Nexas Quartet are committed to sharing the musical diversity of the saxophone, showcasing its versatility and ability to cross genre boundaries. Their utterly startling, adrenaline-fueled precision and virtuosity, paired with their prerogative to share existing and new repertoire make their concerts a pleasure to experience. Nexas Quartet is joined by the incredible talent of harpist Emily Granger providing a unique and largely unexplored sound world of saxophone quartet and harp.
Above are the twelve ensembles who were Strike a Chord finalists. After an afternoon of stunning performances, they are assembled to hear the jury’s verdict.
Click on the button below to see the list of winners. Or click on the video link to watch the entire concert – it’s worth it!
Congratulations to Musica Viva and all the participants.
The ACC’s Top Dozen Choral Classics performances, originally scheduled for June 2020, were rescheduled three times, and finally took place over two weekends in August 2022.
According to choir members, “It was worth the wait. We really enjoyed singing the choral works that received the most votes.” These included Allegri’s Miserere, Mozart’s Ave verum, Bach’s Lobet den Herrn, Beethoven’s Ode to Joy, Purcell’s Hear my prayer, Tallis’ Lamentations. And there’s more.
The concerts were recorded, and are now available on ACCess, the Australian Chamber Choir’s Excellent Streaming Service.
During the long lockdowns of 2020 and 2021, many of us began to watch concerts online either livestreamed or on-demand streaming to make up for the lack of live concerts.
Although we’re out of lockdown, on-demand streaming of live performances is still with us as another way to enjoy chamber music. Scroll down to see the organisations and groups that offer on-demand streaming.
If you need a quick fix, try something from our selection of recordings in the “Podcasts and Videos” area of What’s On.
The Albanese Labor Government’s landmark National Cultural Policy is taking shape, with artists and entertainers all over the country having their say on the future of their industry.
Musicians, dancers, writers, actors, directors, producers, painters and industry leaders of all kinds have participated in 14 town hall meetings in every state and territory over the last two months.
They’ve also made more than 1200 written submissions about how the Government can ensure their industry has a bright future.
Development of the policy will now enter a new phase as our Review Panels identify the key issues and themes raised through the consultation process and help craft what will be a comprehensive roadmap for Australia’s arts and culture sectors for the decades ahead.
To support this process the Government is also establishing an Expert Advisory Group to provide overarching strategic advice. The Advisory Group includes:
- Ms Janet Holmes à Court AC (WA) is an Australian businesswoman and arts philanthropist, who has served as chair of the Australian Children’s Television Foundation, Art Gallery of Western Australia, Black Swan State Theatre Company and the West Australian Symphony Orchestra and on the Board of the Reserve Bank of Australia.
- Mr Adrian Collette AM (NSW) is Chief Executive Officer of the Australia Council for the Arts, who has held previous roles as the Chief Executive of Opera Australia and in the higher education and publishing sectors.
- Ms Alysha Herrmann (SA) is a writer, performance-maker, creative producer and youth arts worker from regional South Australia.
- Ms Sinsa Mansell (TAS) is a Trawoolaway woman and co-founder, performer, and choreographer with pakana kanaplila, a Traditional/Contemporary Tasmanian Aboriginal dance troupe.
- Ms Kitty Taylor (TAS) is a visual artist from lutruwita / Tasmania. She is Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director of RANT Arts, a peak arts organisation that administers the Regional Arts Fund in Tasmania. Her passion is for socially engaged practice and creating programs that build the capacity of both individuals and communities. Kitty is a member of the Institute of Community Directors Australia.
- Mr Christos Tsiolkas (VIC) is an award-winning Australian author and a patron for the Victorian Writers Centre and Outer Urban Projects.
- Professor Clare Wright OAM (VIC) is an award-winning historian, author, broadcaster and public commentator, and is currently a Professor of History and Professor of Public Engagement at La Trobe University
The new cultural policy will have five pillars:
- First Nations first: recognising and respecting the crucial place of these stories at the centre of our arts and culture.
- A place for every story: reflecting the diversity of our stories and the contribution of all Australians as the creators of culture.
- The centrality of the artist: supporting the role of artists as creators and everyone in the sector as workers.
- Strong institutions: providing support across the spectrum of institutions – funded, philanthropic and commercial – which sustain our arts and culture.
- Reaching the audience: ensuring our stories reach the people at home and abroad.
Labor has a proud history of support for the arts.
Both the Keating and Gillard Governments developed cultural policies.
We will deliver a new National Cultural Policy before the end of the year.
The arts, entertainment and cultural sector is important to who we are as Australians and plays a vital role in the economy. And now it has a Government that listens, cares and is determined to deliver a better future for our creative talent.
Public submissions have now closed. To read the submissions – which are being progressively published on the Office for the Arts’ website – and for more information on next steps, visit: www.arts.gov.au/culturalpolicy.
Did you know that the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music have regular free concerts at Melba Hall in Parkville and at the Ian Potter Centre in Southbank?
Even better, all these concerts are streamed free, accessible any time. Click on the button below to see the list of concerts going back to 2019. Needless to say, there are fewer concerts recorded in 2020 and 2021, when Melbourne was in lockdown.
Croissants & Whiskey gave their debut concert on Saturday 23 July, as part of Yarra City Council’s “Leaps and Bounds and Beyond” Music Festival.
The very elegant Reading Room of the Fitzroy Town Hall was packed with people munching croissants, sipping whisky and enjoying wonderful playing by the quartet. One of the highlights was hearing Katie Yap play Emily Sheppard’s Aftermath live – the recording was the first video we put on the Continuo site during lockdown last year. Click here to watch and listen.
Amongst the audience were Kym Dillon, the 2022 Continuo Composer, and Helen Vorrath, Continuo Director and member of the first Continuo Commissioning Circle. It was a great opportunity for Kym to meet Continuo and to hear Croissants & Whiskey playing together. It’s inspired her to write the first of what we hope will be a series of updates on the progress of the project. You can follow Kym’s story in Circle News.
Croissants & Whiskey playing at the Fitzroy Town Hall.
Photo Darren James
I’m absolutely thrilled and honoured to have been awarded this Continuo commission; when it was first announced there was such a reaction of giddy excitement from myself and the ensemble! I feel sincerely grateful to the Continuo Community for awarding this to us, and it genuinely feels as if something rather special is about to happen as a result.
Although I’ve met the Croissants & Whiskey ensemble members individually in other contexts, I have actually yet to meet them together in the same room, and as such I’m very much looking forward to shortly attending the ensemble’s first ever gig to hear them live for the first time.
Even though it is still very early in the creative process, I have already begun thinking hard (and perhaps a little obsessively) about the piece. I don’t mean specific notes, structures, styles or otherwise, but more about the foundational question of ‘why?’ — Croissants & Whiskey is such a unique ensemble, with its blend of harpsichord, baroque viola, recorders and G Violone, instruments which evoke an older tradition of music… but is that really their main function today? Can they be brought together in a way that speaks directly, and relevantly, to a contemporary audience? It’s a question I know the ensemble are exploring for themselves generally; it is also one that I feel drawn to answer in my own way for this piece.
I’m also very keen to avoid the idea of mere gimmickry, of simply writing for these instruments because it’s quirky and ‘different’. For instance, I wouldn’t want this to be a piece that could have just as easily been written for a piano and string trio, but merely becomes more interesting because of the uncommon instruments that happen to be playing it. For me, the presence of these intriguing instruments, their unique characteristics, and indeed something of the context they evoke, is an idea that must find its meaning holistically and convincingly within the world and story of the piece itself.
