Australian concerts & recordings

Ambassadors write reviews on classical music concerts, books, releases, films and experiences.

Melbourne Musicians: Beethoven and Mozart

A pleasant relaxing afternoon of music and the audience were treated to expert soloists complementing the fine orchestral playing.

Australian Haydn Ensemble at City Recital Hall was a treat

The highly-anticipated night of firsts for AHE and they did not disappoint. First performance at the City Recital Hall and launch of their first CD.

Orchestra Seventeen88 delight the senses with exquisite playing

Unity between the two treble instruments with many unison passages displaying a fusion of sound that I would not have believed possible between violin and clarinet.

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.

Mythra Ensemble brought driving rhythms which saw many a head bob along in the audience

The Mythra Ensemble takes it name from Mitra the god of friendship, and focuses on creating cultural unity through music, blending Turkish, Armenian, Iranian and Kurdish musics with a both traditional instruments

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.

Resonance series first Melbourne performance, the ideal setup for an intimate aural experience

The first appearance in Melbourne of the ‘Resonance’ series of affordable and approachable intimate classical music performances

Consort 8: Daphne’s Grand Tour was a class act, unearthing rarely presented music

Chung’s voice is perfect for this music, with recorders again mimicking the organ and the lute quietly strummed. The balance of sound between instruments and voice gave this slow lamentation its emotional intensity.

Ironwood celebrate their 10th birthday with Schubertiade

Historical performance practice is to be encouraged and HIP concerts provided by Ironwood can be a revelation for those seeking a more authentic sound.

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

Vine Music Australia hosts talented early music performers in an intimate concert with local wines and cheese

There truly is nothing like listening to some of the best players in town performing chamber music in an intimate setting, while enjoying a glass of red!

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.

Melbourne Musicians’ high quality performance of a balanced and varied program

High quality performances without government or other official financial support. is a huge achievement and they deserve our patronage. I look forward to hearing them again!

Con Opera’s The Fairy Queen showcased a wide range of skills and an enjoyable production

A wide range of performance skills needed by opera singers demonstrated. The production ensured that the greatness of Purcell’s music was realised in full measure.

A great variety of wind quintets and community feel from Sirius Ensemble

Elena Kats-Chernin captivated the audience, Christine Draeger showcased their rich sound, Andrew Schultz was intriguing, Julio Medaglia was fun, Nielsen a great way to finish

Bel a cappella’s Beatus was richly rewarding

A concert of composers who were recognised with a selection of works sung that were new and what a joy it was to expand one’s experience of these composers.

Boy did the Brandenburgs sing Mozart’s Requiem!

All praise to the choral machine that is the Brandenburg Voices – precision, powerful and polished.

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.

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,

From the first intake of breath the exquisite vocal machine of Song Company overawed

The intimate and crisp acoustics of the Independent Theatre were perfect for a concert of such beauty and spirituality.

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.

Australia Ensemble has variety in every program

It’s not very often you get to hear a performance of Arnold Schoenberg’s amazing sextet Transfigured Night and played so beautifully by the Australia Ensemble.

David Saffir and Chris Cartner took listeners into Debussy’s sound world

There is something quite delightful going to a one hour concert in a beautiful venue listening to fine Sydney performers in a most intelligently designed program.

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.

Omega Ensemble gets Psycho!

The concert, which came about originally from Rowden’s desire to perform Herrmann’s Clarinet Quintet was highly varied and enjoyed by all

Voyage to the Moon was a spectacularly entertaining experience

Drawing together talent from all over the country to create an original gem which was so much more than the sum of its parts.

Songs of love from soprano Anita Kyle for an enthralled audience

Chris Cartner’s mission to bring chamber music to different parts of Sydney is a most worthwhile endeavour. He showcases top Sydney talent in intimate surroundings. The concerts are pleasantly a little informal and the big audience at the Lavender Bay performance were enthralled.

Peninsula Summer Music Festival’s Suite Française full of refined and sensitive playing

Georgia Browne has a gift not only as a performer, but as a compere whose knowledge and passion for this music shines through in her informative and entertaining spoken program notes.

Peninsula Summer Music Festival: Concerti Grossi was a Sunday afternoon outdoor baroque treat

Careful programming ensured that there was variety in a program of baroque instrumental works. No better way to spend a sunny afternoon than on the Flinders lawn.

Peninsula Summer Music Festival Napoleon’s Guitar

The background research into this concert was evident with the effortless patter that Tyrone Landau supplied between brackets. Songs were convincingly performed and with great authority.

Continually delighted during Peninsula Summer Music Festival’s Airs De Coeur

All the songs were performed beautifully, so much so that it is difficult to say what stood out for one was continually delighted.

Australian Haydn Ensemble explore of Haydn’s Esterházy orchestra

Throughout the performance the musicians displayed a level of interaction that was only outshone by their obvious love and enjoyment of the Haydn’s music.

Sydney Baroque Music Festival featured outstanding young talent

The orchestra received an enthusiastic and well-deserved applause from the audience. It is encouraging to know that we have the next generation of baroque specialists in the making.

Sally Whitwell on the beach with Cog in the Machine

This freshly commissioned work for the VOX Christmas show produced a fast and fantastical musical journey by an award-winning composer.

Lachner and Beethoven out of the box with seventeen88

A historically-informed performance of two Septets pitted Lachner against Beethoven in a sumptuous performance by Orchestra seventeen88 and the incredible Jakob Lehmann.

Consort 8 brings Advent alive with recorders, theorbo & viols

A varied and demanding program of 22 Christmas and Advent pieces, much of the music little known and performed in a polished and professional manner.

Omega Ensemble serenades the Sugar Plum Fairy

In a concert of serenades and seranatas, Omega Ensemble performs Tchaikovsky’s masterpiece superbly with Tarkmann’s intimate setting.

Vast range of tone colours in Sideband’s first CD

Featuring core players and guests, the CD draws on an array of inspiration sources, from Japanese Haiku poetry to dust storms and electronic music.

Streeton Trio celebrates first flush of genius

The Streeton Trio can certainly be congratulated for a superb performance that introduced us to early and unfamiliar works by well-loved composers.

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.

Funk Engine mixing funk with all sorts of other styles

A great time, good humour and skilled young players who improvised amazingly elaborate solos over the stupendously bare materials of funk

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