ABR Arts Music

Season Opening Gala (Melbourne Symphony Orchestra) ★★★★

Elizabeth Kertesz
Monday, 18 March 2019

The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra’s 2019 Season Opening Gala last night was billed as part of their curated ‘East Meets West’ experience, and featured violinist Lü Siqing, with whom the orchestra toured China in 2018. It opened with a short welcoming address from MSO Board Chairman Michael Ullmer ...

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Picaresque (Adelaide Festival) ★★★

Ben Brooker
Thursday, 14 March 2019

For the uninitiated, a maquette is an architectural miniature of a monument or building. Small, made from cardboard or wood, and often able to be flat-packed, travellers have long collected them as souvenirs of adventures to faraway places. Robyn Archer, doyenne of Australian cabaret ...

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Heavenly (Queensland Symphony Orchestra) ★★★★★

Gillian Wills
Tuesday, 19 February 2019

In last year’s opening Maestro concert, the young Scandinavian conductor Daniel Blendulf made his début with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra. Alondra de la Parra, the orchestra’s chief conductor, was to have directed this year’s introductory concert, but as she was invited to replace the indisposed Franz Welser-Möst in Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute) in Berlin ...

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Daniel Barenboim, then primarily a pianist, last visited Sydney in 1970. He and his wife, Jacqueline du Pré, performed the complete piano and cello sonatas of Ludwig van Beethoven at the Sydney Town Hall. They also visited the site of the Sydney Opera house, which opened three years later ...

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2018 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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Beethoven’s Nine, Ode to Joy 

Zoltán Szabó
Thursday, 01 November 2018

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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