To give an analogy, if I was a film director it’s as if I have been initially presented with four very distinct and enigmatic characters, ones that you wouldn’t expect would be found in the same film. The initial task falls to me to think of a story that convincingly brings these characters together and grounds their presence and interaction. Once this in place, things can begin to grow creatively from there.
Now I believe I have come up with just such an idea, one that links in with larger themes I have been thinking about, and one that I’m very eager and energised to start exploring… but I will share that with you once I’ve first shared it with the group! I’m aiming to give them a ‘pitch’ very soon, after which I’m looking forward to them introducing me to their individual instruments, all of which are new territory for me.
I look forward to keeping you updated as things progress, not only to add to the excitement that comes from this commission but also to give some insight into the creative process itself.
One year ago, a group of chamber music aficionados gathered in a cafe and resolved to found Continuo Community. By the end of July 2021 the organisation was incorporated and the website created with a What’s On full of August events. The first Continuo Connect newsletter went out on Thursday 29 July 2021.
Since then, so much has happened. Almost immediately Victoria went into lockdown, and all those August events were cancelled. Then the September events. Then the October events. But we soldiered on, advertising all the streaming options that we could find. We made the newsletter weekly because we thought people needed something to read. We moved it from Thursday to “hump day” (Wednesday) as it fitted better with the weekly cycle of events.
When lockdown finally ended, there was an explosion of concerts, and we busied ourselves adding them to What’s On and adding information about the ensembles to the Who’s Who section of the website. There was a wealth of new music played or premiered in these concerts, and details of the Victorian composers whose music was featured were also added to Who’s Who.
We started Continuo Community not only to bring chamber music lovers together, but also to commission new chamber music from Victoria-based composers for local ensembles. Funding would come by forming Commissioning Circles, a group of equal contributors for each project. And earlier this year, we put together the first Circle and commissioned our first work.
Given the difficulties of starting something in the middle of a pandemic, we feel that Continuo has done well in its first year.
2022 Continuo Composer Kym Dillon has chosen Croissants & Whiskey as the ensemble for whom she will compose the commissioned work.
Curious about the name? We asked Miranda Hill to tell us how the group was formed, and how it got its name. Here’s what she sent:
“Croissants & Whiskey, the unlikely pairing that combines the crispness of good pastry with the smooth aftertaste of a well-aged spirit. In musical terms, it brings together the established beauty and earthiness of baroque instruments with new ideas, cultural diversity, and timbral explorations.
“This ensemble was a dream project, conceived of during those long winter lockdowns in Melbourne when everyone was free, and yet no one could gather to play any music. So in lieu of actual rehearsals, we started to muse on the ideal group to break this imposed drought with; what music are we longing for, and what will be restorative both personally and musically after so long apart? This dream-team was founded by Miranda Hill (G violone), asking Joy Lee (harpsichord), Ryan Williams (recorders) and Katie Yap (baroque viola) to form a prog baroque quartet. There is one surviving work for this instrumentation from the baroque period by C.P.E. Bach, however, the main aims of our quartet are to commission new works from diverse Australian voices, and to write our own music as a collective.
“We were fortunate to receive a grant from the City of Melbourne Covid-19 Arts Grants, which commissioned Victorian composer Louisa Trewartha to write our first work, to be premiered at Homophonic! 2021. Rehearsals were scheduled, and then cancelled. The shows were scheduled, and the festival was cancelled. Rehearsals were attempted online but quickly abandoned… so when we finally got to our first rehearsal in person it had been literally 11 months in the planning! And it was even better than we’d imagined.
“It was 11 am on a Thursday. Miranda had brought croissants for morning tea, Joy has a good collection of Whiskey… it was inevitable. These joyous post rehearsal libations have become a strong tradition, and have come to represent our commitment to celebrating what each instrument and musician can bring to the table, and the beautiful combination of our diverse experiences and musical backgrounds.
“We’re bringing the fusion to your aural palette! and by commissioning, performing, and composing new music for baroque instruments we can fully explore this collaboration. Thanks to the generous support from the Continuo Commissioning Circle we are really excited to work with Kym Dillon on developing a new work for the quartet, and have already discussed some great ideas for the commission to be premiered in 2023.
“If this has whetted your appetite for new Australian compositions for baroque instruments, we’ve got our debut performance coming up on the 23 July at the Leaps and Bounds + Beyond Festival in Melbourne. The performance will feature skilful commissions written for us by exciting young Australian composers, including Louisa Trewartha and Emily Sheppard; a classic Nigel Butterly, with world premieres by Ryan Williams and Elizabeth Younan. The Fertile Crescent by Younan is a riotous whirl of Lebanese dances reimagined for western baroque instruments, commissioned and recorded for release by ABC Classic. (There’s also some sneaky CPE Bach and Couperin in there to round off the palette like a nicely aged Scotch in a wine barrel.)”
You can hear and see Croissants & Whiskey play the work by Louisa Trewartha in the video below.
The Hon Tony Burke MP
Minister for the Arts
“The new Labor Government is consulting with artists and creators across Australia as they develop a new National Cultural Policy that they hope will bring drive, direction and vision back to the arts industry.
Creative Australia is to be be used as the starting point for an updated National Cultural Policy that Minister Tony Burke intends to deliver before the end of the year.
The official consultation process began on 1 July with the launch of a new website where any Australian with an interest in arts, entertainment and culture can make a written submission.
The government will also host a series of town hall meetings in every state and territory – starting in Hobart on Wednesday, July 6 – so they can hear directly from artists in every corner of Australia about what they need.”
Media Release 1 July 2022
No doubt there will be people making submissions insisting that AFL football is “culture” or “entertainment”. And other much more legitimate forms of art and culture will be actively seeking more support.
If you think that chamber music won’t get the recognition it deserves, then you have the opportunity change that. In this post-pandemic world of tight budgets, there will never be enough money to go round. If you have an idea about how money could best be spent to support chamber music, please consider making a submission. It could just make a difference.
Here’s our list of ways that you can express your support for chamber music with a tax-deductible donation.
- Support an ensemble, or their commissioning projects via the Australian Cultural Fund. The following Victorian ensembles have current fundraisers listed there:
- Presenters such as Musica Viva, Melbourne Recital Centre, Australian Digital Concert Hall, Woodend Winter Arts Festival and 3MBS would also welcome your financial assistance to support music and musicians.
- If you don’t need the tax deduction, you can support Tempo Rubato by becoming a member.
- Support the next generation of chamber musicians through a donation to ANAM, where so many of our ensembles began their journey.
Melbourne composer Michael Bakrnčev has just released a new single – a recording of his trio Calm for flute, violin and harp.
It’s a beautiful work and if you need calming then listen while watching the lovely video that goes with it.
If you want to add it to one of your playlists click below for links to Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube Music and more. Or download from iTunes.
We’re delighted to announce that the Continuo Composer for 2022 is Kym Dillon.
We would like to thank our esteemed panel Zoe Knighton, Euan Murdoch and Prof. Linda Kouvaras for their time and incredibly thoughtful consideration of each submission. The Panel were very impressed by the quality of the submissions we received and felt that all of the proposals were worthy of consideration.
We would also like to acknowledge the pioneering support of our first Continuo Commissioning Circle. Their generosity will provide Kym with a wonderful opportunity to continue developing her craft, weaving a new work in collaboration with chamber ensemble “Croissants & Whiskey”.
About Kym Dillon
Kym Dillon has a Bachelor of Music Performance from the University of Melbourne, and is currently studying for her Masters of Music Research (Composition), also at the University of Melbourne. Kym has composed chamber works for the Forest Collective and for the Sonus Ensemble.
You can read more about Kym’s background in the Composers section of our Who’s Who.
