Malcolm Gillies

Malcolm Gillies

Malcolm Gillies is a Canberra-based musicologist, and former music and opera critic of The Australian. He has authored or edited half a dozen studies of Béla Bartók, and holds the Knight’s Cross of the Hungarian Republic for his contributions to music and to Anglo-Hungarian diplomacy. Since 1997 he has edited the Studies in Musical Genesis series of Oxford University Press (New York).

Australian World Orchestra's valiant national tour

ABR Arts 03 June 2021
Australian World Orchestra's valiant national tour
‘Bringing the world back home’ was an early strapline of Australia’s SBS network. In those early multicultural days, it emphasised that being Australian did not restrict you from being culturally plural. It had the unfortunate implication, however, that Australia was not actually part of ‘the world’. We stood apart. Zoom forward to Covid-struck 2021, and Australia desperately wants to st ... (read more)

'La Clemenza di Tito' shines at Canberra's new National Opera

ABR Arts 14 April 2021
'La Clemenza di Tito' shines at Canberra's new National Opera
For nearly two centuries considered the runt of Mozart’s operatic litter, La Clemenza di Tito has taken on new life this millennium. Written in the formalistic, to nineteenth-century ears even archaic, style of opera seria, this hastily composed two-act work of Mozart’s final year (first performed in Prague on 6 September 1791) is now received as fresh, even vital, overturning an inherited vie ... (read more)

Bluebeard’s Castle | Opera Australia

ABR Arts 03 March 2021
Bluebeard’s Castle | Opera Australia
Béla Bartók’s Duke Bluebeard’s Castle was premièred amid the chaotic, final months of the Great War. Its lugubrious symphonic mood, grim libretto, and static set gained respect rather than favour from its first anxious audience. A century on, now freed from the shackles of copyright (Bartók died in 1945), the opera invites new approaches, arrangements, and settings. There is even now an an ... (read more)

Australian Festival of Chamber Music

ABR Arts 25 August 2015
Musicians like to play. Some play instruments, others play pieces, and a few, somehow, go deeper. They play ‘the music’, ideally sidelining the instrument or documentation, to connect with their audience person-to-person, even ear-to-ear. Chamber music is probably the most intimate of music’s genres. It is fundamentally about unmediated musical relationships, ‘the music’, presented withi ... (read more)