‘NORTHERN REFLECTIONS’

Saturday September 16th 2017 at 8.00pm

  The jagged melodies, sharp percussion gestures and machine-like rhythmic patterns of Mosolov’s Iron Foundry contrast starkly with the sombre depths of emotion explored by Rachmaninoff in his second piano  concerto. This is a work that the great tenor Jose Carreras, who listened to it repeatedly during his recovery from cancer, calls “healing music”. Vaughan … Continued

‘THE RIVER’

Saturday December 09th 2017 at 8.00pm

Thomson’s music for the documentary, The River, a film which focused on the abuses of America’s waterways, culminating in the catastrophic Mississippi River flood  of 1937. Video footage of this film will be  shown as this work is performed, with kind  permission granted by the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library. The following two works for … Continued

Past concerts

‘IMMORTAL STORIES’

Saturday April 01st 2017 at 8.00pm

The ingenious combination of college drinking songs and folk tunes that Brahms weaves into the taut structure of his ‘Academic  Festival  Overture’ provides an ideal foil to Arnold’s mesmerising film score, David Copperfield, based on Charles Dickens’ immortal story. The two virtuosic works for Double Bass by Bottesini and Ramsier will astound the audience with … Continued

‘METAMORPHOSIS’

Saturday July 01st 2017 at 8.00pm Sunday July 02nd 2017 at 2.30pm

Copland’s invigoratingly energetic and buoyant open-air piece, An Outdoor Overture, is in stark contrast to Prokofiev’s 2nd Violin Concerto, which intones melodies of remarkable finesse. The lush allure of this work borders on sentimentality; this may be  as close as Prokofiev ever gets to Rachmaninoff. Sculthorpe wrote Irkanda IV as a plain and straightforward expression … Continued

‘THE EMPEROR’

Saturday June 25th 2016 at 8.00pm Sunday June 26th 2016 at 2.30pm

The magnificent “Emperor” piano concerto is Beethoven’s most innovative. Heroic in spirit, the “Emperor” combines a flamboyant gesture for soloist and orchestra together, seemingly at once declamatory and improvisatory. Contrasting with this dramatic work, Michael Daugherty has written a fun and contemporary romp in Route 66, a rear-vision view of “main street America”. The sixth … Continued

‘MARIMBA FEVER’

Saturday December 03rd 2016 at 8.00pm

*World Premiere performance, marimba virtuoso Sergei Golovko and the Heidelberg Symphony Orchestra perform Golovko’s own Russian Concerto for Marimba and Orchestra. This programme also celebrates the 100th Anniversary of the birth of Argentinian composer Ginastera, with the performance of his short tone poem, Overture to the Creole Faust, and also includes a wonderful selection of … Continued

‘AN AMERICAN IN PARIS’

Saturday December 06th 2014

Barber’s concert overture to The School for Scandal bursts with wit and youthful energy. In between cheeky tunes and bustling rhythms, lies a haunting lyrical theme so characteristic of Barber’s maturity. Copland’s “The City” was set to a short documentary film from 1939. It attempts to contrast the evils of the industrialised city with the … Continued

‘TOTENTANZ’

Saturday September 13th 2014 Sunday September 14th 2014

Dies Irae is a 13th Century latin hymn. It is one of the most famous melodies of the Gregorian chant. Based upon a reference from the Old Testament, it is a reflection upon the Last Judgement. Liszt’s Totentanz and Daugherty’s Red Cape Tango use this musical quotation to great effect in their sombre and daring … Continued

‘THE BEST OF BRITISH’

Saturday June 28th 2014 Sunday June 29th 2014

Founded in 1895, The Proms, or as they are more formally known, The Henry Wood Promenade Concerts presented by the BBC, are billed as the greatest classical music festival on earth. With well over 90 concerts every year from July to September, they take place in the Royal Albert Hall, London. Click here to read … Continued

‘CROSSING THE ATLANTIC’

Saturday April 05th 2014

South American born Marquez’s Danzón No 2 is a distinctive urban dance from the Veracruz region of Mexico. It is rhythmic and spirited, but also nostalgic, even sad, with melodies of smouldering sensuality. The Sea Pictures are Elgar’s only vocal song cycle. This collection of five poems set to music are much loved and an … Continued

‘FANFARE FOR THE COMMON MAN’

Saturday December 07th 2013

Eric Coates natural melodic gift earned him a reputation as a composer of light music and was a highly successful composer of film music. His Three Bears Phantasy was dedicated to his son as a fourth birthday present. Joaquin Rodrigo was an indefatigable champion of the music of his native Spain. Rodrigo composed the concerto … Continued

‘THE MUSIC MAKERS’

Saturday September 14th 2013 Sunday September 15th 2013

In The Music Makers, Elgar took his libretto from a poem by Arthur O’Shaunessey, whose works, in the late 19th century, were then fashionable. Elgar includes quotations from a number of his earlier works: The Enigma Variations, Sea Pictures, The Dream of Gerontius, and both symphonies, leading listeners to feel that this work is familiar, … Continued

‘TRUMPET GLORY’

Saturday June 29th 2013 Sunday June 30th 2013

Piazzolla’s oeuvre revolutionised the traditional and conservative tango into a new style termed nuevo tango, incorporating elements from jazz and classical music. In Tangazo, Piazzolla’s trademark string scrapes and glissandi gives the dance an air of erotic menace. Liebermann’s Trumpet Concerto (an Australian premiere), is a masterful work of neo-romanticism that balances bravura and gorgeous … Continued