About the Commission
Here’s what Kym wrote in her winning submission:
My intention in submitting this application is to collaborate with the ensemble ‘Croissants & Whiskey’, a quartet comprising of Joy Lee (harpsichord), Ryan Williams (recorders), Katie Yap (baroque viola) and Miranda Hill (G Violone).
Over the last few years I have fallen in love with writing long-form chamber works, drawn in by the unparalleled sense of intimacy and communication that this genre affords. So far these works have all been for relatively common combinations, with my never before having composed for an ensemble of early/baroque instruments.
Collaborating with and composing for Croissants & Whiskey would offer me a unique opportunity to explore these older instruments and sounds, piecing together a language and story that can speak to contemporary audiences both familiar and unfamiliar with classical music. I love finding sonic links between instruments, finding ways to not only celebrate their individual natures but discover the unique worlds that can be created when they are combined.
If you had a plan to join but hadn’t quite got around to it, then don’t despair. We will be back next year (if not before) with another opportunity for our supporters to join in a commissioning project.
In the meantime you can contribute to the Continuo project by becoming a financial member for a mere $45 a year. Your annual fee helps to cover the operating costs of the Continuo Community.
Stay with us!
FQ Digital allows you to experience great music at any time
There is free content with a back catalogue of Flinders Quartet performances as well as content exclusive to our FQ Digital Subscribers.
An annual subscription ($50) includes:
- Exclusive streamed concerts available on demand for up to 12 months
- Premiere screenings of concerts
- A curated experience to help guide your exploration of composers, specific works and performers
- Interviews with composers and performers<
Enjoy sounds from Australia’s best artists, recorded live from Melbourne Recital Centre.
Immerse yourself in the sounds of the Australian bush and beyond as Trio Avium celebrates the beauty of birdsong, or travel through Italy as virtuoso pianist Stephen McIntyre plays some of his favourite Italian pieces.
Watch Nat Bartsch premiere her new work The Glasshouse alongside her friends Inventi Ensemble, and enjoy the meditative and ancient beauty of Sixteen Alleluias performed by Nick Tsiavos and Adam Simmons.
All performances are FREE to watch and streaming now.
Yes, we know that Townsville isn’t in Victoria. But we also know how many Victorians go north in winter to mix some sun with wonderful chamber music performances. So we thought we’d mention that bookings are now open, because it’s usually a sellout.
Click on the logo for more information.
Experience five glorious and intimate chamber concerts with an ensemble of artists counted amongst the best in the world.
This stellar line-up includes pianist Kathryn Selby AM, SSO Concertmaster Andrew Haveron, SSO Principal Violist Tobias Breider, QSO Concertmaster Natsuko Yoshimoto, ACO Principal Cello Timo-Veikko Valve, violinists Natalie Chee, Grace Clifford and Dene Olding, and cellists Julian Smiles, Richard Narroway and Clancy Newman. Watch the 2022 season video (right).
The March concert is currently sold out, so book early if you want to enjoy any of the later concerts.
In 2022, the Flinders Quartet completes their recording project of the works for string quartet by Margaret Sutherland in partnership with ABC Classic, undertakes their first national tour for Musica Viva Australia with Karin Schaupp (guitar), records for broadcast no less than four new works by emerging and established composers, continue their celebrated Composer Development Program, continues their role as Artistic Patrons of John Noble’s Quartet Program, and commissions seven new works to be played alongside our beloved Beethoven, Brahms and Haydn.
Constantly evolving, they have begun work on a new online string quartet hub, FQ Digital. It will be a one-stop portal for you to enjoy online content, interviews, exploration into the music, curated listening and viewing, and more. With a variety of free and paid content, an FQ Digital subscription will give you broad access like never before. Who needs Netflix?!
In response to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and our commitment to artists and the sector, Creative Partnerships Australia is pleased to announce that from 9am AEDT, 1 December 2021 the service fee on new donations to the Australian Cultural Fund has been removed.
By eliminating the fee, 100% of donations raised by artists on the ACF will go directly to their creative project or initiative, supporting the arts and cultural sector during this time of recovery.
To help relieve the impact of the pandemic on the Australian arts community, the ACF supported campaigns such as the National Assistance Program for the Arts and Theatre Network Australia’s 1000X1000 Crisis Cash for Artists which saw the service fee waived for these COVID-19 response initiatives. We are now excited to be able to extend this initiative across the board for all artists using the ACF platform.
My colleague, Helen Vorrath, has created a delightful website to support chamber music in Victoria – something Helen does with verve and quite a lot of brio as a member of Musica Viva Australia’s Victorian committee.
Hywel Sims, CEO Musica Viva
Brava, Helen, it looks terrific!
Anne Frankenberg, Deputy CEO Musica Viva
Great idea. You have my support.
Julian Burnside AO QC
Congratulations for launching this online gateway for chamber music lovers in Victoria. Since arriving in Melbourne, I have been inspired by the many fine ensembles and the appetite of audiences to delve deeper to discover and support chamber music of all kinds in the community and in our bespoke venues. Continuo aims to get you even closer to the music and to the musicians we all love, and that’s a great thing!
Euan Murdoch, CEO, Melbourne Recital Centre
Good on you all, this is such a fabulous idea, to connect chamber music lovers.
What a wonderful thing you have done down in Victoria, we are deeply appreciative for the support as I’m sure many smaller chamber groups are.
Elise, ACO Box Office
I’m happy to support this initiative and look forward to making use of it.
Wilma Smith, violinist with multiple chamber groups
So who’s idea was this anyway? Who belongs and who’s supporting us?
Here we’ll post the stories and backgrounds of the founders, members and supporters of the Continuo Community.
Continuo Connect is the brainchild of Helen Vorrath. It’s the culmination of ideas she’s been pursuing for several years, finally brought to fruition during lockdown.
Helen has been a concert-goer since school-days, a subscriber to Musica Viva for over 40 years. She is a 3MBS Patron and Life Member, a donor to ANAM, the MRC and Musica Viva.
In the last decade or so, she’s become a much more active chamber music supporter, starting as a volunteer for the Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition (aka MICMC). She’s a member of the Victorian Committee of Musica Viva, Secretary of Genesis Baroque, and supporter of Melbourne Chamber Players. At the last MICMC she joined the Silo Collective to be part of the commissioning of Holly Harrison’s Balderdash.
Helen has derived so much pleasure from all these activities that she felt other people would relish the same opportunities to support chamber music – through modest donations or volunteer activities, or both. She says, “It’s such an uplifting experience to sit in a concert knowing that you have made a real contribution, however minor, to the existence of the performance, the ensemble, or the work.”
Because Continuo was born mid-lockdown, the first members were chosen from friends and relatives who lived within a 5km radius, so that the initial meeting to establish the organisation could be held in a local coffee shop. Watch this space for their stories.
Helen is currently Continuo’s President, Secretary, website designer and newsletter editor. She has recruited a team to help in keeping the concert calendar up to date. Those volunteers will also appear here in due course.
Helen has refused to provide a current photo until such time as she can get a haircut to cut back the lockdown locks.
Instead she provided her avatar, which is how she prefers to imagine she looks.
Justin studied music (clarinet) at the Queensland Conservatorium, at the University of Tasmania and at ANAM. He is now Associate Principal clarinettist with Orchestra Victoria. He’s a very active chamber musician, having founded Melbourne Chamber Players with oboist Steph Dixon. And he’s played gigs with other chamber groups including Rubiks Collective and Syzygy.
Justin’s also been active in commissioning music in the past, so his advice in this area is invaluable as we prepare to become a commissioning organisation. He’s helping with the creation of policies and processes for the selection of composers and the ensembles who will play the commissioned work.
