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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 plays modern and baroque violin with orchestras such as Orchestra Victoria, Victorian Opera, Inventi Ensemble and The Argonauts. Natasha has performed as a chamber musician and soloist with the ASTRA Chamber Music Society, Monash Art Ensemble, Gloriana Chamber Choir, Melbourne Boys Choir, and at festivals including Dots and Loops, Melbourne Festival, Ballarat on the Goldfields, Homophonic, Port Fairy, BIFEM and Artlands. Natasha also frequents the Melbourne gig scene playing for songwriters Grand Salvo, Georgia Fields, Canary and Nina Ferro amongst others.

 

Natasha’s musical upbringing revolved around a fervent love of 20th century musical giants such as Mahler, Bartok, Prokofiev, Debussy, George Harrison and Freddie Mercury. However, after meeting Georgian composer Giya Kancheli at age 17, she was inspired to explore the world of music written by living and local composers. Natasha has since collaborated on many different projects with brilliant Australian composers such as Lisa Illean, Christine McCoombe, Nat Bartsch, Nat Grant, Andrea Keller, Louisa Trewartha, Allison Wright and Xani Kolac. In 2016 Natasha co-founded the ensemble Solstice, who are dedicated to the creation of a contemporary repertoire for piano trio, commissioning works by women composers, and making the concert going experience accessible to audiences of all musical tastes and backgrounds.

 

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Versatile soprano Judith Dodsworth moves between opera, chamber music, oratorio and
concert, in repertoire ranging from baroque to experimental. Following studies in
Canberra, London, Vienna and Melbourne, she has established a reputation as one of
Australia’s leading exponents of contemporary classical vocal music. Her operatic roles
have included Carmen (OzOpera), Greta in Metamorphosis (Victorian Opera), Sophie in
From a Black Sky, and lead roles in Rameau’s Pygmalion (Stopera), Opiume (Singapore
and Hong Kong Festivals), Miss Donnithorne’s Maggot (with Syzygy Ensemble) and A
Drone Opera (Experimenta), recently released as a short film and gallery installation.

She sang the role of Clara in Gordon Kerry’s Midnight Son for Victorian Opera with less than twenty-four hours’ notice, and did the same as the Secretary in Menotti’s The Consul. She will be a featured soloist in the premiere of Cat Hope’s powerful new opera
Speechless for the 2019 Perth Festival. She has participated in numerous workshops,
recordings and premiere performances of vocal works by established and emerging Australian and international composers, and is passionate about collaboration and cross-
disciplinary art.

Her diverse portfolio includes singing as principal cantor and soloist at St Patrick’s Cathedral, teaching classical voice at Monash University, composing,
accompanying and moonlighting as a cartoonist/ illustrator. Audiences may remember
her from Homophonic 2018 as the hirsute protagonist in Moya Henderson’s Stubble.

 

 

Kris Travers Eira is a local composer and performer. They play in several different gamelan ensembles, at evKrisEira.jpgents including Festival of Slow Music (2014, 2015) and Melbourne Fringe (2017), and they were one of the hundred percussionists in Pisaro’s a wave and waves (Melbourne Festival 2015, dir. Eugene Ughetti). Kris’ music has been performed at the Unbound Flute Festival (Brisbane, 2016) and at Listening to Wom*n (Lismore, 2017). Their semi-determined piece Change(less) was performed at Homophonic 2016.­ Kris is a Melbourne Conservatorium graduate in piano and medieval musicology. They also hold a PhD in Linguistics, and work part-time with Aboriginal communities who are reviving their languages.

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Photo: Bryony Jackson

 

Melbourne-based Cellist Katherine Philp performs across a vast range of musical styles and settings, and works for some of Australia’s leading arts companies and festivals. She is currently the principal cellist of Camerata – Queensland’s Chamber Orchestra, member of new music ensemble Kupka’s Piano, and appears at festivals across the country as both soloist and ensemble member.

 

Katherine’s musical practice crosses musical, cultural and artistic boundaries. For over a decade she has worked closely with Tibetan Singer and Instrumentalist Tenzin Choegyal on a series of concerts and recordings that have resulted in performances at the Woodford Folk Festival, the Sydney Opera House, and features on ABC Radio National. In 2009 Katherine undertook an Asialink residency (supported by Arts Queensland and Australia Council) at the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts in Dharamsala, India, where she studied Tibetan classical and folk music.

More recently, Katherine has become increasingly acknowledged for her performance of contemporary classical music, and has undertaken study with Rohan de Saram and Lucas Fels (of Arditti String Quartet). She has performed and studied in India, the UK, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, taken part in Impuls Academy (Austria) and the International Summer Course for New Music Darmstadt (Germany), and recently received an award for Best Performer, playing Berio’s Sequenza XIV at the San Marino New Music Project.

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Australian pianist/keyboardist Jacob Abela is a soloist and chamber musician specialising in new music. Based in Melbourne, Jacob is a core member of contemporary art music outfit Rubiks Collective, who have enjoyed critical acclaim for their contribution to Melbourne’s music scene.
As a pianist, Jacob performs regularly with leading Australian ensembles, including performances with Ensemble Offspring, Speak Percussion, Victorian Opera, Argonaut Ensemble (BIFEM), and Synergy Percussion. Festival credits include the Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival (USA), Bendigo International Festival of Exploratory Music, Metropolis New Music Festival, ISCM World New Music Days, Sydney Festival, and Mathemusical Conversations (Singapore).
Recent projects include a tour to Europe with Rubiks in July/August performing a program of newly-commissioned and existing Australian works, the world premiere of TARZAN with Vienna-based experimental theatre company God’s Entertainment, and a solo recital at the Bendigo International Festival of Exploratory Music 2018.