Sydney Conservatorium of Music http://music.sydney.edu.au Tue, 02 Sep 2014 23:37:07 +0000 en-US hourly 1 2014 Young Performer of the Year: Grace Clifford http://music.sydney.edu.au/2014-young-performer-year-grace-clifford/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=2014-young-performer-year-grace-clifford http://music.sydney.edu.au/2014-young-performer-year-grace-clifford/#comments Fri, 29 Aug 2014 03:45:25 +0000 Mandy Campbell http://music.sydney.edu.au/?p=3507   Two spectacular solo performances were delivered last night by Sydney Conservatorium of Music student violinists Grace Clifford and Anna Da Silva Chen. The concert final of the 2014 Young Performers Awards (YPA) held at the Adelaide Town Hall saw … Continue reading

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Grace Clifford

2014 Young Performer of the Year: Grace Clifford at the concert final in Adelaide.

 

Two spectacular solo performances were delivered last night by Sydney Conservatorium of Music student violinists Grace Clifford and Anna Da Silva Chen. The concert final of the 2014 Young Performers Awards (YPA) held at the Adelaide Town Hall saw Grace Clifford win this year’s coveted title.

Grace performed the Beethoven Violin Concerto and Anna Da Silva performed the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto with the Adelaide Symphony, conducted by Christopher Seaman. Both performers were up against Melbourne oboist and winner of the 2013 YPA People’s Choice Award, Andrew Kawai, who performed the Mozart Oboe Concerto.

Sixteen-year-old Grace Clifford from Wahroonga, Sydney, and eighteen-year-old Anna Da Silva Chen from Lake Heights, Wollongong, have both been students of the Con’s Open Academy since the inception of its Rising Stars program in 2009.

Justin Ankus, Manager of the Open Academy, who attended last night’s concert in Adelaide said: “The atmosphere in the Town Hall was electric, and it was wonderful to see such a large audience there. Both Grace and Anna played with such elegance and style. We’re very proud of them.

“It’s wonderful that the Con is able to give these students access to some of Australia’s best teachers like Robin Wilson who teaches Grace and Alice Waten who teaches Anna. The results of the students’ dedication, hard work and talent, coupled with outstanding teaching were clearly evident last night.”

Since 1944, the national awards have provided aspiring young musicians with the opportunity to perform with Australia’s major orchestras, in the quest to be named ABC Symphony Australia Young Performer of the Year. It is an opportunity like no other for up-and-coming Australian classical artists.

Grace receives a $25,000 cash prize, multiple copies of a CD of her winning performance, a feature in Limelight magazine, and two further performances with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra in their Masters 7 concerts today and tomorrow. She also wins prizes for Best Recital and Best Chamber Music Performance. Anna receives a runner-up cash prize of $7,500 and was awarded the Nelly Apt Scholarship for a string player.

Next month Grace will travel to the USA to begin tertiary studies at Philadelphia’s Curtis Institute of Music. The Con wishes her all the best in the next stage of her musical journey and congratulates Grace and Anna on their incredible achievement in this year’s award.

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Concert to celebrate Peter Sculthorpe http://music.sydney.edu.au/concert-celebrate-peter-sculthorpe/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=concert-celebrate-peter-sculthorpe http://music.sydney.edu.au/concert-celebrate-peter-sculthorpe/#comments Fri, 22 Aug 2014 00:18:45 +0000 superadmin http://music.sydney.edu.au/?p=3484 The University of Sydney announces a special evening to celebrate the life and music of Peter Sculthorpe AO OBE, Australia’s most revered composer of the 20th century. The free public performance will be presented by Sydney Conservatorium of Music and its … Continue reading

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Peter Sculthorpe

The University of Sydney will host a special evening to celebrate the life and music of Peter Sculthorpe AO OBE, Australia’s most revered composer of the 20th century.

The University of Sydney announces a special evening to celebrate the life and music of Peter Sculthorpe AO OBE, Australia’s most revered composer of the 20th century. The free public performance will be presented by Sydney Conservatorium of Music and its students on Saturday 25 October 2014 from 7pm.

The gala event will be held in honour and celebration of the Emeritus Professor’s immense, life-long contribution to music in this country, and the 51 years of his life that he devoted to the University of Sydney.

“Peter Sculthorpe is one of those extraordinary artists whose immeasurable impact on music will become more and more apparent in years to come.  The concert will give us a glimpse of the legacy of this gifted musician, as we again take enormous pleasure in listening to his most cherished works,” said Dr Michael Spence, Vice Chancellor, The University of Sydney.

