Tony Burke
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Born 1945 Shropshire UK and started piano lessons at 12. Having played classical piano since then up to a reasonable amateur recital level. Studied medicine at Brasenose College Oxford and Barts Hospital London. Moved to Australia in 1975 and settled in Sydney. Moved to Woy Woy in 1984 where I opened my own GP practice. Retiring in 2013 and living in Macmasters Beach, playing bridge and tennis when I'm not listening to classical music or tinkling the ivories.

Willoughby Symphony Choir and friends’ massive undertaking of “Ode to Joy” was an impressive success!

It is really refreshing to attend an event featuring an amateur orchestra and choir performing with proceeds going to Indigenous education, and doubly so when the work chosen is none less than Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, a massive undertaking even for full…

 
Sydney Mozart Society presented an uplifting recital by the Enigma Quartet

We were privileged to be guests of the Enigma Quartet at Chatswood on a balmy Spring evening. The Quartet took shape under the Musica Viva “Rising Stars” program in 2012 and has gone ahead in leaps and bounds since. First…

 
Sophie Rowell & Kristian Chong’s immaculate Sydney Mozart Society performance was thoroughly enjoyable

A packed hall at Chatswood Concourse welcomed violinist Sophie Rowell and pianist Kristian Chong, who are no strangers to the Sydney Mozart Society. Sophie won the ABC Young Performers Award in 2000 which gave her the opportunity to play as…

 
The brilliance of the Sydney Soloists sextet was on full display in their program for the Sydney Mozart Society

Every programme given by the Sydney Mozart Society is carefully thought out in collaboration with the artists. Whether intentional or not, Friday night’s concert was notable for featuring music which to most listeners was to some extent unfamiliar. The performing…

 
Willoughby Symphony’s “Enigma” a night to remember

There can scarcely be a piece of music about which more has been written and postulated than Elgar’s Enigma Variations, which gave the title to Sunday afternoon’s concert by the Willoughby Symphony Orchestra. Like so many famous works, it came…

 
Selby & Friends provided a vivid evening of Beethoven for the Sydney Mozart Society

The latest Sydney Mozart Society concert was cleverly timed to coincide with the opening of Vivid Chatswood but, fortunately, although the visual aspect was welcoming, we were insulated from the sound effects. On this occasion, Kathryn Selby continued her well-established…

 
Australia Ensemble’s concert “No Strings Attached” was a carefully crafted programme contrasting the familiar and the less so

Problems with light rail construction and venue renovations, as well as the Sydney Swans playing a home match at the SCG, meant that reaching the Sir John Clancy Auditorium at the University of New South Wales on Saturday was problematic.…

 
Goldner String Quartet’s mastery was on full display throughout Sydney Mozart Society’s imaginative programme

Why is it that the sound of the Goldner String Quartet is so distinctive? Certainly there is their perfect timing and intonation but there is more than that. I feel sure that I could pick their playing from ten recordings…

 
Sydney Youth Orchestra’s performance gave enjoyment in spades

Sydney Youth Orchestras comprises no less than fourteen orchestras embracing ages from 6 to 25 years, with students progressing with experience and being directed to areas to suit their individual talents. They have provided this essential function in New South…

 
Ku-ring-Gai Philharmonic Orchestra’s intriguing and innovative programme works a treat!

What a transformation there has been in the Ku-ring-Gai Philharmonic Orchestra. Gone are the creaky strings and hesitant woodwind entries resulting in an efficient and accurate unit. Perhaps its new principal home in the expanse of Chatswood Concourse has helped…

 
The Australia Piano Quartet presented a stimulating concert of contrasts for the Sydney Mozart Society

It’s hardly necessary to say that the Sydney Mozart Society, now in its sixty-ninth year, produced another recital of the highest quality. The Australia Piano Quartet is now in its eighth year as Resident Ensemble at Sydney’s University of Technology where…

 
Richard Gill would have been proud of SYO’s Celebrating Strauss

Richard Gill was an immensely popular conductor and musical educator and the Sydney Youth Orchestra dedicated the last concert in this year’s cycle to him. The concert had another dedicatee, namely Richard Strauss who is generally agreed to be an…

 
Outlaw Opera was adept acting and singing, carried off in spades, and to a great reception

Christina Henson is nothing if not versatile, having trained in both opera and medicine, and she produced a show to wake up sleepy Avoca on a Friday night. Avoca Beach Theatre is a beautifully situated Boutique Picture House and plans…

 
Sydney Mozart Society | The Streeton Trio was faultless and reflected the intense moods of the music

How exciting it must have been to be a music lover in Vienna in the early nineteenth century. If you had grown tired of Hummel and even the innovative but ageing Haydn, and were lamenting the premature death of the…

 
Willoughby Symphony Orchestra’s Discovery was an exhilarating evening

I have a problem. I’ve heard the Willoughby Symphony Orchestra play now on five occasions and keep waiting for a wrong note, an error in tempo, or creakiness in the strings but they just don’t occur. Is there a better…

 
Sarah Grunstein performs Fantastic Fantasies

It would be difficult to imagine a more suitable backdrop for a piano recital than the Utzon room at the Sydney Opera House with a gradual change from a James Jackson painting to a vivid night sky and sea transport…

 
Willoughby Symphony Orchestra with David Fung was full of passion

When is an encore not an encore? When it starts the programme, as Nicholas Milton explained after the orchestra had began unexpectedly with the “Trepak” from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker suite. No one would be in the mood for an encore after…

 
Sydney Mozart Society presents Australian Haydn Ensemble

Probably the most welcome rainstorm in Sydney history put the Chatswood audience, which included eminent patrons Lauris Elms and Donald Hazlewood, in a relaxed mood for the latest concert by Sydney Mozart Society with The Australian Haydn Ensemble, were very…

