-affirming opera,” said Dr Michael Halliwell.

Based on Alcott’s 1868 novel, Little Women traces the close and enduring relationships between four sisters coming-of-age, as they grow up during the post-Civil War years in Massachusetts, USA. The contemporary opera brings to life the characters of Meg, Amy, Beth and the indefatigable Jo, as they encounter the complexities of family, friendship and romance. Jo’s devotion to her sisters and reluctance to accept change are challenged by Beth’s illness. Forced to face the inevitability of adulthood and the responsibilities it brings, Jo realises that even the strongest love cannot ward off change and loss.

The Con production opens around Christmas time during the American Civil War of the early 1860s. From the first to the very last musical note, the moving family tale sees the characters cross from childhood and young adulthood, spanning a period of three years.

Starring in the two lead roles are Anna McDougall, who plays Jo, the second eldest, headstrong sister and a ‘tomboy’ who her father refers to as his ‘son Jo’; and Alexander Knight, who plays John Brooke, the young, hard-working orphan man who falls for Jo’s sister Meg.

Mezzo-soprano Anna McDougall and baritone Alexander Knight are among ten vocal students in the cast who will complete their tertiary studies at Con in 2014. They, along with cast members and 2014 graduates Corinne Parker, Audrey Gabor, Bridget Patterson, Kathryn Williams Jermaine Chau, Joel Scott, Daniel Tambasco and Andrew Williams, will be the future opera stars to watch.

Musical Director Eduardo Diazmuñoz and Director Narelle Yeo, along with the Sydney Conservatorium of Music Chamber Orchestra, will headline the Sydney opera premiere of Little Women.

The first Australian opera performance of Little Women was held at the Adelaide Festival in 2007, followed by the 2013 production at the West Australian Academy for the Performing Arts in Perth.

Event details
What: Little Women by Mark Adamo
When: Sat 11, Tues 14, Thurs 16, Sat 18 October (6.30pm for the first 3 performances; and 2pm matinee for the final performance)
Where: Sydney Conservatorium of Music
Cost: $50 adult, $25 student and concession
Bookings: Buy tickets online or purchase from City Recital Hall, Angel Place, (02) 8256 2222

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Chloe’s duet of destiny http://music.sydney.edu.au/chloes-duet-destiny/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=chloes-duet-destiny http://music.sydney.edu.au/chloes-duet-destiny/#comments Wed, 24 Sep 2014 05:44:04 +0000 Mandy Campbell http://music.sydney.edu.au/?p=3595 As the Sydney Conservatorium of Music prepares to welcome Chinese pipa virtuoso Wu Man for a performance this Sunday, one student is set to share the stage with the woman voted Musical America’s ‘2013 Instrumentalist of the Year’. Third-year Bachelor … Continue reading

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Con student Chloe Chung to perform duet with Wu Man in one-off concert.

Con student Chloe Chung to perform duet with Wu Man in one-off concert.

As the Sydney Conservatorium of Music prepares to welcome Chinese pipa virtuoso Wu Man for a performance this Sunday, one student is set to share the stage with the woman voted Musical America’s ‘2013 Instrumentalist of the Year’.

Third-year Bachelor of Music (Performance) student, Chloe Chung is among seven students from the Con who will perform with Wu Man when she returns to Sydney for a special one-off performance. Chloe, a classical flute player with 13 years’ experience, is tuning up for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to stand alongside the celebrated artist for a duet performance of Zhou Long’s Green.

“I am both nervous and excited to be working with Wu Man so closely,” Chloe says.
“She is a highly skilled and graceful musician and the opportunity to rehearse, play and perform with her is going to feel quite surreal. She’s awesome.”

The performance will hold a special meaning for Chloe, who came to Australia at the age of seven and has recently begun reconnecting with her Chinese heritage, learning Mandarin after a cultural tour of China with the Confucius Institute last December. The trip has also inspired her to pick up the Chinese transverse flute, the dizi, and she has been learning under the expert tutelage of Dr Chai Chang Ning at the Con.

Chloe’s musical mission of cultural rediscovery is not dissimilar from that of Wu Man, who has garnered worldwide recognition for her mastery of the ancient Chinese instrument, the pipa.

As she prepares for the big performance, Chloe notes that the duet, Green, is “one of a kind”.

“It starts out with the alto flute playing these spacious, sonorous melodies while the pipa creates interesting textural colour beneath, then meanders into this other realm gradually,“ she says.