Performances of three signature works written by the composer: Kakadu (1988), the Burke & Wills Suite (1986) and Canticle V will be presented by the Sydney Conservatorium of Music’s Symphony Orchestra, Wind Symphony and Chamber Choir.

Marking the celebration, four colleagues and former students of Sculthorpe, Professor Anne Boyd AM, Professor Matthew Hindson AM, Dr Ross Edwards AM and Kim Williams AM, will give personal reminiscences.

“Rarely is it given to a single individual to inscribe the soul of a nation in their musical utterance. As a passionate Australian seeking the spiritual in nature, such has been Peter’s contribution to Australian culture as will be heard in the music performed in this concert,” said Professor Boyd.

Peter Sculthorpe first came to the University of Sydney in 1963 at the invitation of Professor Donald Peart to take up an appointment as Lecturer in Music in the Faculty of Arts’ Department of Music. His first teaching was in ethnomusicology, stimulating a lifelong interest in the musical traditions of Asia, of Japan and Bali in particular.

He inflected all his teaching towards composition, nurturing generations of young composers.

He was promoted to a personal Chair in Musical Composition within the Faculty of Arts in 1991 and played a significant role in bringing the Sydney Conservatorium of Music into the University. In 2005 he became an Emeritus Professor of Composition at the University of Sydney, and continued to support and inspire music students in the final years of his life. Peter Sculthorpe passed away earlier this month at the age of 85.

The Peter Sculthorpe concert at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music is a free event, however tickets are required. Registration is essential and is available online at http://music.sydney.edu.au from Wednesday 1 October 2014 with a limit of two tickets per person.

Event Details
What: Peter Sculthorpe AO OBE (1929-2014) – In celebration of his life and music
When: Saturday 25 October at 7pm
Where: Verbrugghen Hall, Sydney Conservatorium of Music
Cost: Free – bookings essential at http://music.sydney.edu.au from 1 October 2014

Media enquiries: Mandy Campbell 0481 0122 742 or mandy.campbell@sydney.edu.au

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More to a skilled ear in music http://music.sydney.edu.au/skilled-ear-music/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=skilled-ear-music http://music.sydney.edu.au/skilled-ear-music/#comments Fri, 15 Aug 2014 01:41:27 +0000 superadmin http://music.sydney.edu.au/?p=3468 The first pilot study in Australia to give musicians the skills and training to critically assess music by what they hear rather than what they see begins this month at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. The study aims to address … Continue reading

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The first pilot study in Australia to give musicians the skills and training to critically assess music by what they hear rather than what they see begins this month at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

The first pilot study in Australia to give musicians the skills and training to critically assess music by what they hear rather than what they see begins this month at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

The first pilot study in Australia to give musicians the skills and training to critically assess music by what they hear rather than what they see begins this month at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

The study aims to address a lack of skill and formal training in the industry that enables music judges to critically assess sound – an important skill when it comes to auditions and judging music in the ‘real world’.

Leading the research is Dr Helen Mitchell, a senior lecturer in musicology at the University of Sydney’s Conservatorium of Music, following a grant received by the Federal Government in June this year.

The study builds on previous research by Dr Mitchell in 2011 and 2012, which found that musicians are not reliable in recognising the sound quality of individual performers and use limited descriptors to articulate sound.

“Music judges or assessors are generally not well equipped to assess sound.  The difficulty lies in the availability of common descriptors or language to express what we hear.  People find it hard to critically quantify or qualify sound or what they are hearing when listening to music,” said Dr Mitchell.

“We take for granted that musicians can readily discriminate between performers playing the same instrument.  Remarkably, research¹ has shown that judges often can’t identify individual performers from a homogeneous line-up of musicians.

“In the real world, we not only rely on expert musicians to differentiate between performers but, more critically, judge performances to determine an individual’s suitability for a specific music role.”

There is a growing body of evidence to suggest that even expert musicians are unable to judge audio-only and audio-visual music performances in the same way. Recent research² has found that judges are often influenced by the ‘vision’ of performers, at the expense of what they hear.

“Whilst it is consistently recognised in the industry that sound is the critical factor when evaluating music performance. Judges still turn to visuals as their primary source of information for evaluating a performance.  In fact, music examiners have been noted to cite a performer’s dress and stage manner ahead of describing sound quality.”

The pilot project will see tertiary students from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music take part in a series of practical sessions, playing the roles of judge and performer.  They will experience performances both visible to a judging panel and behind a screen – replicating the blind audition process, which removes all visual factors that may influence judges.

The verbal and written critique delivered by judges in the study will be shared with Australian experts in music auditions and examinations to reflect on the best practice in performance evaluation.