 
Selby & Friends immensely enjoyed performing works by composers with troubled souls

I wonder what effect the title of Selby and Friends’ latest concert “Troubled Souls” had on readers? It certainly didn’t apply to the performers who clearly enjoyed the occasion immensely. They were; Julian Smiles well-known to all as, among others,…

 
Celebrating Ross Edwards’ 75th Birthday

Birthday invitations are not to be sneezed at and it was a privilege to be part of a celebration of Ross Edwards’ seventy fifth year at City Recital Hall. He is probably Australia’s best known contemporary composer with Peter Sculthorpe…

 
Bel a cappella showed unbounded enthusiasm for the carefully chosen music appreciated by a grateful audience

This was the second in Bel a cappella’s annual season and I was lucky enough to hear the first. Running since 1995, they have set high standards for an amateur group throughout. Sunday’s concert was held in the Catholic Church…

 
Audiences exhilarated by Willoughby Symphony Choir’s The Seasons

While Joseph Haydn had a long and successful musical career, his personal life was not so great. He rarely saw his parents after moving in with his friend Johann Spangler as a teenager and he had a long but unhappy childless…

 
Superlative Chamber Music Making from the Australian World Orchestra

The Australian World Orchestra was formed in 2011 under the patronage of Sir Charles Mackerras, comprising Australian musicians playing in local state orchestras and overseas in international symphony orchestras. Sadly, the group only plays for one week a year in Australia, but has…

 
Coro Austral hosted an exhilarating evening

What an exhilarating evening hosted by Coro Austral at St Augustine’s Church in Balmain. Coro is a Sydney based amateur chamber choir which specializes in music of Hispanic origin. Their bubbling director, Margot McLaughlin, kept us fully informed before each piece and clearly…

 
Selby and Friends’ Beethoven by ballot was a great concert of audience favourites

Kathryn Selby put together yet another intriguing programme, on this occasion based on one composer’s works. She is, of course, an accomplished pianist in her own right and her reputation enables her to lure top class international and local performers…

 
Sydney Mozart Society hosts Enigma Quartet and Timothy Nankervis

This was the last concert of the Sixty Seventh year of the Mozart Society and it was appropriate that, in contrast to recent programmes, we were treated to works familiar to many listeners. The Enigma Quartet has been playing for…

 
Sydney Mozart Society arrange to please and Southern Cross Soloists performance excellent throughout

There must be a tremendous amount of planning that goes into the programming of Sydney Mozart Society concerts. At Chatswood Concourse on Friday, there was a programme that consisted largely of familiar works arranged for unusual combinations of instruments. These…

 
Kathryn Selby has friends a-plenty – exemplary trio performance and brilliantly constructed programme

Kathryn Selby is not short of friends – the quality of her pianism and selection of her programmes is testament to that as is the number of her fans.

 
Sydney Mozart Society | Memorable evening from Duncan Gifford and friends

Duncan Gifford now lives in Madrid but returns to his native Australia annually. He has the distinction of being the highest placed Australian in the Sydney Piano Competition when he came third in 1992 as well as numerous other competition…

 
Sydney Mozart Society presents an excellent program with a performance of the highest quality by Sydney Soloists

Sydney Mozart Society’s concert in Chatswood by the Sydney Soloists, who recently morphed from the Verbrugghen Ensemble, come with great pedigree. All members of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, although Robert Johnson has recently announced his retirement. A Divertimento in E…

 
Omega Ensemble finished the year with an evening of superb music brilliantly played

A balmy evening at Angel Place was a great setting for an appealing programme given by the well-credentialled Omega ensemble and titled “Three Parts Mozart”.

 
Sydney Mozart Society: Australian String Quartet performed a memorable recital with a fully appreciative audience

The Sydney Mozart Society has transformed smoothly to its new Chatswood venue and continues to present enticing programmes which include music by Amadeus himself.

 
The Schubert Society wowed the audience and superbly performed a brilliantly conceived program

An excellent concert brilliantly conceived by the Schubert Society which really wowed the audience and was superbly performed by all concerned.

 
Strelitzia Ensemble were superb in their programming and delivery

Strelitzia have taken great pains to tread unbeaten paths, exposing us to less well-known works and we are much the richer for it. The playing was faultless and I can’t recall having a warmer feel

 
Australian Haydn Ensemble brought Vienna Salon to life in Utzon Room

Melissa Farrow was superb in her quasi-solo role while I felt that the cellist, Anton Baba, stood out in cementing the intricacy of the string playing.

 
Chris Cartner was in great form for Beethoven and Brahms

Chris had no difficulty with the long arpeggio passages and showed a great degree of feeling particularly in slower passages.

 
Omega Ensemble shined to a packed Utzon Room with a wonderful backdrop

Ben Hoadley’s “Four Preludes” based restful sojourns in New Zealand and Sydney’s North shore were satisfying, tranquil and well received.

 
Sydney Mozart Society offers another enticing program with Streeton Trio

Each work had points of interest and provided easy listening, a tribute to the Sydney Mozart Society and to the Streeton Trio which melded superbly in its altered format.

 
Selby & Friends combines three brilliant soloists and an innovative program for Sydney Mozart Society

Hugely enjoyable with its varied innovative programme in an intimate atmosphere, an enthusiastic audience, and above all, the brilliance of its three soloists.

 
Greenway Series: The Annual Chancellor’s Concert was immensely enjoyable

I enjoyed this concert immensely, well programmed and well-performed by the ever reliable SCM Symphony Orchestra under its enthusiastic regular conductor.

 
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