Daniel Kaan
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Daniel is a keen concert goer, and especially loves opera, early and contemporary music. Although he works in IT as a systems developer, he has worked as a high school music teacher and performed in many operas. He studied music at Sydney Uni, has an AMusA and LTCL in voice (tenor) and a Master of Cognitive Science specialising in the musical functioning of the brain. He is currently studying pipe organ.

Australian Haydn Ensemble’s Emperors & Armies was a musically interesting and thought-provoking way to spend a stormy Sunday afternoon

When visiting art galleries across Europe one frequently comes across rooms full of commissioned military paintings: pompous men on horses or battle scenes on sea and land. While the painters may have significant technical skill, the subject matter often does…

Sarah Grunstein’s programme was a fitting way to spend a Sunday twilight on Sydney Harbour

The Australian pianist Dr Sarah Grunstein has had an illustrious international career both as a performer and educator. She has two degrees from the Juilliard School in New York and held a teaching fellowship there for four years. We arrived…

“Daughters” gives a hauntingly powerful voice to the victims of gender violence

The song cycle “Daughters” (composer: David Chisholm, librettist and narrator: Tammy Brennan) is an Australian/ Indian opera project and will premiere in New Delhi in January. The basis of the text is the violence in its multitudinous forms that has…

“Schumann & the Woman” was delightfully presented by Ayşe Göknur Shanal & Ashley Hribar

With an impressive list of awards, prizes and accolades to her name, I expected great things from Ayşe Göknur Shanal and I was not disappointed. Also the program was much anticipated; it featured my favourite song cycles by Robert Schumann, Frauenliebe…

The Australian Youth Orchestra with Jan Lisiecki performed their interesting & ambitious program with excellence

It has been about 30 years since I have heard the Australian Youth Orchestra (AYO). The maximum age of orchestra members is 25 years so that is longer than any of the present musicians have been alive! The program was…

Coro Austral presented a program of mainly Spanish music with some French & Australian for good measure

Coro Austral is a group of 13 (mostly) unaccompanied voices under the direction of Margot McLaughlin. In this concert they presented mainly Spanish music with some French and Australian for good measure. The first half of the concert focussed on…

Australian Haydn Ensemble positively shone with Haydn’s Farewell

Under the guest direction of Pinchgut Opera’s Erin Helyard, the AHE positively shone. This was the best performance I have seen from them. Helyard played the piano solos on the program, as well as the continuo, on a magnificent period…

Pinchgut Opera artists discuss Hasse’s Artaserse

Johann Adolph Hasse’s 1730 opera Artaserse was very famous in its day, but it has rarely been performed since 1760 and certainly not in Australia. A number of things are immediately obvious in a discussion with the key creatives of…

Australian Haydn Ensemble joined by Simon Martyn-Ellis was an impressive delight

The AHE has been around now for about 6 years and it continues to be one of Australia’s premier early music groups. Often they present ensembles of a larger scale but in this concert it was decidedly “chamber” with the…

Michael Tsalka joins ThoroughBass – It was wonderful to hear such a virtuoso of the harpsichord

The Israeli harpsichordist Michael Tsalka was the featured artist at this concert at the Mosman Art Gallery, and what a coup it was for a small local group to perform with such an outstanding international artist. Thorough Bass, under the…

Sydney Baroque Music Festival: Musical Pilgrims

This was the culminating concert of a week’s summer school for young musicians from all over Australia and New Zealand, specialising in early music. The week was under the mentorship of The Muffat Collective. The tutors Rafael Font (violin), Anton…

Jennifer Eriksson produces two for the price of one – Marais Project and Elysian Fields in one concert

We have been following Jennifer Eriksson’s “Marais Project” since its inception. Marin Marais (1656-1728) was a prolific viola da gamba player and composer. He wrote many volumes of gamba music. In the year 2000 Ericsson set herself the ambitious task…

Australian Haydn Ensemble’s playing was perfection

There is always a sense of relief when you arrive in your seats at Angel Place after having passed the god-awful infernal din emanating from the Ivy night club, and there is that magic moment of pure silence just before…