Justin is also a gifted teacher, which is how he got to know Helen Vorrath. Five years ago she decided to return to playing the clarinet after a 50 year break. Google provided her with Justin’s contact details, and the rest as they say is history. He’s still trying patiently to turn her into a better-than-average player.
Libby Vorrath is founder Helen Vorrath's sister-in-law. They first went to chamber music concerts together in London, in 1969 (Brahm's horn trio with Barry Tuckwell, anyone?). These days she and Helen share a Musica Viva Gold Subscription. Libby's also a dedicated listener to classical music via 3MBS and the ABC Classic FM radio, and plays piano when she needs calm or consolation.
Libby has been an ensemble host for two of the Melbourne International Chamber Music Competitions, and is looking forward to doing it again when they resume in 2023.
Libby says, "Not only did I meet the obvious criteria for membership of Continuo, but at the time Helen started it in July 2021, travel was limited to a 5km radius, and fortunately I live close enough to be able to come to the meetings to help her establish the Continuo organisation."
Peter is one of the few classical music fans who hasn’t minded the lockdowns. He actually prefers to watch concerts from the couch. He finds other audience members distracting. His special dislikes are those who:
- cough without covering
- unwrap the cough lollies excruciatingly slowly
- wear jangly bracelets or carry handbags with chain handles
- fail to turn off their phones
On the couch, he is happily in complete control of his environment and can really enjoy his concerts.
Viva Edge is Musica Viva Australia’s newest chamber music concert series located at The Edge in Federation Square, Melbourne. It replaces the old Melbourne Morning Masters season with lunchtime concerts.
Enjoy The Edge’s acoustics and architecture in an inviting and informal setting, with convenient transport options close at hand.
2022 is a transformative new era for the ACO. We return to you, our beloved audiences, right across Australia with a National Concert Season that knows no boundaries. We present our acclaimed immersive film series, ACO StudioCasts, where you’ll be completely swept away by Richard and the Orchestra.
The ACO has always blazed its own trail. 2022 is no exception. Flights are booked, hotel rooms are reserved, freight cases are ready. We hope you’ll join us.
The ACO has three Melbourne season options, on Mondays, Saturdays and Sundays.
Any concert season tells a story, and the one Musica Viva Australia tells in 2022 is simple, if boldly told: it is a tale of creativity during adversity; of partnerships that span the country and the world; of resilience, communal experience and the sheer, astonishing joy of live performance.
Formed by a bunch of Melburnians who are passionate about chamber music, the Continuo Community aims to provide a one-stop-shop for Victorians wanting to find out what’s on and where, who’s who and what they’re doing, and what’s new in the chamber music scene in Victoria.
For those who join the community, there will be opportunities to support chamber music in a myriad of ways, from finance to friendship, advice and assistance.
Ever wondered how much it costs to commission a new piece of music? This 2015 article has lots of interesting information about the whole process.
And here’s another very informative story from a UK commissioning organisation, Composers Editions.
FQ Syndicate brings together groups of people passionate about new work. Each person gives $500 (or more, if you like!) towards commissioning a piece to be developed and premiered by FQ.
FQ Syndicate #4 will be opening soon.
The Pythia Prize is Rubiks’ annual commission project aimed at addressing equality and gender representation in contemporary music. The Prize is open to all Australian female-identifying and non-binary composers, and provides the opportunity for a composer to collaborate with Rubiks to create a new work.
There are about two hundred active composers in Victoria. As their works appear in events on the Continuo website, we will add information about them here. Or at least we will try to keep up as more and more works by local composers are programmed.
In the meantime, you can check out composers at the Australian Music Centre website.
The music of Katy Abbott (1971) leads the listener through a narrative of sound, exploring concepts of home, place, connection and human nature, frequently exhibiting a cheeky humour and cleverly juxtaposing contemporary flavours on traditional settings.
Abbott’s compositions have been performed, published and recorded around the world, brought to life by many of leading Australian chamber ensembles including Halcyon, The Song Company, Syzygy Ensemble, Flinders Quartet and Sydney, Adelaide, Tasmanian and Melbourne Symphony Orchestras. Her works have been performed in UK, Europe, Asia and the USA and featured in many Australian and International music festivals.
Multi-award-winning Michael Bakrnčev is one of Australia’s most highly driven and successful young composers.
Michael was awarded a highly coveted Australian Postgraduate Award (APA), studying with acclaimed composers Elliott Gyger and Brenton Broadstock.
Bakrnčev’s music has been performed extensively throughout Western and Eastern Europe, USA, Canada and Australia.
Nat Bartsch is an ARIA-nominated, multi-award-winning Australian pianist and composer who creates lyrical, ethereal work that explores the space between classical and jazz genres. Her sound is influenced by Australian piano luminaries Luke Howard and Andrea Keller, studies with ECM pianists Tord Gustavsen and Nik Bärtsch, and the indie heroes of her upbringing: Sufjan Stevens, Elbow and Radiohead. She has released seven recordings of original music, toured domestically and internationally, and collaborated with some of Melbourne’s finest artists.
Nat also composes chamber music, with commissions for Plexus Collective, Solstice Trio, The Muses Trio, Matt Withers & Sally Whitwell.
Andrew is a composer, trumpet and keyboard player. Classically trained but experienced in the commercial and contemporary music industries, he likes to blend all of these. His screen and corporate work includes short film scores, TV commercials, live arrangements, music for corporate events and a little for theatre. He’s equally at home synthestrating with samples or recording live musicians in the studio. Several playlists and podcasts use his music, whilst some songs have been included in Australian TV soundtracks.
Dr Calvin Bowman is a distinguished composer and performer who has been a prominent figure in Melbourne and the wider Australian classical music scene for many years. A Fulbright scholar and Doctor of Musical Arts from Yale University, his major focus is the composition of art song, with his ‘Touch the Air Softly’ nominated for numerous awards.
He is a laureate of the Ned Rorem Award for Song Composition, the Diana Barnhart American Song Competition, the English Poetry and Song Society Artsong Award, and been commissioned and performed widely by ensembles throughout Australia, the UK and the USA.
Deborah Cheetham AO, Yorta Yorta woman, soprano, composer and educator has been a leader and pioneer in the Australian arts landscape for more than 25 years. In the 2014 Queen’s Birthday Honours List, Cheetham was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO), for ‘distinguished service to the performing arts as an opera singer, composer and artistic director, to the development of Indigenous artists, and to innovation in performance’.
Cheetham’s list of commissions for major Australian ensembles continues to grow, including works for the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Australian String Quartet, West Australian Symphony Orchestra String Quartet, Rubiks Collective, Plexus Ensemble, Flinders Quartet and the Goldner Quartet.
Lisa Cheney (b.1987) is an Australian composer of acoustic and acousmatic music, hailing from Queensland and now living in Melbourne. Her body of work incorporates orchestra, chamber, voice, acousmatic collaborations, arrangements and works for theatre and ballet.
Her music has been commissioned and performed by The Southern Cross Soloists, The Australian Voices, Queensland Conservatorium Symphony Orchestra, Plexus, Syzygy, Sydney Antiphony, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra and the Australian Ballet amongst others.
Meta Cohen (she/her or they/them) is a queer composer, sound designer, performer and dramaturg. Their work spans music, theatre and interdisciplinary art. They are currently based in Melbourne, Australia, on the unceded land of the Yaluk-ut Weelam people.
Meta’s music has been commissioned by ensembles such as the Sydney Children’s Choir, Luminescence Chamber Singers and Mosaic Voices, and performed in diverse venues ranging from the Powerhouse Museum to the Sydney Opera House. Recently, Meta was the first non-male composer to have a piece performed by an Orthodox Jewish choir in the United Kingdom. In her composition work, she particularly loves to explore the properties and theatrical potential of the voice, often combining this with electroacoustic elements. She is currently composing a commissioned work for ABC Classic FM.