“This project will also enable music students to experience the complexities and pitfalls of performance evaluation.  They will learn from music industry experts and develop training strategies to advance their listening acuity for performing and performer evaluation,” said Dr Mitchell.

The findings of the Australian study will inform future music education curricula to ensure that there is a high standard of music assessment delivered by the next generation of music leaders and experts in this country.

¹Mitchell & MacDonald 2011, 2012, 2014
²Tsay, 2013

Media Enquiries: Mandy Campbell on 0481 012 742 or mandy.campbell@sydney.edu.au

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Peter Sculthorpe 1929-2014 http://music.sydney.edu.au/petersculthorpe19292014/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=petersculthorpe19292014 http://music.sydney.edu.au/petersculthorpe19292014/#comments Fri, 08 Aug 2014 08:00:34 +0000 superadmin http://music.sydney.edu.au/?p=3445 Peter Sculthorpe, Emeritus Professor of Composition at the University of Sydney, Australia’s most significant composer, passed away in Sydney at the age of 85. Rarely is it given to a single individual to inscribe the soul of a nation in … Continue reading

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Peter Sculthorpe (Image: Dan White)

Peter Sculthorpe (Image: Dan White)

Peter Sculthorpe, Emeritus Professor of Composition at the University of Sydney, Australia’s most significant composer, passed away in Sydney at the age of 85.

Rarely is it given to a single individual to inscribe the soul of a nation in their musical utterance. Such has been Peter’s contribution to Australian culture. The University and the music world are deeply saddened by his passing.

“He was an outstanding composer, a passionate Australian, a delightful and hugely compassionate man, who has contributed significantly to the music foundations of this University across 51 years.

“Professor Sculthorpe is such a huge loss, but at the same time he leaves such a big music legacy,” said Dr Michael Spence, Vice Chancellor, The University of Sydney.

Peter Sculthorpe first joined the University of Sydney’s Department of Music, appointed by the late Professor Donald Peart as a young lecturer in music in 1963. He was asked to teach the department’s first classes in ethnomusicology thereby stimulating his lifelong interest in the traditional musical cultures of Asia, of Japan and Bali in particular. He offered encouragement and teaching to the young student composers he found in the department, often inflecting traditional teaching towards innovative creative musical activity. These young students grew to become some of Australia’s best known and best loved musical voices including composers Ross Edwards, Barry Conyngham and Anne Boyd.

Peter was promoted to a personal chair in composition in 1991 within the Faculty of Arts. He was later to offer warm support to the merging of the Department of Music with the Conservatorium.

Until his retirement in 1999, Sculthorpe’s extensive teaching at the University inspired and nurtured many students in the Faculty of Arts. With the introduction of more specialised postgraduate study in music including the nation’s first composition doctorate in 1992, he became the supervisor of several now distinguished composers including Matthew Hindson, Professor and Chair of Composition & Music Technology Unit at the Con.

Dr Karl Kramer, Dean of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music commented: “Peter is Australia’s best-known composer not only at home but internationally. He was the first Australian composer to develop what many heard as an ‘Australian’ sound and has been described as ‘the voice of Australia’ and ‘Australia’s representative composer’.”

Sculthorpe’s enormous contribution to music composition, teaching and education here and abroad is recognised by his Order of Australia medal in 1990 and his four honorary Doctorates from the University of Tasmania, University of Sussex, University of Melbourne and University of Sydney. In 1994 he received the Sir Bernard Heinze Award for outstanding services to Australian music and in 2005 he became an Emeritus Professor at the University of Sydney.

Born in Launceston, Tasmania, in 1929, Sculthorpe was educated at Launceston Church of England Grammar School, the University of Melbourne and Wadham College, Oxford, England. It was not until he returned to Australia in 1961 after studying overseas, that his career began its meteoric rise.

Sculthorpe’s catalogue consists of more than 350 works. While his best known works include the orchestral pieces Sun Music 1 (1965) Mangrove (1979), Earth Cry (1986) and Kakadu (1988). He wrote in many genres from solo instrumental works to opera. His 18 string quartets are especially frequently performed and the Kronos Quartet toured the world playing No.8. In Australia he became a major public figure, audiences cheering his work as it seemed to say something necessary in the life of a country finding a new voice in a post colonial era.

The frequent Australian cry to turn to Asia in the 1960s and 70s was paralleled by influences from Indonesia and Japan in Sculthorpe’s works, as he strove to write music expressive of the Pacific region. Peter’s championing of Australian indigenous culture is especially noteworthy, highlighted by his collaboration with didjeridu virtuoso Dr William Barton. William was to make an important contribution to arguably Peter’s greatest work, his choral Requiem (2004).

