ABR Arts Music

Wangaratta Festival of Jazz and Blues

Des Cowley
Monday, 12 November 2018

Now in its twenty-ninth year, the Wangaratta Festival of Jazz and Blues continues to deliver programming that is innovative, ambitious, and far-reaching. That a long-running Festival of this scale and significance takes place annually in a regional Victorian city says much about the tenacity and dedication of the Festival’s artistic team ...

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The Sydney Symphony Orchestra’s late-October subscription concerts offered an interesting juxtaposition by pairing the final symphonies of Joseph Haydn and Ludwig van Beethoven. These masterworks illustrate the enormous changes that revolutionised symphonic writing within a few decades from the last decades of the eighteenth century.

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Brahms Revelation (Sydney Symphony Orchestra) ★★★★

Zoltán Szabó
Monday, 27 August 2018
This week’s subscription series of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra included the world première of a new Australian cello concerto by Brett Dean, bookended by venerable late-nineteenth-century works by Edward Elgar and Johannes Brahms ... ... (read more)

Sydney Symphony Orchestra is renowned for its meaningful programs, where the individual items are connected through some historical, musical, or even technical thread. Whether most members of the audience notice that the program focuses on great Romantic masterpieces ...

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Kites of Tianjin (fortyfivedownstairs) ★★★★1/2

Des Cowley
Wednesday, 01 August 2018
The Kites of Tianjin was the fifth and final set of performances by composer and multi-instrumentalist Adam Simmons in his series The Usefulness of Art, inaugurated back in March 2017 with Concerto for Piano and Toy Band. It has proven to be an ambitious cycle ... ... (read more)

Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition

Sheila Fitzpatrick
Monday, 23 July 2018

I don’t watch the World Cup or even Wimbledon, so I may have some Australian gene missing. But by the time the string quartet winners were announced at the end of the Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition last week, I had become a fan, almost a barracker. I was rooting for the ...

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‘People who don’t like tunes don’t like Berlioz.’ Thus, the late Colin Davis, famed English conductor and Berlioz exponent, said in 2007 about L’Enfance du Christ. Davis, in his wry, gently combative English way, and with a burnished reputation behind him, didn’t have to care about musical fashion or despised tunes: ...

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This week’s subscription concerts of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra began with the Symphony No.1 in G minor by Russian composer Vasily Sergeyevich Kalinnikov; a decision by no means lacking reason or merit, yet certainly courageous. One could argue that seven decades after its last performance by the SSO in 1946 its time ...

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2018 Melbourne International Jazz Festival

Des Cowley
Thursday, 14 June 2018

One of the key issues addressed by the twenty-first Melbourne International Jazz Festival (MIJF) is the role of women in jazz. In the wake of the #MeToo movement, there has been much debate around gender equality in jazz, including inevitable references to jazz as a ‘boys’ club’. While there has never been a shortage ...

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The Calling (fortyfivedownstairs) ★★★★1/2

Des Cowley
Monday, 07 May 2018

The Calling is the fourth in a series of five large-scale concerts, each featuring a different ensemble, being performed at fortyfivedownstairs by multi-instrumentalist and composer Adam Simmons throughout 2017–18. The overarching title of the series, ‘The Usefulness of Art’, is inspired by a quote from sculptor Auguste Rodin ...

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