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Michael Shmith

Michael Shmith

Michael Shmith is a Melbourne-based writer and editor. His latest book, Merlyn (Hardie Grant, 2021) is a biography of the widow of Sidney Myer.

Debussy and Bruckner (Australian World Orchestra)

ABR Arts 03 August 2015
Hot on the heels from its two triumphant concerts at the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall, the Australian World Orchestra headed south for its Melbourne appearance. Alas – and no jokes about Melbourne weather, please; it’s still too sensitive a subject – somewhere betwixt Harbourside and Southbank, the dreaded lurgy struck conductor Simon Rattle and soloist, mezzo-soprano, Magdalena Kožená. ... (read more)

Michael Shmith reviews 'Rules of Engagement' by Kim Williams

December 2014, no. 367 24 November 2014
What this is not, as Kim Williams is quick to tell us (introduction, paragraph two), is a dog-bites-Murdoch account of that nasty business in August 2013 that saw Williams summarily ousted as chief executive of News Corp Australia. Other disgruntled former Ruprechtian courtiers such as former editor-in-chief of The Herald Sun Bruce Guthrie, who sought and won legal redress and indeed wrote an acco ... (read more)

Michael Shmith reviews 'Music in the Castle of Heaven: A portrait of Johann Sebastian Bach' by John Eliot Gardiner

June–July 2014, no. 362 01 June 2014
I was a part-time pilgrim on John Eliot Gardiner’s extraordinary year-long journey, from Christmas 1999 to New Year’s Eve 2000, when he took Johann Sebastian Bach on the road. Gardiner’s Bach Cantata Pilgrimage, with his fifteen-member Monteverdi Choir and the twenty instrumentalists of the English Baroque Soloists, performed in Britain, Europe, and the United States all of JSB’s 198 survi ... (read more)

Michael Shmith reviews 'Counting One’s Blessings: The Selected Letters of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother' by William Shawcross

February 2013, no. 348 29 January 2013
It is fitting to compare the longevity of the Queen Mother’s life with a magnificent hand-woven carpet running along a length of parquet down a torch-lit ancestral hallway: she was the embodiment of the twentieth century precisely because her life more or less spanned it. She was born on 4 August 1900 and (allowing for a bit of overhang into this century) died on Easter Saturday, 30 March 2002. ... (read more)
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