The impact of his composition work on Australian music has been the subject of several books, including Michael Hannan’s Peter Sculthorpe: His Music and Ideas 1929 – 1979 (1982); Graeme Skinner’s authorised biography, Peter Sculthorpe: The Making of an Australian Composer (1929-1974) published in 2007, and most recently John Peterson’s The Music of Peter Sculthorpe (2014).

The recipient of many prestigious awards, Sculthorpe regarded the most important being chosen as one of Australia’s 100 Living National Treasures in 1997 (National Trust of Australia), Distinguished Artist 2001 (International Society for the Performing Arts), Honorary Foreign Life Member in 2003 (American Academy of Arts and Letters) and one of the 100 Most Influential Australians in 2006 (The Bulletin magazine).

Media Enquiries: Mandy Campbell, 0481 012 742 or mandy.campbell@sydney.edu.au

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Sydney’s top music students on stage in Italy for first chamber music summer school http://music.sydney.edu.au/sydneys-top-music-students-stage-italy-first-chamber-music-summer-school/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=sydneys-top-music-students-stage-italy-first-chamber-music-summer-school http://music.sydney.edu.au/sydneys-top-music-students-stage-italy-first-chamber-music-summer-school/#comments Wed, 02 Jul 2014 00:32:38 +0000 superadmin http://music.sydney.edu.au/?p=3264 The finest musicians from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music are about to set off for the first European Chamber Music Summer School in Italy this week. The inaugural Estivo will see 47 tertiary music students from the University of Sydney’s … Continue reading

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Students preparing to attend the inaugural chamber music summer school in Italy.The finest musicians from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music are about to set off for the first European Chamber Music Summer School in Italy this week. The inaugural Estivo will see 47 tertiary music students from the University of Sydney’s music faculty perform in over 20 concerts in 12 historic venues across 3 major cities – Verona, Venice and Mantova – in northern Italy from 7-19 July.

Sydney Conservatorium of Music’s Dean Dr Karl Kramer said: “It is the first international music program of its kind made available to Australian tertiary music students. It’s going to be demanding, but an incredible experience for our students to take part in an intensive two week chamber music program, performing in some of Europe’s most magnificent venues and most popular tourist spots.”

The students will stage daily concerts in piazzas, churches, conservatories, palaces, concert venues and government offices.  Prestigious venues like the Bibiena Theatre, where Mozart gave his first performance, the Palazzo Te also in Mantova, and La Pieta in Venice, are just a few of the iconic places where the performances will be held.

Comprising eight chamber music ensembles – two wind quintets, brass quintet, saxophone quartet, three string quartets, and a piano trio – plus six pianists accompanying six opera singers, these talented young musicians will perform repertoire from the traditional chamber music canon. In between the rigorous concert schedule, they will work closely with some of the best teachers from all over Europe, as well as key mentors from the Sydney Con and Australia’s pre-imminent string quartet, the Goldner String Quartet.

Bridget O’Donnell from the Hillel String Quartet, one of the ensembles taking part, said: “The four of us have been together since the start of 2012, mainly playing in Sydney. This will be our first time together overseas, which will be an awesome experience.

“Italy is such a beautiful country, steeped in music history and culture. It will be the perfect place to improve our chamber music skills.  We hope that the experience will make us more resilient performers and we’re also quite excited about consuming large amounts of pasta!” she said.

Estivo has been set up in collaboration with the Conservatorio di Verona, where the students will be based, and the Conservatorio di Musica in Mantova. It coincides with Verona’s world-renowned summer festival of opera, the Arena di Verona Festival, which students will attend.

The Sydney Conservatorium of Music’s top students were selected through a competitive audition process earlier this year to join the inaugural European Chamber Music School in Italy.

An annual event, Estivo is a commitment by the University of Sydney to give Australia’s preeminent young classical musicians insight and exposure to studying and performing internationally.