‘EUROPEAN COUNTERPOINT’

Saturday March 23rd 2013

Smetana’s programmatic masterpiece, which describes the journey of the river Vltava, is the second and best known of his six symphonic poems from the setting ‘My Country’ that constitute Smetana’s grand patriotic cycle. Sinfonia Concertante is Mozart’s crowning achievement in the field of the concerto genre. Here in an Italianate aria of heartbreaking beauty, the … Continued

‘GERMANIC MASTERS’

Saturday December 08th 2012

Brahms chose the title ‘Tragic’ to emphasize the turbulent, tormented character of this piece, in essence a free-standing symphonic movement. Despite its name, the Tragic Overture does not follow any specific dramatic program. Brahms was not very interested in musical storytelling and was more concerned with conveying and eliciting emotional impressions. Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto forms … Continued

‘HEROES AND THE WILD WILD WEST’

Saturday September 15th 2012 Sunday September 16th 2012

Saddle up your horse, pull on your boots, clip that light-sabre to your belt and squeeze into your superhero suit…… tonight you will be transported into the world of the silver screen from the film scores of yesteryear to some of the highest grossing movies of all time. Generation after generation have sat spellbound at … Continued

‘ON THE WATERFRONT’

Saturday June 30th 2012 Sunday July 01st 2012

Mozart’s final symphony is a grand construction of epic proportions. From its heroic opening, pensive and liquid middle movements to the legendary ‘fugue’ of the finale, the Symphony is a magical display of compositional genius that transports the listener with an astounding display of driving power, mellow relaxation and a profusion of enchanting melodies. Haydn’s … Continued

‘THE EMPEROR’

Saturday March 31st 2012

Rachmaninov’s Symphonic Dance No. 1 is a work that is fully representative of the composer’s late style with its curious, shifting harmonies. The work has almost Prokofiev-like grotesquerie and focuses on individual instrumental tone colours throughout. The ‘Emperor’ Concerto is Beethoven’s most innovative, and for the most part, heroic work. The ‘Emperor’ combines a flamboyant … Continued

‘LATIN ÉLAN’

Sunday December 04th 2011

The influence of Latin American and Spanish folk traditions on classical music of the late 19th century and beyond has been profound. Saint-Saëns and Ravel, coming from outside of the tradition, sourced from it a rich vein of musical possibilities. And to this the joyful celebration of nature that is the Rodrigo guitar Concierto, the … Continued

‘FANTASY & LEGENDS’

Saturday September 17th 2011

A richly varied program gives an opportunity to display the outstanding talent of renowned violinist Natsuko Yoshimoto, as soloist in Bruch’s Scottish Fantasy. This is a work that weaves into its four movement structure such Scottish folk tunes as Tuttie Tatie, Auld Robert Morris, The Dusty Miller and I’m Down for Lack of Johnny. In … Continued

‘CZECH-MATE’

Friday July 22nd 2011

The great Czech composers Janáček and Dvořák are products of the Romantic musical tradition, but they represent its later flowering towards a proud nationalism. This trend, exemplified compellingly in this program, shows itself in the incorporation of folk elements into the complex, expressively nuanced, symphonic language inherited from Brahms and Wagner. The best known and … Continued

‘GERMAN-SOVIET COUNTERPOINT’

Saturday April 09th 2011

The aptness of this concert’s title is underscored by the largest, most expressively rich and varied work of the program, Shostakovich’s Ninth Symphony. It was originally intended to be a celebration of the Russian victory over Nazi Germany in World War II. Yet, it owes more to the spirit of the “German” part of the … Continued

‘FROM BACH TO TCHAIKOVSKY’

Saturday December 04th 2010

The contrast between the lightness and humour of Johann Strauss’ music and the devotional depth of Bach’s cantata provides an ideal foil to the centrepiece of the final concert of the series, Tchaikovsky’s mighty 5th Symphony. This is a work that is completely engrossing in a way that only the great symphonic works can be. … Continued

‘RHAPSODIES’

Saturday September 11th 2010

The rhapsodical offerings of this concert are highly representative of twentieth-century mainstream American and English music. Gershwin and Copland typify the energy and vigour of the New World, whilst Vaughan-Williams and Arnold encompass the more far-sighted cultural vision of the Old, notwithstanding Arnold’s reference to modernism and innovation. These works display a distinctiveness of national … Continued

‘LOVE BEETHOVEN?’

Saturday June 26th 2010

The excitement and sense of invention that informs the orchestration of Grainger and Holst, and the youthful Romantic sweep of Wagner’s overture to his early opera, Rienzi, are certain to be enjoyed as attractive works in their own right. However the pure beauty, majesty and compositional perfection of Beethoven’s violin concerto, a work that easily … Continued

‘WEST SIDE STORY’

Saturday March 27th 2010

The opening concert of this series offers a wonderfully varied program encompassing a number of styles and historical periods. From Beethoven’s impressively dramatic Egmont Overture to Bizet’s lustrous Carmen Fantasy, to the archetypically American sounds of Bernstein’s West-Side Story – this concert has a distinctly theatrical tone.