After studies with Peter Sculthorpe (1965–69) in Australia and with Toru Takemitsu (1970) in Japan, Barry established himself in the following decades as one of Australia’s international composers, with premieres and performances of his works in Japan, North and South America, Europe, the UK and at home. Notable premieres in the last few years have been in Palma, Hong Kong, Boston, Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Tokyo, Vienna, and St Petersburg.
Over his career he has published almost 100 works (Universal Edition and Hal Leonard) and released over 60 recordings and videos, including those by the London, Netherlands Radio, New Zealand, and all Australian Orchestras, as well as ensembles and soloists from Poland, Japan, the UK, Europe, Russia, America and Australia.
In 2016 he was appointed Redmond Barry Distinguished Professor of Music at the University of Melbourne. In 2021 Conyngham returned to full-time composition.
Tim Dargaville is a composer, pianist, percussionist, and teacher who is a distinctive voice in recent Australian contemporary music. Central to his work is a nurturing of authentic musical expression that encompasses cultural diversity.
Tim Dargaville’s compositions include work for the concert platform, theatre, and dance, and have received international recognition with performances at festivals in many countries. In Australia his music has been broadcast on ABC national radio and television, featured in the Melbourne and Sydney International Festivals, awarded the prestigious Albert Maggs award, the Jean Bogan prize and an Ian Potter Music Commission.
Kym Dillon is a composer; arranger; orchestrator, pianist and conductor, who is currently based in Melbourne and Geelong. Starting out her career as a jazz pianist, Kym’s interest soon turned to composition, and her work now regularly spans multiple genres and areas of musical practice.
She completed a Bachelor of Music Performance Honours in composition at the Victorian College of the Arts, studying under such teachers as Anthony Lyons, Mark Pollard, and John McCaughey. Kym has had original works commissioned by such groups as the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Astra Chamber Music Society, and Musica Viva. Her work is often inspired by reflections on the nature of imagination and creation — what it means to create and what our creative compulsion says about us.
Melody Eötvös (1984) was born in the Southern Highlands, NSW, Australia. Her work draws on both multi-media and traditional instrumental contexts, as well substantial extra-musical references to a broad range of philosophical, biological, and ancient topics as well as a sustained interest in late 19th-century life and literature.
Eötvös has had her music performed by ensembles and orchestras such as the London Sinfonietta, BBC Singers, The Australian String Quartet, the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, the American Composers Orchestra and the Philadelphia Orchestra, and has participated in several electronic music festivals including SEAMUS 2011 (US), ACMC 2012 (Australia), and ICMC 2011 (New Zealand). She has also participated in numerous festivals and workshops internationally, most recently as a composer in residence with the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music in Santa Cruz (2019).
Current commissions include The Philadelphia Orchestra (USA), The Australian Chamber Orchestra, and the Grand Teton Music Festival Orchestra (USA). Eötvös is a Lecturer in Composition and Aural Studies at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, University of Melbourne, Australia.
MARY FINSTERER is a composer whose practice extends from the concert stage to the screen. Credits include her award–winning opera, Biographica. Presented by Sydney Chamber Opera and Ensemble Offspring in association with Carriageworks, it enjoyed a sold-out at Sydney Festival in 2017. Film credits include Shirley Barrett’s feature film South Solitary, her score of which was a finalist in the Film Critics Circle Awards. Fellowships include a NUFFIC Royal Netherlands Government award and Churchill Fellowship.
She has been the featured composer in the ABC Classic FM Pedestal Programme and numerous portrait concerts including ANAM Australian Voices, Melbourne Recital Centre and Ensemble Offspring at the Sydney Opera House. Other accolades include Paul Lowin Orchestral Prize, IRCAM|Ensemble Intercontemporain Award and numerous Australian Art Music Awards. She has represented Australia in five International Society for Contemporary Music Festivals.
Dr Kenji Fujimura is pianist, chamber musician, and a multi-award-winning composer. Self-taught, he explored and researched an extensive range of compositional styles and idioms from traditional Western music notation to visual and graphic scores, aleatoric music to world music styles. His current musical language reflects upon history and tradition. His works have been performed throughout USA, Romania, Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, and Malaysia. New commissions to be premiered in the 2021-2022 seasons include works for solo piano, cello/piano duo, and piano trio, including a new work supported by the City of Melbourne. His music is distributed by Universal Edition (Vienna).
Having studied composition with Broadstock and Conyngham at the University of Melbourne, Stuart Greenbaum holds a position at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music as Professor and Head of Composition. He is the author of over 230 works including 23 sonatas, 7 string quartets, 5 piano trios, 7 concertos, 5 symphonies and 2 operas.
Greenbaum’s music is heard regularly in Australia and abroad. Nelson, a 3–act opera with libretto by Ross Baglin, was presented in London in 2005 and premiered in full at the 2007 Castlemaine State Festival. Their second opera, The Parrot Factory, received a 5-show season in 2010 staged by Victorian Opera at The Malthouse. Major choral works include The Foundling (1997) and Brought to Light – Symphony No.5 (2020), commissioned by Cantori New York and From the Beginning commissioned for the sesquicentenary of the Royal Melbourne Philharmonic in 2003.
Australian Music Prize long-listed composer Luke Howard has been described as “absolutely heavenly” (Mary Anne Hobbs, BBC Radio 6) and his music as “an ambient masterclass” (Musos’ Guide), but words cannot capture the potency of Howard’s enthralling compositions. A pianist since childhood, Howard has scored films and performed with artists as diverse as Lior and Jeff Mills, capturing audiences with contemporary classical arrangements that curl and twist around the boundaries of a particular emotion. Though wordless, Howard’s songs perform a function unique to music as a medium – that of evoking without describing, bringing listeners to a feeling which defies articulating.
Alice Humphries is a highly versatile and eclectic composer working across and in-between the contemporary classical, jazz, and experimental worlds. Her music has been described as “bursting with life and fun, as well as great, great beauty” and “deeply thought-provoking…offering both moments of incredible intensity and sublime serenity.” Her output includes electro-acoustic, chamber, and orchestral music, as well as music for dance, documentary and film. She seeks to create evocative, immersive, and engaging sound worlds that take inspiration from natural phenomena, and intersections between humanity and nature.
Gordon Kerry is a composer and writer based on north-eastern Victoria. In 2021 his work has been featured in an extensive tour by the Omega Ensemble (Clarinet Quintet), at the Adelaide Festival’s Chamber Landscapes Series (Clarinet and Viola Quintets, and in concert with the Australian Chamber Choir (Seven Last Words). Forthcoming performances include his Sinfonia concertante with Alison Mitchell, Irit Silver and the Queensland Symphony Orchestra; Christchurch Monody for The Marais Project, a new Mass and a Violin Sonata for Musica Viva.
Recent works include music for Plexus, Elysian Fields, Acacia Quartet and Halcyon; his Piano Trio No.3 for Firebird Trio, The Snow Queen (his fourth opera, to a libretto by John Kinsella) for Victorian Opera, a violin concerto, and a Second String Quintet for the Australian String Quartet and cellist Pieter Wispelwey. Other operas include Midnight Son (to Louis Nowra’s libretto) for Victoria Opera and Medea (to Justin Macdonnell’s libretto). His orchestral music includes works commissioned by the ABC, BBC, Symphony Australia, and the Australian and Sydney Youth Orchestras and includes seven concertos, a symphony and various tone-poems. He was ANAM’s inaugural composer-in-residence in 2008.