Follow the students at Estivo in Italy at http://sydneycon-estivo.tumblr.com/

Media Enquiries: Mandy Campbell on 0481 012 742 or mandy.campbell@sydney.edu.au

The ensembles and musicians attending Estivo

Bennelong Brass – Jonathan Baker, Milo Dodd, Owen Morris, Tim Skelly, Benjamin Turner

Estivo Piano Trio – Jonathan Bekes, Fox Chan, Ying Ho

Fracture Saxophone Quartet – Peter Chao, Nathan Henshaw, Peter Leung, Simon Watts

Adelphi String Quartet – Yeonhee Kim, Josephine Lumanau, Bernadette Morrison, Klara Morrison

Hillel String Quartet – Benjamin Adler, Bethan Lillicrap, Bridget O’Donnell, Elizabeth Woolnough

4 String Quartet – Nathan Greentree, Vincent Lo, Kay-Yin Teoh, Benjamin Tjoa

Festivo Wind Quintet – Cameron Burgess, Chloe Chung, Joshua Davies, Toshiyuki Hosogaya, Justin Sun

The Sydney Zephyr Wind Quintet – James Fisher, Osvaldo Junior, Katrina Todd, Gillian Williams, Sarah Young

Vocalists - Damian Arnold, Zoe Drummond, Sarah Kemeny, Imogen Malfitano, Daniel Nicholson and Joshua Oxley

Pianists - Pavle Cajic, Sherilyn Chen, Su Choung, Patrick Keith, Rachael Lin and Alex Waite

Estivo: European Chamber Music Summer School will be staged thanks to the generous support of Il Conservatorio Statale di Musica ‘Evaristo Felice Dall’ Abaco’ di Verona and Conservatorio di Musica ‘Lucio Campiani’ Mantova.

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A master in the language of music to join the Con http://music.sydney.edu.au/master-language-music-join-con/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=master-language-music-join-con http://music.sydney.edu.au/master-language-music-join-con/#comments Wed, 11 Jun 2014 05:11:37 +0000 superadmin http://music.sydney.edu.au/?p=3193 The Sydney Conservatorium of Music announces the appointment of the esteemed music theorist, Richard Cohn, to the role of Professor of Music from January 2015.  American-born Cohn is currently at Yale University, one of the oldest tertiary institutions in the … Continue reading

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Richard Cohn

Richard Cohn will join the Sydney Conservatorium of Music as a Professor of Music in 2015.

The Sydney Conservatorium of Music announces the appointment of the esteemed music theorist, Richard Cohn, to the role of Professor of Music from January 2015.  American-born Cohn is currently at Yale University, one of the oldest tertiary institutions in the US, where he has been the Battell Professor of the Theory of Music since 2005.

Richard Cohn’s face will be familiar to many staff and students following his six month stint at the Con during the first half of last year as an Honorary Professor, when he spoke at several seminars at the University of Sydney’s music faculty.

Cohn brings great expertise in music theory to the Con. He is noted for his particular interest in chromatic harmony, metric dissonance, Schenkerian theory, atonal pitch-class theory and Lewinian transformational theory, among other topics.

A prolific writer, Cohn founded the Oxford Studies in Music Theory in 2004, which he edited for Oxford University Press for ten years. Currently, he is editor of the Journal of Music Theory, the US’ oldest music journal in its field.

Cohn is known for publishing widely on the music of Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms, Wagner, Bartok and Reich, and has written extensively for many professional publications, including the Journal of Music Theory, Music Theory Spectrum, Nineteenth-Century Music and Music Theory Online.

While a regular speaker at academic conferences and other meetings of music specialists, he has also presented non-academic lectures that have covered topics from an exploration of Haydn’s The Seasons to a musical analysis of Martin Luther King’s I Have a Dream speech.

Prior to Yale University, Cohn taught in the music department at the University of Chicago from 1985, where he served as its Chair from 1998 to 2001. He also held several directorships of undergraduate and graduate studies, and of a music theory mentoring partnership.

A graduate of Brown University, Rhode Island, in 1977, Cohn earned his doctorate from the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester, New York, in 1987.

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New conductor brings change of wind to the Con http://music.sydney.edu.au/new-conductor-brings-change-wind-con/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=new-conductor-brings-change-wind-con http://music.sydney.edu.au/new-conductor-brings-change-wind-con/#comments Mon, 26 May 2014 02:15:11 +0000 superadmin http://music.sydney.edu.au/?p=3167 Dr John Lynch, the phenomenal American wind conductor of international repute, has arrived in Australia to take up his new teaching role at the University of Sydney’s Conservatorium of Music and lead the Con’s Wind Symphony in their first concert … Continue reading

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Dr John Lynch, the phenomenal American wind conductor of international repute, has arrived in Australia to take up his new teaching role at the University of Sydney’s Conservatorium of Music and lead the Con’s Wind Symphony in their first concert together on Thursday, 29 May.

Dr John Lynch

Dr John Lynch

John Lynch hails from New York State and has led some of the finest university band programs in the United States before coming to Sydney.

“I’m very excited to be joining the music faculty of the University of Sydney and building a world-class wind symphony program with the very talented Australian students here.  My role in Sydney should prove to be remarkable, if not life changing!” said Dr John Lynch.

