David Larkin

David Larkin

David Larkin is a senior lecturer in musicology at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. His research interests are centred on the works and aesthetics of Richard Strauss, Franz Liszt, and Richard Wagner. He is the author of several journal articles and book chapters, and his work has appeared in 19th-Century Music, Music and the Moving Image, The Musical Quarterly, and The Cambridge Companion to Richard Strauss. He is currently working on a study of the notion of musical progress in the Germanic music world in the second half of the nineteenth century.

Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra and Jaap van Zweden

ABR Arts 09 May 2017
Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra and Jaap van Zweden
After the recent appearance of Joshua Bell and the Academy of St Martin in the Fields in Sydney, the next visitors to the Sydney Opera House in the World Orchestras Program were the Hong Kong Philharmonic under conductor Jaap van Zweden, with violinist Ning Feng. Although the Concert Hall was again pretty nearly full for their single night in Sydney, there was an absence of the palpable sense of e ... (read more)

András Schiff: ‘The Last Sonatas’ (Kajimoto)

ABR Arts 24 March 2017
András Schiff: ‘The Last Sonatas’ (Kajimoto)
How much is too much music? What creates a successful program? The first of András Schiff’s two Tokyo recitals in the splendid Opera City Concert Hall left these and other questions in the forefront of this reviewer’s mind. Advertised under the banner ‘The Last Sonatas’, the pair of recitals covers the final two piano sonatas by the four great Viennese masters, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, a ... (read more)

King Roger (Opera Australia)

ABR Arts 23 January 2017
King Roger (Opera Australia)
Within the Australian context, any allusion to King Roger would be taken by most to be an admiring soubriquet for the Swiss tennis maestro who, as it happens, won through to the quarter finals of the Australian Open while this review was being written. But while Melbourne is in thrall to the silky skills of the re-energised Federer, the opera-going denizens of Sydney have been thrilled by another ... (read more)

David Larkin reviews 'Franz Liszt: Musician, celebrity, superstar' by Oliver Hilmes, translated by Stewart Spencer

December 2016, no. 387 29 November 2016
David Larkin reviews 'Franz Liszt: Musician, celebrity, superstar' by Oliver Hilmes, translated by Stewart Spencer
A century before Beatlemania there was Lisztomania. The symptoms were similar: fans driven to near delirium by their proximity to their musical idols, this mass hysteria finding involuntary physical release during performances. The Beatles may have been mobbed during their 1964 American tour, but Liszt left Berlin in March 1842 ‘not like a king, but as a king’, as one contemporary put it: in a ... (read more)

Australian World Orchestra’s fifth anniversary concerts

ABR Arts 04 October 2016
Australian World Orchestra’s fifth anniversary concerts
These days a victorious homecoming is normally reserved for élite athletes, but since 2011 it has had an equivalent in the sphere of classical music, thanks to the creation of the Australian World Orchestra. The brainchild of Alexander Briger, this project-based orchestra unites expatriate Australians plying their trade overseas with the cream of musicians active at home, to create a supergroup o ... (read more)

Carmen (Opera Australia)

ABR Arts 20 June 2016
Carmen (Opera Australia)
One can't get away from Carmen. The happy combination of unforgettable tunes, the exotic ambience, and a psychologically plausible plot (by no means a sine qua non in the genre) have ensured that Georges Bizet's masterpiece is among the top three most performed operas worldwide nowadays. Even by these standards, however, Sydney's recent Carmen fixation is noteworthy. In the last four years, there ... (read more)