Professor Linda Kouvaras is a musicologist, composer and pianist. She holds a continuing position in Music at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, the University of Melbourne, and publishes in contemporary music, both classical and popular, focusing especially on Australian music, postmodernism and gender issues in music.
After several years in the late 1970s and early 1980s playing in rock and New Wave/Punk bands and for theatre productions, Linda resumed classical piano studies in the UK in 1984, returning to complete her studies at the Faculty of Music, University of Melbourne, under A/Profs Ronald Farren-Price and Max Cooke, culminating in a Masters Degree in Piano in 1991. Her research work was supervised by Dr Brenton Broadstock, Dr Naomi Cumming, and historian Dr David Goodman and led to her PhD in Musicology in 1996.
Recordings of her works and piano performances appear on Move Records, ABC, Cicadia and Irida Classical labels, and on independent release. Her compositions are played at recitals and festivals nationally and internationally. She has full composer representation with APRA-AMCOS and also publishes with Reed Music. Her solo CD is Kouvaras: PianoWorks (Move Records, 2000) and the most recent CD recording to feature her music is “Art and Life”; “Sleeping Girl”, Myrsini Margariti, Soprano, Effie Agrafioti, Piano, on Greek Muse (Athens: Irida Classical, 2020). A three-CD release of her Chamber Music is planned for recording through Toccata Classics (London), 2022.
Matt is a freelance composer and viola player currently based in Melbourne, Australia. His music, “described as thought provoking and unusually beautiful”, is fundamentally driven by an interest in story telling through sound, typically around themes of social connection and environment.
Matt has been writing music since he started university, sketching ideas whilst training to be a viola player. Following a successful participation in the Flinders Quartet’s 2017 composer workshop, his first big commission Out of Hibernation was premiered by the Quartet in 2019 through which he was awarded an Ian Potter Cultural Trust grant to work on the quartet with mentoring from Brett Dean in London and Berlin.
Matt’s first work premiered overseas, Portrait of Blood, was performed in London on a tour by Affinity Quartet and Lotte Betts-Dean in February 2020. Other compositional engagements have included works for the Australian String Quartet, the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra, Melbourne Chamber Players, ANAM and Wattleseed Ensemble, with current commissions including the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Affinity Quartet and Z.E.N. Trio through Musica Viva. Matt is a Musica Viva FutureMaker for 2021-23.
Cameron Lam (b.1989) is a freelance composer, the Artistic Director of Australian hybrid-art production company, Kammerklang, and the Art Music Specialist at the Australasian Performing Rights Association (APRA AMCOS).
Named in 2020 as one of The Music Network’s 30 under 30 future leaders of the music industry, Cameron’s career has focused on collaboration, interdisciplinary practice, and entrepreneurship. His music has been described by Limelight Magazine as “a fantastical world in which mythological stories come to life” and “infused with a Northern European sensibility – dark, emotional, restrained”.
Composing in the leafy outer east of Melbourne, Lyon’s music explores a range of themes, from deep human emotions, representations of nature to mathematical concepts, as well as the lighter side of life. Stylistically eclectic, Lyon’s compositions move from dramatic and intense, to quirky. Narrative, precision, duality and rhythm are all strong recurring elements. Lyon is currently studying a Doctor of Musical Arts at the University of Sydney as part of the 2020-21 Composing Women Program. In 2022 Lyon’s first opera, Pieces of Margery, is planned to be performed by More Than Opera under the baton of Alan Cook. Upcoming collaborations are with Ensemble Offspring, and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra Fellows.
Kevin March is an award-winning composer whose works have been performed nationally and internationally by Opéra de Montréal, Pacific Opera Victoria, Edmonton Opera, One Ounce Opera, PLEXUS, the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Victoria, Ironwood Ensemble, Halcyon, Sarah Curro, the Arcko Ensemble, the ASTRA Chamber Music Society, Chronology Arts, Brave New Works, and the New York City Opera.
Caerwen is a cellist and composer who works internationally as a new music specialist and improviser. Caerwen has worked at some of the world’s major festivals and venues in Australia, USA, Western Europe, Scandanavia, The Balkans, South Africa, Japan, Taipei and New Zealand with internationally celebrated musicians, composers, film directors and actors. Caerwen is the artistic director of Silo String Quartet, which she founded in 1998.
Her compositions are broadcast and performed internationally. Caerwen is represented by the Australian Music Centre, having written for performers and ensembles such as the ACOCollective, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Arcko Symphonic, Inventi Ensemble, SiloSQ and Syzygy Ensemble.
Richard Mills is deservedly one of Australia’s most sought after composers and music directors. In recent years he has pursued a diverse career as a composer and a conductor, which has seen him working with a large number of the nation’s music organisations.
Some of Richard Mills’ most recent compositions include a score for the Australian Ballet and his Passion According to St. Mark which premiered around Australia in 2009. His song cycle Songlines of the Heart’s Desire received its European premiere at the 2010 Edinburgh Festival and his Organ Concerto was premiered with Calvin Bowman and the Melbourne Symphony in August 2011.
Ian Munro is one of Australia’s most distinguished and awarded musicians with a career that has taken him to thirty countries in Europe, Asia, North America and Australasia. As a composer, Ian is the only Australian to have been awarded the Premier Grand Prix at the Queen Elisabeth Competition for Composers (2003).
Since 2003, his works have been frequently heard all over Australia, with broadcasts on the ABC and BBC. Commissions from the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra through a Symphony Australia residency led to ‘Blue Rags’ (2005), ‘Drought & Night Rain’ (2005) and ‘O Traurigkeit’ (2006), written for soloist Sue-Ellen Paulsen (cello). In 2011 he was Featured Composer for Musica Viva’s international season, in which his piano trio ‘Tales from Old Russia’ (2008), String Quartet no.1, Clarinet Quintet and Piano Quintet no.2 were toured by the Eggner Trio, Brentano Quartet, Sabina Meyer and the Modigliano Quartet, and the Goldner Quartet with Munro as soloist.
Andrián Pertout was born in Santiago, Chile, 17 October, 1963, and lived in Gorizia, Northern Italy for several years before finally settling in Melbourne, Australia in 1972. In 2007, he completed a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree at the University of Melbourne on Tweddle Trust, Australian Postgraduate and Melbourne Research scholarships, studying composition under the guidance of Brenton Broadstock. He is the recipient of many awards for composition and of numerous commissions. As well as being a freelance composer, he additionally works as composition lecturer, teacher, supervisor and examiner at various institutions at Bachelor, Masters and PhD levels.
Gulliver Poole was the winning entrant in Duo Eclettico’s 2020 Young Composer Competition with his composition Solicitude. Duo Eclettico continuo to commission and premiere his works, most recently The Reef.
Jaslyn Robertson is a Melbourne-based composer navigating an emerging career in music with advocacy for diversity in the arts. An excitement for unusual forms of expression, alternate tuning systems and innovation in notation has drawn her to unique instruments including the Theremin, double bell trombone, quartertone flugelhorn and analogue synths.
She has had pieces performed at the Bendigo International Festival for Exploratory Music and Tilde New Music Festival. In 2020 she received the Monash Animated Notation Ensemble commissioning prize with an online premiere and a commission for Ossicle duo supported by Creative Victoria and City of Melbourne.
Intimacy, nuance, and quietude are the core themes of Charlie Sdraulig’s creative practice. His work often draws attention to the social dynamics of musical situations, focusing on subtle sonic and gestural behaviours.
Highlights include headlining I N T I M A T E, a festival produced by Kinetic (UK), where Gwenaelle Rouger (France), Marco Fusi (Italy), and Winnie Huang (Australia) performed one to one—a meditative, hour long experience for one audience member at a time. His music has been presented at numerous festivals internationally, and recently in ANAM Set (Australia). His works have been performed and commissioned by major soloists and ensembles in many countries.