With more than 25 years teaching and conducting experience, Dr Lynch is the first wind conductor to assume a full-time position in a tertiary music school in Australia, signaling a new dawn in the wind band movement in this country.

“Dr Lynch is an exceptional musician with a deep knowledge of wind repertoire and vast international experience in teaching music and performing.  He will play a key role in shaping Australia’s next conductors and growing our post-graduate wind band programs at the Con. I could not think of a better mentor for our conducting and wind musicians in this country,” said Dr Karl Kramer, Dean of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

The much-anticipated concert this Thursday will see John Lynch and the Conservatorium Wind Symphony stage an intriguing program, which presents historically-significant composers through the lens of contemporary composition.  Highlights include award-winning masterworks by Dana Wilson, Ron Nelson, and Pulitzer Prize winner Steven Stucky, alongside Purcell, Bach and Strauss.

Following an Australian and international search last year, Dr Lynch was appointed Associate Professor of Music and Artistic Director and Conductor of the Conservatorium’s Wind Symphony in November 2013. He comes from the University of Georgia where he was Director of Bands and Professor of Music at the Hodgson School of Music, overseeing an extensive band and graduate wind conducting programs for the last seven years.

During his international career, Dr Lynch has toured and performed extensively throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, South America and Asia, including invited tours of China and Argentina.  He has held prestigious residencies at the Vivaldi Conservatory in Alessandria, Italy, the Conservatory in Vilnius, Lithuania, and the University of Costa Rica.

With several recordings to his name, including the Naxos label’s Wind Band Classics Series, his music has been widely broadcasted across the United States, Europe and Japan. He is also an advocate of new music, which has seen him obtain grants to research contemporary compositions in Scandinavia, Spain and Portugal.

Dr Lynch’s love of wind music can be traced back to his childhood when he took up his first instruments, the clarinet and the piano, which he played throughout his school years.

“I’m very fortunate to have had inspiring role models throughout my life and career, and I look forward to giving that back to the future generations of Australian musicians,” he said.

Event details:
What: Greenway Series: Conservatorium Wind Symphony conducted by Dr John Lynch
Where: Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Verbrugghen Hall
When: Thursday, 29 May, 6.30pm
Cost: $20 adult, $10 concession/student
Tickets: Online at Sydney Conservatorium of Music or City Recital Hall, Angel Place on (02) 8256 2222

Media Enquiries: Mandy Campbell, 0481 012 742 or mandy.campbell@sydney.edu.au

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Mozart meets Menotti in a 1930s radio opera http://music.sydney.edu.au/mozart-meets-menotti/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=mozart-meets-menotti http://music.sydney.edu.au/mozart-meets-menotti/#comments Fri, 02 May 2014 05:08:46 +0000 superadmin http://music.sydney.edu.au/?p=3116 In its first big opera production of the year, the Sydney Conservatorium of Music will take audiences back in time to the 1930s and the golden age of live radio plays. But there is a production twist, when two comical … Continue reading

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Cast members experiment with sound at the Foley desk during rehearsals for the upcoming 1930s radio opera at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. Photo: Louis Dillon Savage.

Cast members experiment with sound at the Foley desk during rehearsals for the upcoming 1930s radio opera at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. Photo: Louis Dillon Savage.

In its first big opera production of the year, the Sydney Conservatorium of Music will take audiences back in time to the 1930s and the golden age of live radio plays. But there is a production twist, when two comical works, Menotti’s The Old Maid and the Thief and Mozart’s The Impresario, meet on the same stage in an opera double bill over four performances in May.

One of the first operas written for radio, The Old Maid and the Thief premiered in the United States in 1939. It sets the scene for the Sydney Conservatorium of Music’s first double bill, which will see Menotti’s wickedly-funny production staged alongside Mozart’s humorous 1786, one-act German opera.

Stephen Mould, musical director and Chair of Opera Productions at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, said: “While the two works are centuries apart, they both share a similar, mischievous thread that work beautifully together in a live radio opera.

“We have all the elements and talent for staging an exciting radio drama that were so popular during the 30s and 40s. The big brassy band, the powerful singers and the lively theatrics typical of radio plays, will be revived by our orchestral musicians and opera singers,” said Stephen Mould.

Set and lighting designers Elizabeth Gadsby and Alexander Berlage will recreate the world inside a 1930s radio studio, where the audience becomes part of the set as they play the part of a live studio audience. The Foley desk, where the everyday sound effects of clinking tea cups, creaky doors and running footsteps were made by Foley artists, also promises to be a special set feature.

