Archive for January, 2018


Thanks to our featured Australian Composers and Cut Common magazine for this great insight into composing, music, and the australian arts scene.

Read it here!

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As an instrumental artist, Karen has worked with Libra Ensemble, Aphids, Orchestra Victoria, Sunwrae Ensemble, The Grand Silent System, Ennis Tola, The Phonos Project, Arcko Symphonic Project, Astra, The New Palm Court Orchestra, 4-time Grammy Award winner cellist Eugene Friesen, Lior, David RossMacDonald (The Waifs) and many others. She has performed at events such as the Melbourne International Jazz Festival, Falls and Meredith Festivals, as well as internationally in Malaysia, Singapore and Germany.

Karen received her Masters degree in Music performance on clarinet in 2005, the research for which led her to Europe where she took lessons from renowned clarinettists Wolfgang Meyer and Suzanne Stephens. In 2005 and 2007, Karen performed in Kürten, Germany, working with composer Stockhausen in rehearsal and performance, playing the pieces In Freundschaft and Der KleineHarlekin, respectively. For these she was awarded 2nd and 3rd prize in 2005 and in 2007. As a composer, Karen has had her works performed in Montreal and Edinburgh (commission from by Piazza Contemporary Collective 2007), Tokyo (2009 and 2012) and Reykjavik (commission from Duo Harpwerk 2009).

Iain Faragher began his musical career by learning the piano and playing the cornet in brass bands. When he picked up the trombone in high school, he was first taught by his dad, then continued his lessons with Melbourne trombonist Ian Bell. After graduating, Iain went on to study at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, where he learnt from Michael Bertoncello and Jessica Buzbee.

From 2012 to 2014 he continued his studies at the Australian National Academy of Music, then in 2015 Iain was appointed as the inaugural trombone fellow of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra Fellowship program. In 2016 he took up a one-year contract with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra as second trombonist.

Iain was a member of the Melbourne Youth Orchestra from 2008-2011 under the baton of Fabian Russell, and since then has performed regularly, including performances with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Tasmania Symphony Orchestra, and with Orchestra Victoria. When not playing trombone, Iain loves to relax by playing basketball

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Trombonist Benjamin Anderson has forged a remarkably diverse path through to his spot at the cutting edge of contemporary classical practice. An agent of fine musicianship, his fresh and sophisticated approach to the performance of orchestral repertoire has rendered him in demand with Australasian companies including Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, Singapore Symphony Orchestra, New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, and most recently Orchestra Victoria where Benjamin has held the position of Principal Bass Trombone since 2015.

It is the innovative and unconventionally beautiful that grips the core of Benjamin’s curiosity as an artist. As a soloist, he has collaborated with Paul Dean, Charles MacInnes, Andrew Aronowicz, Jacob Abela, Elliott Hughes, and Peter De Jager to create new works for his instrument. Benjamin retains a strong interest in experimental music, European modernism, and the avant-garde with stylistic influences ranging from composer Liza Lim to ballet choreographer Nacho Duato and Taiwanese-American large-scale visual artist James Jean.

A champion of innovation and cross-disciplinary collaboration, Benjamin welcomes the influence of non-musical art forms on his methods of artistic interpretation. His is a fresh, thoughtful, visceral and bold contribution to the patchwork of twenty-first century performance aesthetics.

Benjamin is driven by a deep joy of learning and solid commitment to developing his artistic toolkit. His undergraduate studies extend through two Bachelors of Music from the University of Melbourne and the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music, Singapore and a year of postgraduate study at the Australian National Academy of Music. Benjamin was recently awarded a Master of Music (First Class Honours) from the University of Melbourne where he was the recipient of numerous prizes including the Donald William Thornton Bequest, a Global Atelier Postgraduate Travelling Scholarship, and the Jim Marks Postgraduate Scholarship. Benjamin’s principal mentors have included David Taylor, Don Immel, Michael Bertoncello, Shannon Pittaway, and George Curran.

As an educator and instrumental pedagog, Benjamin approaches the empowerment of students through active development of technique, self-confidence, and a fundamental love of collaborative music-making. He has worked with students of University of Melbourne, as a tutor with Orchestra Victoria’s mOVe workshops, and has co-developed workshops for SmArts, the University of Melbourne’s partnership program with The Smith Family and regional Victorian schools. In 2017, Benjamin joined the Australian Youth Orchestra’s Young Symphonists program as a sectional tutor, and in 2018 tutored for AYO’s National Music Camp.

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The Consort of Melbourne

The Consort of Melbourne is an elite vocal ensemble that champions both historic and contemporary repertoire, comprising a core membership of eight of Melbourne’s finest chamber singers under the artistic direction of Steven Hodgson.