“About halfway, I’ll have to put down the alto flute and change to the piccolo. The contrast of character, the stylistic details, are extremely evocative – I really like it.”

Chloe’s performance with Wu Man is part of the Journey of Chinese Pipa: Ancient Ties for Modern Sound concert, presented by the University of Sydney’s Confucius Institute and Sydney Conservatorium of Music at the Con’s Verbrugghen Hall on Sunday 28 September, 2pm.

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Kim Williams up close on why music matters http://music.sydney.edu.au/kim-williams-close-music-matters/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=kim-williams-close-music-matters http://music.sydney.edu.au/kim-williams-close-music-matters/#comments Wed, 17 Sep 2014 06:27:37 +0000 Mandy Campbell http://music.sydney.edu.au/?p=3576 What do music and listening have in common? Both are lacking amongst young people growing up in today’s modern world. This idea will be debated further by Kim Williams AM in his one-off Sydney Ideas lecture at the University of … Continue reading

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Kim Williams AM

Kim Williams AM

What do music and listening have in common? Both are lacking amongst young people growing up in today’s modern world. This idea will be debated further by Kim Williams AM in his one-off Sydney Ideas lecture at the University of Sydney’s Conservatorium of Music on Tuesday 30 September at 6.00pm.

One of Australia’s most high-profile media executives and a well-known supporter of the Arts, Kim Williams speaks intimately about how music influenced his life both personally and professionally. Williams will draw parallels between the disciplined approach to music training and the way he conducts business.

“Everyone knows Kim Williams in Australia’s top corporate circles. But fewer people know much about Kim’s early years as a highly dedicated, passionate musician, and how it shaped him as an astute businessman and leading figure in the arts industry,” said Professor Karl Kramer, Dean and Principal, Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

Talking about two things very dear to his heart – music and listening – during the lecture Williams will provide a strong case for the primacy of music education from a young age, using his own life as an example. He will explain how he sees music being key to restoring a diminishing life skill today – what he terms ‘close listening’.

He will also touch on the lack of music education he sees growing up in this country today, and Australians’ inability to give and receive criticism in a way that he describes as “thoughtful, caring, constructive and nourishing” – something that music training seeks and welcomes so that musicians grow to become world-class artists.

Kim Williams said: “Music is a natural prism for the way I see things and has been central to my experience and enjoyment of life. Music is so central to my view of the world that I don’t really stand back and think about it and only did so some years ago when asked to give a lecture about music and its personal impact and resonances. This lecture will reflect on some of those matters and offer some observations on why music matters to me.”

Drawing on personal tales disclosed in his latest book, Rules of Engagement, Williams will talk about his first instrument, the banjo; the fear of his first teacher, Mrs Bulger; one of his greatest mentors, teachers and friends the famous Australian conductor Richard Gill; composing music from the age of 15; and playing the clarinet most of his life.

Kim Williams’ connection with the Con began early in his musical life. From 1966, he took his first music lessons after school at the Con, learning from Douglas Gerke and then Donald Westlake, principal clarinetist in the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. During and shortly after attending the University of Sydney, Williams worked actively as a composer and as a private clarinet tutor at the Con to generate an income. One of his very first managerial positions in music was as a lecturer under Rex Hobcroft and resident concert organiser at the Con. In 1973, a large work entitled ‘Music of Space’ that he wrote for Donald Westlake was premiered at the Sydney Conservatorium.

For the next four decades, Kim Williams played an instrumental role in growing the arts, entertainment and media industries in Australia and overseas. He held CEO positions with News Corp Australia, FOXTEL, FOX Studios Australia, the Australian Film Commission and Musica Viva. Only last year, he stepped down as Chair of the Sydney Opera House Trust after nine years, and in February 2014 he took up his new role as Commissioner of the AFL.

In his book Rules of Engagement, Williams provides a candid, up close and personal account of the exercise of power in the nation’s leading boardrooms, political parties and media organisations. He will draw on some of the experiences described in the book during his Sydney Ideas lecture on 30 September at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

For more information on the Kim Williams lecture and other Sydney Ideas events visit www.sydney.edu.au/sydney_ideas

Event Details
What: Sydney Ideas Lecture: Kim Williams on Music and the Rules of Engagement
When: Tuesday 30 September 2014, 6pm-7.30pm
Where: The Sydney Conservatorium of Music, The University of Sydney, Corner of Bridge and Macquarie Streets, Sydney
Cost and bookings: Free but limited seats. Bookings essential at con.rsvp@sydney.edu.au

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