“With no visual component, radio drama depends on great dialogue, music and sound effects to enable the listener to imagine the characters and scenes. Seeing these elements brought together in a live radio production where every second counts, is an exciting spectacle to watch,” said Stephen Mould.

Renowned Sydney director Sally Blackwood will direct the 17-strong cast, accompanied by the Sydney Con orchestra conducted Stephen Mould. The principal roles will be played by the Con’s rising opera stars Alexander Knight and Andrew Williams, who share the role of Bob, while Corinne Parker and Audrey Gabor will share the role of Laetitia in The Old Maid and the Thief. Joel Scott and Daniel Tambasco will play the role of The Impresario, alongside Kathryn Williams as Madame Heartmelt.

The Sydney Conservatorium of Music’s bi-annual opera productions have been a launching pad for the next generation of top Australian opera stars. Young soprano student Jenny Liu, who starred in the Con’s last opera in November 2013, is currently making her professional debut in the Australian musical production of The King and I.

The Sydney Conservatorium of Music’s first 2014 opera will be presented over four afternoon and evening performances in May, kicking off on Saturday 17 May.

Event details:

What: Opera double bill: Menotti’s The Old Maid and the Thief and Mozart’s The Impresario
Where: Sydney Conservatorium of Music
When: Saturday 17 May (6.30pm), Tuesday 20 May (6.30pm), Thursday 22 May (6.30pm), Saturday 24 May (2.00pm)
Cost: $50 adult, $25 concession
Bookings: City Recital Hall: www.cityrecitalhall.com or phone 1300 797 118

About the Opera double bill
Menotti’s The Old Maid and the Thief is best described as an American farce, dubbed by the composer as a ‘Grotesque Opera’. It tells the story of a ‘busybody’, Miss Todd, and her maid, Laetitia, whose hermetic small town world is turned upside down by the arrival of Bob, a handsome wanderer. Thrilled by his arrival into their lives, the ladies lavishly host and entertain him. However, it soon becomes apparent that Bob may not be who he appears to be, drawing all three into a web of lies and confusion.

Mozart’s The Impresario (Der Schauspieldirektor) takes an insider’s, sideways look at the world and tribulations of an opera impresario, as he attempts to establish a performing troupe. Hamstrung by competing prima donnas vying for his attention, and hoodwinked by the mercenary Mr Bluff, the Impresario must navigate his way through temperamental behaviour, bribery, mercenary misdemeanors – all in all, just an average day in the opera trade.

Media Enquiries:
Mandy Campbell, 0481 012 742 or mandy.campbell@sydney.edu.au

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The Con’s trifecta for Australia’s richest violin prize http://music.sydney.edu.au/cons-trifecta-australias-richest-violin-prize/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=cons-trifecta-australias-richest-violin-prize http://music.sydney.edu.au/cons-trifecta-australias-richest-violin-prize/#comments Mon, 14 Apr 2014 03:19:54 +0000 superadmin http://music.sydney.edu.au/?p=3065   Three finalists competing in the final round of Australia’s richest violin competition this week in Melbourne, staged by the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music at The University Of Melbourne, are all former students of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. Doretta … Continue reading

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Former Sydney Conservatorium of Music students Anne-Marie Johnson, Doretta Balkizas and Emily Sun compete for Australia’s richest violin prize this week. Photo: Melbourne Conservatorium of Music.

Former Sydney Conservatorium of Music students (L-R) Anne-Marie Johnson, Doretta Balkizas and Emily Sun compete for Australia’s richest violin prize this week. Photo: Melbourne Conservatorium of Music.

Three finalists competing in the final round of Australia’s richest violin competition this week in Melbourne, staged by the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music at The University Of Melbourne, are all former students of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

Doretta Balkizas, Anne-Marie Johnson and Emily Sun will appear at the Melbourne Recital Centre in a gala concert as they perform their chosen concertos with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra on Thursday 17 April at 7pm.

Goetz Richter, Associate Professor of Violin and Chair of Strings at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, University of Sydney, said:  “We are thrilled about the success of our students in this competition.

“Over the past years we have worked very hard to build a comprehensive program of performance development to give our exceptional teachers the support they need in their work with these talented students.

“It is a combination of both teacher and student individual brilliance and the way we work together that makes the Sydney Conservatorium such an exceptional place for learning,” he said.

Established in 1981, the 2014 Dorcas McCLean Travelling Scholarship is open to violinists across the country aged 25 years and under, who are competing for the top $40,000 prize.  The prize enables the winner to undertake further study overseas, and the opportunity to record and perform with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra during the tenure of their scholarship.

