Australian concerts & recordings

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

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Soundtrack

So I could picture the music in its appropriate setting, I watched the movie, and as I’m not a Hobbit fanatic took one with me. Not being a fanatic has advantages – you don’t walk in with expectations and you…

 
Simon Tedeschi: Gershwin & Me

Simon Tedeschi is a wonderful performer whose passion and personality comes through in the performance – live or recorded. Listening to his CD feels like you’re there live and, for me, it can’t get much better than that. The Gershwin…

 
The Idea of North at The Basement

The Idea of North are an a capella quartet who perform with a jazz style, although there are classical songs in their repertoire (and if you’ve read several of our posts you’ll know we’re fairly broad in the gray definition…

 
Sydney Philharmonia’s An English Christmas

The Sydney Philharmonia’s An English Christmas was a wonderful night out with a sense of Christmas and a festive end to 2012 having arrived. Congratulations to Sydney Philharmonia who, in the almost full Concert Hall at the Opera House, created…

 
Blue Silence – Acacia Quartet & Elena Kats-Chernin

The recently released Blue Silence with the Acacia Quartet performing the complete works for string quartet by Elena Kats-Chernin is a wonderful blend of classical and jazz sounds. The double CD of short works with great titles like: Drinking Song,…

 
ACO Underground at The Standard was like a rock gig

There was a great buzz in the audience before this show. The amazing musicians of the ACO Underground collective were going to be performing their eclectic selection of music in the comforts of a Rock music venue. An acoustically great…

 
Australia Quartet at UTS

The Australia Quartet tick many of the new audience ‘objection’ boxes and it is why you should head along in 2013: [list type=’arrow’] It is too expensive: entry free or by donation At concert halls or churches I’m not familiar/comfortable…

 
Marais Project’s Swedish Roots was a great afternoon

It was my first time hearing Marais Project. Their Swedish Roots was a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon and it was wonderful to meet classikON-er Mo at the concert. The Recital Hall West at The Conservatorium of Music…

 
ACO at Sydney Grammar School’s New Hall

Last night we were treated to two works from ACO’s recent Russian Visions tour. The concert was sponsored by Commonwealth Bank and at Sydney Grammar’s New Hall. They performed [list type=’arrow’] Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No.1 in C minor, Op.35 For…

 
Behind Closed Doors: Flinders Quartet & Red Stitch

Last night there was a classikON Reserve at Behind Closed Doors at the Utzon Room in the Sydney Opera House. It was a full house. I did not know what to expect. A collaboration between a theatre company (Red Stitch)…

 
Standing room only at Australia Quartet @ UTS

The Australia Quartet are the UTS Piano Quartet in Residence and their 3rd concert was last night. Personally, I like chamber music being performed in the kind of space the name represents: The word “chamber” signifies that the music can…

 
Noah Stewart @ The Loft: a star has arrived!

Noah Stewart @ The Loft: a star has arrived!
I am excited that Yellow Lounge has launched in Australia! After 7 years in Berlin and the UK we finally get to enjoy classical music without rules. The objective of Yellow Lounge is to bringing classical music together with cutting-edge DJ’s in cool urban spaces. In a nutshell, Yellow Lounge has the same goal as classikON – demystifying classical music and binging it to a newer and younger audience.

 
Heritage in Song by the Sydney Children’s Choir – a musical masterpiece

When you’re looking through a ‘what’s on’ list you don’t immediately think ‘I really must go and see that children’s choir’. Until now, I imagined rounding’s and modern renditions of “Baa, Baa, Black Sheep”. I’ve been proved wrong! Yesterday I…

 
Acacia & Halcyon’s rehearsal performance = a great preview of tonight’s concert

We were privileged enough to attend a lunchtime rehearsal concert for The Acacia Quartet and Halcyon’s current concert program. It was a short program and it left US wanting more. The venue, the New Hall at Sydney Grammer School is…

 
Zubin Kanga’s Spectrum at The Independent

The offer of a recital at the elegant Independent Theatre on a beautifully crafted grand piano by Zubin Kanga, in a world premier performance of custom composed works and collaborations. Firstly, I must introduce you to the finely hand crafted…

 
Classical Clubbing at The Standard

After a decade of violin and piano lessons during school, I found myself more interested in loud rock festivals than classical music for most of my twenties. But in recent years I’ve been drawn to more complicated and progressive music,…