He is currently a teaching associate at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music and a tutor at Trinity College, The University of Melbourne.
Johanna Selleck is a composer, flautist, and musicologist.
A prominent theme in her work is the connection between ourselves and the environment. Her research interests include cultural history, creativity and collaboration, and practice-based research. Much of her creative work at present centres around the Melbourne Composers’ League and Asian Composers’ League concerts and annual international festivals.
She completed a PhD in composition at the University of Melbourne in 2006 studying under Brenton Broadstock. She currently teaches composition at the university, where she is an honorary fellow.
Concert cellist, composer, and musical director, Luke Severn possesses a musical voice of great versatility and passion. Noted for his expressive performances and dynamic and engaging personality he is emerging as an artistic tour de force in the Australian musical landscape.
As a composer, Luke’s works represent a deep level of empathy towards time, place and emotions, with a particular focus on the intimacy of chamber ensembles. 2018 marked the premieres of two new chamber works, Beneath the Surface for soprano and string quartet (commissioned and premiered by Australian soprano, Kelsey Cotton) and “…when the world was young” for cello and piano. Both works represent a personal reflection on changes experienced through life, both in love and loss and the shared experience of a changing environment.
Clare Strong (née Johnston) is an Australian composer and piano and theory teacher based in Melbourne. She has a Masters of Music in Composition from the University of Sydney where she was one of four participants in the inaugural National Women Composers’ Development Program run by the Sydney Conservatorium. She holds a Bachelor of Music in composition and piano from the University of Melbourne and an AMusA in piano.
Her works have been recorded by PLEXUS, the Goldner String Quartet, the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, and other soloists and duos.
Louisa completed a BMus in 2010 at the University of Melbourne, and in 2013 studied at the Australian National Academy of Music, mentored by trumpet pedagogues David Elton and Tristram Williams.
Louisa completed a Masters in Scoring for Film and Visual Media in 2016 at Pulse College, Dublin, and in 2017 participated in the Australian Composers School with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra. She has since been commissioned to write larger ensemble works for groups such as Melbourne Chamber Orchestra, The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, The Regional Centre for Culture, and The Mid America Freedom Band, and chamber works for Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Solstice Trio, Duo Eclettico, and Three Shades Black.
Alex Turley is an Australian composer whose work explores the subtleties of musical texture through a fine atmospheric lens. Praised as ‘brilliantly accessible’ (Atlanta Journal-Constitution) and possessing a ‘refined sense of texture and atmosphere’ (Partial Durations), his music has garnered international recognition.
Recent collaborative projects include Barra-róddjiba: a cross-cultural collaboration with all-woman rock band Ripple Effect and Kunibidji elders, a collaborative orchestral show with electronic music duo Electric Fields and New Homes: a concerto for Veena co-composed with virtuoso Hari Sivanesan. Alex was featured in the multi-composer initiative The ANAM Set.
Want to learn more about chamber music? Hear from performers? Understand how it all works? Explore a particular piece of music?
There are some great podcasts to listen to. Try the Musica Viva “Chamber of Musical Curiosities” or ANAM radio….
The Peninsula Summer Music Festival was held as a series of streamed events in January 2022. The first was Genevieve Lacey and Marshall McGuire at Port Phillip Estate. Click on the video link on the left to watch.
To see the entire channel, click on the button below.
Brahms’ Horn Trio is a favourite chamber music work, full of nostalgia and melancholy, which seems most appropriate for these times.
ANAM Radio gives you an opportunity to hear a horn player’s views on preparing and performing this wonderful work, and you can watch and listen to the the performance as well.
Click on the button below to find out more on the ANAM website, or click on the images to the right to go straight to the podcast and the performance.
This is the first episode of MRC’s The Tune Up podcasts with hosts Maxim Boon and Megan Steller!
In this episode, Maxim and Megan chat with oboist, collaborator, artistic director and one half of Inventi Ensemble, Ben Opie. Plus, an audio experiment that explores the art and etiquette of opening a cough lolly wrapper in Elisabeth Murdoch Hall featuring usher and percussionist of Ossicle Duo, Hamish Upton.
Hosted by Artistic Director Paul Kildea, the Chamber of Musical Curiosities is a chamber music podcast exploring the world in and around Musica Viva Australia. When brainstorming names for this new audio venture, the image that came most vividly to Kildea’s mind was that of a Wunderkammer. Also known as ‘cabinets of curiosities’, these rooms emerged in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, filled with exotic objects: antlers, claws, stuffed birds, artworks plundered from many different lands, a skeleton playing the violin. It is also a pretty neat way of describing a chamber music concert – a chamber of marvels.
This season features an eclectic range of guests in conversation with Paul Kildea, as both parties reflect upon creativity, their careers, and their passion for chamber music. Australian academic and musicologist Malcolm Gillies, violinist Wilma Smith, writer and broadcaster Jane Caro, and actor and theatre director John Bell all feature.
Dozens of interesting talks with ANAM students and teachers, ranging in length from less than 10 minutes to half an hour plus.
Have you ever wondered what it was like to audition for a job in an orchestra? Listen to “Thanks for coming in” (2016 Encore). Just one example of the entertaining and informative talks.
Graham Abbott demystifies classical music in these podcast episodes.
Find out what is meant by the terms for musical eras: “classical”, “romantic” and so on. Understand why music is written in different keys.
And listen to Episode 4 which is all about chamber music.
The Flinders Quartet were scheduled to perform Beethoven’s Op 131 in concerts at the Melbourne Recital Centre late this year. Sadly these were cancelled. The quartet have been working their way through the late Beethoven quartets, and you can watch and listen to their performance of Opus 132, filmed on 5 December 2020 at fortyfivedownstairs, Melbourne.
It’s a lovely performance of a great work. Hopefully we’ll get to hear Op 131 live in 2022.
Want to get behind the scenes and learn more about what it’s like to player chamber music? Here’s a great webinar recording from three of Victoria’s best musicians.
Ensemble Liaison Timothy Young (ANAM Head of Piano), David Griffiths and Svetlana Bogosavljevic recently joined the ANAM cohort to share how their collaborations with different artists and genres helped expand their musicality. They also share excerpts of their favourite performances with artists that have since become their friends.
Freelancer: Life in the wilderness (ANAM webinar excerpts)
In this webinar, ANAM alumni Eliza Shephard (flute, 2018) and Katie Yap (viola, 2014) talk about their lives post-ANAM and as freelance musicians.
Thursdays at 3
Anything goes at Thursday at 3! ANAM musicians and housemates Hamish Jamieson (cello, QLD), Ariel Postmus (viola, WA) and Felix Pascoe (violin, VIC) showcase their diverse musical chops in this jazzy performance from the comfort of their lounge room!
And now for something completely different… Bach as you’ve never heard it before. Justin Kenealy does an amazing job playing the Bach Violin Concerto, no 2 on soprano saxophone.
If you watch closely you’ll see him doing circular breathing occasionally – the only way a wind-player can manage a piece written for strings. Especially Bach!
Justin is now part of Duo Eclettico – one of the groups you’ll find listed in the Who’s Who – Ensembles.
Due to the continuing lockdown here in Melbourne, The Romantic European Salon concert with Sara Macliver on Thursday 23 September will no longer go ahead. Ticket buyers will be contacted directly by ANAM in the coming days about refund/credit options.
Although there is no real substitute for live performance, ANAM are sharing a video from Sara’s performance with pianist Jennifer Yu (QLD) of songs by Mozart from her 2019 concert at ANAM.