Doretta Balkizas, who graduated from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music last year, said: “Performing with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra is such a great opportunity, and was the reason I was drawn to enter the competition. The fact that it also has a significant travel scholarship is an added bonus, but one doesn’t think too much about that!”

Melbourne Conservatorium’s Head of Strings, and Head Adjudicator of the competition, violinist Curt Thompson said, “I’m extremely excited to be a part of this year’s Dorcas McClean Travelling Scholarship. While I’m still new to Australia, in my career overseas I have performed and competed with past winners of this significant national competition.”

“The importance of the Dorcas McClean to young Australian violinists is profound, particularly this year as the winner will have the unique opportunity to perform and record with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra,” he said.

A shortlist of six violinists competed in an all-day recital yesterday at the University of Melbourne’s Melba Hall for the chance to progress through to the final round this Thursday. Current Sydney Conservatorium of Music students James Dong and Wendy Kong, and former student Xenia Deviatkina-Loh were also in the running.

“It was a nice surprise that all the contestants were from the Sydney Con.  Xenia, Emily, Anne-Marie, James and I had studied together there, so it was a lovely opportunity to catch up,” said Doretta.

A panel of three prominent Australian violinists including the Concertmaster of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra Wilma Smith, former First Violin of the Australian String Quartet Sophie Rowell and Melbourne Conservatorium’s Head of Strings Curt Thompson will judge the final round at the gala performance on Thursday.  The overall winner will be announced at the end of the concert.

Tickets to the gala concert can be purchased online from the Melbourne Recital Centre  Ticket prices are $35 adult and $25 concession.

Media Enquiries: Mandy Campbell, 0481 012 742 or mandy.campbell@sydney.edu.au

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Students make new music connections for summit finale http://music.sydney.edu.au/students-make-new-music-connections-summit-finale/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=students-make-new-music-connections-summit-finale http://music.sydney.edu.au/students-make-new-music-connections-summit-finale/#comments Fri, 04 Apr 2014 00:28:44 +0000 Grace Hall http://music.sydney.edu.au/?p=3030 Whilst the heads of eleven elite tertiary music schools from the Asia Pacific region have been meeting in Sydney this week for an inaugural music summit, Australian and Chinese students have been preparing for their first concert for the summit … Continue reading

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Whilst the heads of eleven elite tertiary music schools from the Asia Pacific region have been meeting in Sydney this week for an inaugural music summit, Australian and Chinese students have been preparing for their first concert for the summit finale at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music on 5 April.

A student cohort of 35 musicians from Beijing, Shanghai, Melbourne and Sydney conservatories have attended workshops, exchanged music notes and taken part in intensive rehearsals to stage a free orchestral concert for the music leaders and general public this Saturday night.

Eduardo Diazmuñoz, Sydney Conservatorium of Music’s Chair of Conducting and conductor of the finale concert said: “It has been a delight to rehearse and watch students from two countries with very different cultural backgrounds and spoken languages make new connections through the love, passion and language of music.”

“The Chinese students’ approach to learning and playing music has provided a new dimension to the music we have been re-creating. The concert promises to be a wonderful finale to this student collaboration over the last few days,” he said.

A highlight of the concert is the premiere performances of two works composed by summit participants Professor Barry Conyngham AM from the Melbourne Conservatorium and Professor Xu Shuya from the Shanghai Conservatory.

“It is the first Sydney recital of Professor Conyhgham’s piece To the edge and the world-premiere of Professor Xu’s work In Nomine. It is an absolute honour to be conducting these premiere performances and very fitting that we have musicians from the home country of each composer delivering their pieces,” said Eduardo Diazmuñoz.

“Other classical pieces that will be performed during the concert are the powerful and moving compositions by Mexican composer Silvestre Revueltas (1899-1940), Spanish-Mexican composer Antonio Sarrier (1725-ca1762), which I believe are local premieres, and the world well-known Valse Triste by the celebrated Finish composer Jan Sibelius (1865-1957).”

The inaugural Asia Pacific Music Summit, which kicked off on 2nd April at the Sydney Opera House, aims to create closer ties between the music conservatories across the region, so more student collaborations of the performance kind can take place. The initiative is the brainchild of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music at the University of Sydney and Beijing Central Conservatory of Music, which are the joint hosts of the first summit in Sydney.

Event details:
What: Association of Asia-Pacific Music Institutions Sydney 2014 Finale
Where: Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Verbrugghen Hall
When: Saturday 5 April at 6.30pm
Cost/bookings: Free

Media Enquiries: Mandy Campbell, 0481 012 742 or mandy.campbell@sydney.edu.au

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