 
The Good, the Bad, the Awkward by Sally Whitwell

I don’t normally read the liner notes of CD’s but I felt the need to know more about Sally Whitwell, she’s such an intriguing character. Her approach to music seems to be as eclectic as her personal style. She composes,…

 
classikON reserve at Musica Viva’s amarcord

We had a wonderful night introducing classikON reserve to Sydney! Eleven classikON-ers met for a casual chat before the concert, sat together during the performance and stayed on afterwards for a drink at the lovely Felix in Ash Street. amarcord…

 
Sonus Quartet, The Passionate

I’m starting to believe that Sunday afternoon is the perfect time for a chamber music concert, and if the classikON calendar is anything to go by, I’m not alone. Another trend I’m enjoying is the shorter concert. A concert that…

 
‘Outback Adventures’ with the Enigma Quartet

Last Friday (20th July), I went to see one of the most dynamic string quartets in Australia, the Enigma Quartet. These four young and exceptionally talented musicians performed the first in their current Concert Series at the Conservatorium of Music…

 
“Intimate Moments” with Julian & Dimity @ the Independent

On Tuesday 17th July, I went to the Musica Viva Coffee Concert at the Independent Theatre in North Sydney. The Goldner String Quartet are playing all of the Coffee Concert Series this year. For this performance two of the Quartet’s…

 
The Sydney Symphony & Tchaikovsky’s Pathétique Symphony

As always, this Sydney Symphony concert was awesome and also very interesting as it brought together three different styles, orchestra layout and specific mood. The conductor David Robertson (Chief Conductor and Artistic Advisor starting in 2014) is a wonderful communicator…

 
Gondwana Voices before heading to China

I’ve not kept it a secret that I’ve been slow to appreciate voice (and I’m not talking about the tv show). The Gondwana Voices broke all reasons I’ve resisted in the past. The Gondwana Voices were one of 5 choirs…

 
Book Launch: Off the Record by Dr Neal Peres da Costa

On Tuesday 3rd July, on behalf of ClassikON, I attended the launch of Dr Neal Peres da Costa’s new book at the Conservatorium of Music Sydney. Neal Peres da Costa is an accomplished man: he is a great performer, a…

 
Takács Quartet tour with Musica Viva

The Takács Quartet are one of the best in the world. They tick all the boxes: They’re a wonderful quartet, making difficult works seem light. You want to hear them on repeat They communicate with each other while playing You…

 
The Acacia Ensemble & Elena Kats-Chernin

The Acacia Ensemble came together in 2010, formed by violinists Lisa Stewart and Myee Clohessy, violist Stefan Duwe and cellist Anna Martin-Scrase. They come from a diverse range of quartets and orchestras and choose to focus on new contemporary compositions.  While I…

 
Steinway Take Five @ Theme & Variations

Theme & Variations were host to a fabulous event last night celebrating five Steinway concert grand pianos in Sydney It was wonderful to experience these magnificent pianos up close and to be able to hear the differences between them. Five composers from The Sydney Conservatorium of Music were selected to have their 5 minute works, created in just 3 weeks.

 
ACO @ Angel Place

The Australian Chamber Orchestra (ACO) raised the roof at Angel Place last night! What a performance. There is a modernity to this group of musicians: perhaps it’s the Akira designed outfits or the fact that they stand throughout the performance but there is a fresh energy and ease to their approach to the music and to each other.

 
Enigma Quartet – Rising Stars

There was a lightness and joy that permeated the performance. The girls exchanged the occasional cheeky glance as if to say ‘lets not stuff this bit up’. The performance was not perfect but it was real, raw and organic. It was punctuated by the roaring of the George street buses, police cars and the occasional over eager motorcyclist. This some how magically added to this spirited and joy filled performance.

 
Flinders @ Utzon

Last night, a group of ClassikON-ers attended ‘Silent Inspiration’, the second in this year’s concert series by the Flinders Quartet. It goes without saying that the thoughtfully chosen pieces that were executed with such passion and precision were loved by all of us that attended.

 
Ross Edwards at The Con

Ross is a wonderful Australian composer, whose work effortlessly echoes different cultures, featuring the Australian bush and in particular bird songs.

 
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