The Consort of Melbourne was founded in 2008 by Warren Trevelyan-Jones and Peter Tregear. Like the city of Melbourne itself, it was inspired by the best European traditions, to which it brings a uniquely Australian freshness and vitality. The Consort gave its debut performance in September 2008 as part of Musica Viva Australia’s Menage series. In 2009 it was invited to present a series of five concerts at the new Melbourne Recital Centre.

In 2011 the Consort made its debut at the Melbourne Festival with the Kronos Quartet giving the Australian premiere of Terry Riley’s Sun Rings to critical acclaim. In 2012 the Consort opened the musical programme of the Festival with a series of performances of Dietrich Buxtehude’s cantata cycle Membra Jesu Nostri, accompanied by specially commissioned photographic projections in St Paul’s Cathedral. In 2013 Consort performed with the Australian Chamber Orchestra in The Crowd, a collaboration between the ACO artistic director Richard Tognetti and cinematographer Jon Frank. 2014 saw the Consort backing the Rolling Stones at Rod Laver arena for their On Fire tour. In 2017, Consort appeared alongside British ‘space-rock’ band Spiritualized for Arts Centre Melbourne’s Supersense festival, and with drag legend Taylor Mac for A 24-decade history of popular music, the headline act for the Melbourne Festival.

For this performance, The Consort of Melbourne features the voices of Katherine Norman, Kristy Biber, Hannah Pietsch, Dan Walker, Ben Owen and John Weretka under the direction of Steven Hodgson.

Phoebe Green and Gamelan DanAnda join forces to rehearse Lou Harrisons “Threnody for Carlos Chavez”. Performing 29th and 30th of Jan at La Mama!

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Photo credit: Marianna Barker

Australian trumpeter Josh Rogan made his debut solo performance with the Tasmanian Symphony at age 21. He is now “making his international mark” (Cut Common Magazine) by performing in venues around the world such as the Sydney Opera House, Australia; Royal Albert Hall, United Kingdom; Walt Disney Concert Hall, United States of America; Royal Concertgebouw, Netherlands; Shanghai Concert Hall, China; and the Berlin Konzerthaus, Germany.

Mr. Rogan has performed with a number of internationally recognized ensembles, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Principal Brass of the New York Philharmonic, Australian Brass Quintet, and the New World Symphony. As an orchestral player he has performed with renowned conductors including Plácido Domingo and Christoph Eschenbach, and collaborated worked with influential composers such as John Williams, Esa-Pekka Salonen, and Matthias Pintscher. Mr. Rogan has also worked with internationally recognized artists from Joshua Bell to Kristin Chenoweth, and recorded albums with popular singers Anthony Callea and Josh Pyke.

Josh Rogan is a graduate of the University of Melbourne, the Australian National Academy of Music, and the Colburn School.

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Hannah has been harmonising in various bands and choirs most of her life, thanks to her upbringing in a musically vibrant family and church.
Hannah’s singing career spans classical, jazz and pop. Highlights include a number of world premieres, including the narrator in Sue Westhorp’s award-winning St John Passion and the alto soloist in Kym Dillon’s Reformation cantata A Righteousness from God. She was also involved in musical theatre for many years, receiving Lyrebird Awards and Music Theatre Guild nominations for lead roles in Les Miserables, Tick Tick Boom!, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Jekyll & Hyde, Hello Dolly and others.
Hannah is trained in piano and flute as well as singing (under Gary May). She has performed with a number of Melbourne ensembles, including Vox Angelica and Gloriana, and has been a regular member of the Consort of Melbourne since 2015.

DSC_1151Our intrepid musical director, Miranda Hill has a chat to Richard Watts at Arts Hub about programming new classical music, and attracting new audiences to our awesome art-form. Check it out!

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Natasha Conrau is a Melbourne-based violinist who completed her Masters of Music Performance at the Victorian College of the Arts, studying with Miwako Abe and Helen Ayres. Natasha currently works as a freelance violinist, performing on modern and baroque violin with ensembles such as Victorian Opera, ASTRA, the Argonauts, Inventi Ensemble, Arcko Symphonic Project, Gloriana Chamber Choir, Australian Chamber Choir, The Consort of Melbourne, Kammervolk Collective, the Melbourne Baroque Orchestra and the Australian Romantic and Classical Orchestra.

 

Natasha is often found in a recording studio or performing on stage with local artists such as Georgia Fields, The Twoks, Nina Ferro, Grand Salvo, Canary, Matthew Kenneally and Sister Socrates. Natasha is also a founding member of the Melbourne-based contemporary trio Solstice who commission works by Australian composers, and in 2017 premiered works by Andrea Keller, Xani Kolac, Nat Grant, Nat Bartsch and Stephanie Arnold.