Dear friends and supporters,
We've had a wonderful start to the season with some really special series concerts, we hope you agree. Stunning violinist Dale Barltrop joined us for Ravel and Mendelssohn, and Trish O'Brien premiered Paul Dean's ground-breaking new Concerto for Cello and Wind Quintet. Andrew Haveron then joined us for Concert 2 on May 27, along with a team of incredible actors - Jason Barry-Smith, Tom Oliver and Barbara Lowing, for Stravinsky's Soldier's Tale and Brahms Quintet.
Believe it or not, our co-Artistic Director Trish O'Brien had a nasty fall just before the concert (rushing to take a photo of the group for instagram) spraining her ankle and breaking three ribs, but still managed to play the Brahms quintet without anyone noticing. The show certainly must go on, and Dr Theatre, as actress Barbara Lowing describes it, is an incredible doctor if only for the length of the performance!
Coming up in just over 2 weeks is Concert 3, and it's going to be an amazing one with Iain Farrington's arrangement of Mahler's 1st Symphony. Some of you witnessed our performance of Mahler 4 last year, the recording of which has now had in excess of 3000 hits on YouTube and may be released on vinyl in the near future. We are so excited to be able to perform yet another Mahler symphony, they are brilliant to play in chamber ensemble format and Mahler 1 is of course an absolute favourite amongst audiences.
The Inspiration of youth is the underlying motif of this concert. Starting the concert is the most wonderful and colourful depiction of youth in music, Schumann's incomparable Kinderszenen, performed by Daniel de Borah. Emerging Australian composer William Jeffrey's first string quartet written when he was just 18, is an impressive and evocative collection of variations and rhapsodies on the English nursery rhyme ""Hey Diddle Diddle"". Janacek's Mladi (Youth) for wind quintet and bass clarinet was written late in the composer's life but in memory of his own youth and upbringing.
Mahler's first symphony was written and rewritten between 1888 and 1896, the years that saw Mahler move from understudy conductor to being recognise as one of the greatest conductors of all time. Using themes from his early song cycle based on a collection of German folk poetry, Des Knaben Wunderhorn, the youthful zest imbued in this symphony is electric from the opening first chord to the final triumphant sounds of the finale. Definitely a concert event not to be missed.
Mentees for this performance include violinist Rollin Zhao (Bris/Syd), flautist Kiran Phatak (Melb), and bass clarinettist Daniel Byrne (QCGU).