ANAM alumna Katie Yap (viola, 2014) performs music composed by fellow ANAM alumni, Emily Sheppard (violin, 2013).
Emily (aka Emily Cloud) wrote Aftermath as a response to time spent at Sarah Anne Rocks in Tasmania’s NW coast, after the Tarkine had been gutted by bushfires.
Written by Emily Sheppard and performed by Katie Yap.
Want to see the future of chamber music in Australia?
This “showreel” includes snippets of the performances of all 12 finalists, culminating in those of the prizewinners.
Be truly amazed by the proficiency and musicality of these young ensembles. And by the variety of both the types of ensembles and the works chosen.
In 2019 Melbourne Chamber Players had the pleasure of recording this concert at the Melbourne Recital Centre. If you’re looking to add a little light into your day, this performance features a wonderful selection of music to sooth the soul; the world premiere of a very playful and imaginative quintet for clarinet and strings by Australian composer Nigel Sabin, a stunning quartet by Imogen Holst and the melodious Quintet in B-flat by Rimsky-Korsakov.
A surprising and delightful way to experience one of the most sublime operas of all time, this concert features Mozart’s immortal music from The Marriage of Figaro transformed into a beguiling work for wind ensemble. ANAM’s former Artistic Director Nick Deutsch will lead this performance and the music will be enhanced by the narration of actor Bethany Simons, whose vivid stage presence will ensure you always know which of Figaro’s many adventures the music is illustrating.
Just the best lockdown cheer-up.
Accademia Arcadia is a Baroque chamber ensemble of high originality. Known simply as Arcadia, this company was formed by Jacqueline Ogeil in 2001 to explore the trio sonata, cantata, early opera and grand liturgical music genres.
Its annual performances in the Woodend Winter Art Festival have been a popular feature, including liturgical gems with the outstanding chamber choir Ensemble Gombert. As well as the Baroque operas, first Australian performances with original instruments include Domenico Scarlatti cantatas, Haydn’s Harmoniemesse and Vivaldi’s Vespers.
Since winning the ANAM Chamber Music Competition in their inaugural year, Affinity Quartet has established itself as one of Australia’s leading string quartets. Their international touring has included critically acclaimed performances in Europe at the Amsterdam String Quartet Biennale, Festival Les Voix Intimes Belgium, Fondazione Cini Venice, Mirabell Palace Salzburg; and in the UK at St Martin-in-the-Fields, Southbank Centre, City Music Society, and Prussia Cove International Musicians Seminar.
Awarded a fellowship at the Australian National Academy of Music upon their formation in late 2013, they became Musica Viva Australia’s inaugural FutureMakers musicians from 2015–17. They have brought their brand of energetic, joyful and spontaneous performance to festival stages in almost every state and territory in the country; concert halls across mainland China; and listeners around the world through broadcasts of the BBC Proms Australia chamber music series. And they have revelled in musical partnerships with internationally renowned performers including the Australian String Quartet; piano virtuosi Lambert Orkis, Paavali Jumppanen and Anna Goldsworthy; and woodwind masters Ole Kristian Dahl and Thorsten Johanns.
Founded by cellist John Painter in November 1975, the ACO has travelled a remarkable road to become one of Australia’s most dynamic performing arts organisations.
Since taking up the leadership of the ACO in 1990, Artistic Director Richard Tognetti has transformed the Orchestra into a major cultural export, performing over 100 times per year in concert halls around Australia and the world.
Charisma was founded by clarinettist Roslyn Dunlop and cellist Julia Ryder in 1995 to explore and develop music for clarinet and cello. David Miller joined the group in 2003. The group has premiered many works and enjoys an international reputation for lively and virtuosic music-making, receiving critical acclaim for tours in Australasia and Europe. Charisma moves easily across all kinds of musical boundaries – from classical to blues, avant-garde to tangos, and minimalist to multimedia works. The marriage of styles has led to performances in unconventional venues such as jazz clubs, art galleries, bars and open spaces as well as traditional concert halls.
One of the long standing members of the original Peter Clinch Saxophone Quartet was saxophonist, multi-instrumentalist, composer and lecturer Lachlan Davidson. Early 2020 Lachlan came in contact with two outstanding Victorian performing artists: baritone specialist Sara Ann Beale and alto saxophonist Martin Hemingway. Two exceptional saxophonists and lecturers, trained in the superb tradition Peter Clinch had set up at Melbourne’s VCA, two young people who had already set up a colourful and inspired career of teaching and playing in many genres (classical, contemporary, folk-music, funk). The fourth member was an absolute newcomer to the scene: Dutch tenor saxophonist Niels Bijl. Member of the world famous Aurelia Saxophone Quartet for 17 years, with an international career as a performing artist, spanning 20 years and 4 continents, and a brand new resident of Victoria since January 1st 2020.
Watch this space for a photo
Collide unites three international artists, Yasmin Rowe, Yelian He and Joseph Lallo, into an exciting ensemble that splashes new colours on the classical works you love, as well as introducing new music by fantastic composers. Through the unique combination of Saxophone, Cello and Piano, Collide features works by Joseph Haydn, Max Bruch, Keyna Wilkins, Nikolai Kapustin, Svante Henryson and more. Whether it’s rearranging works by beloved composers or working with composers on premieres – Collide infuses life, energy and artistry into every performance.
The Consort of Melbourne is Melbourne’s premier vocal ensemble, comprising eight of this city’s finest chamber singers under the artistic direction of Steven Hodgson. Typically performing a capella (unaccompanied) with one singer per part, The Consort of Melbourne champions both historic and contemporary repertoire, bringing 1000 years of vocal music to life with an intimacy and verve that leaves audiences spellbound. Our programmes include celebrated masterpieces heard alongside lesser-known gems, exploring the full expressive potential of human voices combined.
Combining four of Melbourne’s most versatile and in demand musicians, Croissants and Whiskey brings a new energy to old instruments.
An unconventional blend of Harpsichord, G Violone, Baroque Viola, and Recorders creates new and unexpected timbres, blending the sonorous with the sharp, and making the old new again. Performing both baroque and modern compositions, Croissants and Whiskey is currently commissioning new works from diverse Australian voices, including an upcoming recording of Elizabeth Younan’s The Fertile Crescent for the ABC Composer Commissioning Fund.
Daphnis Ensemble is an exciting Melbourne-based chamber ensemble. We perform traditional and contemporary works for piano, cello, and more!
Duo Chamber Melange is a wonderful partnership between internationally acclaimed musicians, Ivana Tomaskova (violin) and Tamara Smolyar (piano).
Each of them has produced numerous recordings for national and international broadcasters and performed in many prominent venues across three continents.
A number of composers have written music for them as soloists and chamber musicians.
Duo Eclettico was formed by Justin Kenealy and Coady Green to explore the wealth of repertoire available for this unique combination of instruments. Kenealy and Green share a passion for programming important existing repertoire, dazzling new transcriptions, and working with composers to further the breadth of repertoire for this ensemble.
Formed in 2016, Ensemble 642 is Hannah Lane (baroque harp) and Nicholas Pollock (theorbo, lutes, baroque guitar). The ensemble explores the unique sound world of rare, early plucked string instruments, performing music from the late-sixteenth to early-eighteenth centuries, both as a duo and in collaboration with leading vocalists and instrumentalists. Inspired by a mutual fascination and passion for the art of basso continuo—an improvisatory practice fundamental to the performance of baroque music—and by their desire to pursue musical experimentation based on historical sources, Ensemble 642 creates innovative concert programs in collaboration with the finest early music performers in Australia and beyond, bringing to life exquisite music that hasn’t been heard for hundreds of years with the aim of sharing the spirit and emotion of baroque music with contemporary audiences.