Australia Piano Quartet | Innocence and Experience in composition and interpretation

The Australia Piano Quartet has been the Ensemble in Residence a the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) since 2012. They have toured throughout Europe and Asia and have given concerts at the Barbican and Wigmore Hall in London. Their specialties…

BackStage Music was riveting throughout

We found our way on a cold winters night to a dark, dingy Darlinghurst lane with a steel roller shutter door and wondered what we had let ourselves in for. Inside however, we found a cosy space with chairs and…

Selby & Friends’ Proud Folk was chamber music in the best tradition

Kats-Chernin’s The Spirit and the Maiden (2004), was commissioned in 2001 for the Macquarie Trio (of which Selby was a member) and has undergone several revisions since that time. It is based on an intriguing Russian fairy tale where, in…

Lidia Bara’s performance with Balmain Baroque was nothing short of spectacular

Balmain Baroque performed for a small audience of mainly friends and family in the sympathetic acoustics of the St Peters Presbyterian Church in North Sydney. They played a range of mostly sonatas and arias by Schutz, Telemann, Boismortier, Bernardi, Handel…

Josie & The Emeralds’ Monteverdi and the Golden Age was a delight

The singer Josie Ryan and the viol consort The Emeralds are doing a series of concerts this year to commemorate the 450th anniversary of Claudio Monteverdi’s birth. Monteverdi’s music stands at the cusp between the Renaissance and the Baroque and…

Omega Ensemble: it is hard to imagine a better performance of the Haydn and Mozart pieces in a more beautiful venue

The Utzon Room with its sweeping harbour views behind the stage is always a favourite venue for its dreamy atmosphere. Having the Omega ensemble present this delightful program here was a treat.

Multiple Keyboards showcased modern works on 4 grands and 3 toy pianos

An inspiring concert in an interesting venue and the repertoire was engaging. This was apparently the third such concert; if there are more, I will be there!

The Evergreen Ensemble with Chris Norman and David Greenberg

The eclectic mix of music in this concert was a good light hearted toe-tapping experience. Catch them if they appear in your glen.

Ensemble Offspring’s Kontiki Racket – excellent musicianship bringing new music to life

Impressive concert for the brave choice of new music, excellent musicianship and dedication to bring it to life. Great Sydney has groups so enthusiastically dedicated to sharing new music.

Acacia Quartet’s ‘Harbour Light’ program was thoroughly fascinating and engaging

Acacia Quartet approach music with humility and an invitation to the listener to engage. This is a great quality in a quartet. Long may it reign and have more of this brave programming and wonderful performance.

AHE’s Beethoven Symphony No 2 was convincing, dedicated and enthusiastic

The performance of the Second Symphony the ensemble produced a big sound for the space and is better suited to chamber music arrangement.

Margaret Brandman: music that is uplifting, positive or meditative for peace and harmony on the planet

An informal family-and-friends affair with the choreographer Ross Hutchison as the exuberant master of ceremonies. Brandman’s songs are characterised by sonorous tonal piano writing, lyric melodies and even phrasing.

Sydney Mozart Society presents Verbrugghen Ensemble, a distinguished group performing at a high standard with focus and intensity

The performance was of a consistently high standard and musicians maintained their focus and intensity throughout this diverse work

Australia Ensemble concert was a joy of birdsong

Australia Ensemble always fills me with high expectations of consummate musical performances and I was not disappointed. The concert was a joy.

Emilie Lemasson beautifully sang masterpieces of opera and song

Lemasson showed a good strong dark chest register in the opening recitative. The aria ranged across gentle ecstasy, again well controlled pianissimi, difficult roulades and a grand finish.

Artsong International: An Afternoon of Schubert, Schumann & Strauss

What a fabulous program this concert was. Add wonderful performers and I could have died and gone to heaven.

Acacia Quartet were riveting at this engaging concert

Shines in this contemporary Australian music. Never a dull moment, my attention was riveted at all times. To be congratulated on a most engaging concert.

Australian Haydn Ensemble’s ‘The Haydn Album’ is full of musical interest

Haydn Ensemble stands proudly shoulder to shoulder with the many period instrument ensembles found in Europe. We are lucky to have such a professional and vibrant ensemble in our midst.

The pre-concert buzz for Verbrugghen Ensemble’s performance was rewarded with an excellent concert

With thanks to the intensity, focus and commitment of the musicians, it was a most rewarding debut concert.

Melodic and tonal Australian songs by living composers

Filled with highly melodic and tonal music, even phrases and simple rhythms in the voice part and high demands placed on the performers. It was enjoyable.

Lee Abrahmsen shines with Omega Ensemble

Andrew Ford’s Contradance was composed for Omega – It was a lot of fun; congratulations to Ford and the ensemble. It deserves to be part of the repertoire,

Australian Haydn Ensemble’s Beautiful Boccherini at Cell Block Theatre

The “Beautiful Boccherini” concert was in an interesting venue, the Cell Block Theatre in the National Arts School complex in Darlinghurst, part of the old 19th century prison. The concert hall, which was a 3 floor high women’s prison first…

Opera Bites ushered the audience into grand Victorian splendour for an intimate performance of La Traviata

A delightful evening with wonderful music, fine wine, mouth watering food (beef Wellington or grilled salmon and panna cotta or chocolate mousse) and good company.

Brahms 1 brings edge-of-the-seat intensity to The Musician Project

Under Max McBride’s expert leadership and the orchestra’s clear articulation, I discovered things in this Brahms symphony I have never heard before.

Latin heart beats strong with Grigoryan brothers and José Carbó

The famous classical guitar duo, Slava and Leonard Grigoryan, join tenor José Carbó in a concert of Latin classics handed down from their grandfather.

Surprises under The Birch Tree as Thoroughbass is inspired by folk songs

I am always impressed by their interesting and innovative programming. There are always surprises and challenges for the listener.

Poetry in motion as the city comes alive with Duo Deconet

Miguel del Aquila’s Silence finished the concert on a calm note with images of huge oceanic surging and crashing waves projected in slow motion.

Bel a cappella filled the Mosman Art Gallery for A German Requiem

A capacity audience filled the Mosman Art Gallery. Bel a cappella has been around since 1995 and as the name implies they specialise in unaccompanied repertoire.

Beauteous. Bubbly. Baroque. Anna Sandström has a perfect voice for early music

A quiet confidence and approached the music with a freshness and humility. And what a voice it is; she sang throughout with a clear well centred voice with minimal vibrato.

Thoroughbass’ The Viole Divine

Focused on the viola da gamba, with works by Rameau, Bach and Marais. Three instruments were featured, gamba (Shuang Ng), violin (Tara Hashanbuoy) and harpsichord (Diana Weston).

The Choir of St James and Australian Haydn Ensemble with Songs of Rest to a capacity audience

Their intonation excellent and every line clear; phrases rose and subsided from the texture with balance and grace. At the finish of this profound and sincere performance, I longed for more.

Omega Ensemble: Stanhope, Isaacs and Mahler

The Omega Ensemble is impressive. I will always be happy to attend any of their concerts and to recommend you do so too.

The Musician Project shows us the future is bright for orchestral music in Australia

From the opening bars the phrasing was subtle and the articulation was delicate. McBride had the full and intense attention of the focussed orchestral players.

Alicia Crossley: Alchemy

The phrasing, articulation and dynamics were beautifully executed and the sound well supported, making the most of the space. A diverse concert.

Australia Ensemble’s My Twentieth Century

I am so impressed by this ensemble. They have a loyal following with good reason. This was music making at its best and it is always worth the trek out to UNSW.

ThoroughBass provided a musical feast of varied flavours, composed by Ann Carr-Boyd

A series of folksong arrangements bookended the concert. Very varied styles here despite the tone set by the constraints of an early music ensemble.

Kimisis: contradictions create a sense of mystery

Electronic echo effects applied to both voice and trombone add a cathedral-like blending of sounds as the music and poetry build to its ecstatic climax, spangled with strobe lights and glitter.