Performance and Composition
Paul McMahon performed the Evangelist role in Bach’s St Matthew Passion with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra on 16 April. The concert was broadcast nationally on ABC Classic FM, streamed globally through World Concert Hall and reviewed in various publications. Along with his ongoing work on an ARC Discovery Project with harpsichordist Erin Helyard, this concert forms part of Paul’s profile as a practitioner and researcher.
Reviews are available in:
The West Australian
ABC Classic FM
The Canberra International Music Festival (CIMF)
Many staff members have appeared in the Canberra International Music Festival this year. Sally Walker premiered colleague Christopher Sainsbury’s new work Bark of the ‘Bidgee with William Barton, Veronique Serret, PhD student Callum Henshaw, Roland Peelman, and alumnus Bree van Reyk. Alumnus and Open School teacher Jess Green also had a major presence at the festival, composing and performing in a number of contexts. Teddy Neeman performed, as well as David Pereira’s signature performance of the JS Bach Solo Cello Suite 5. Bark of the ‘Bidgee deserves another mention, a 15-minute work from Chris Sainsbury that articulates a sustained voice and presence for indigenous chamber music in this country that also links to the research work Chris is doing in this space . We all want to congratulate the CIMF and its director Roland Peelman and were delighted when our Dean Rae Frances represented the School of Music and the University at the final concert. We offer our sincere congratulations to Roland Peelman, as well as looking to the future for new collaborations.
Sally Walker performed on an historically-keyed Classical Flute in the Lord Abingdon’s Flute recital with pianist Daniel Herscovitch and cellist Nicholas Kennedy at the Sydney Conservatorium, before performing as Principal Flute in Sydney Philharmonia choir’s Easter concert of Bach and Mozart at the Sydney Opera House.
Pianist Teddy Neeman has given numerous concerts already this year and will be taking part in a one-week residency at the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) in July/August. In celebration of Larry Sitsky’s85th birthday this September, Teddy and Larry are traveling to Moscow to do a series of workshops/performances at the Moscow Conservatory, sponsored by the Australian Embassy. The School of Music will also be doing something special for Larry’s 85th, and we are delighted to have Larry still playing a wonderful role in our School.
David Pereira just composed Marauder’s Quest for cello and piano, as well as Wildfire for cello and piano - both dedicated to, and for first performance by, two of his own cello students. On June 19/20, David will also be soloist with the Canberra Symphony Orchestra (CSO) in a new work by Ken Lamplcelebrating long-time CSM Senior Lecturer in Cello, Nelson Cooke. Ken (and Kirsten) Lampl have also scored a film called The Furies, which had its Australian premiere at the Gold Coast Film Festival and its international premiere at the Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival. Ken, as mentioned, completed a cello work for the CSO, which will show both his art music and ability to integrate technology into new classical music.
I took a trip to our jazz department and asked John Mackey how many gigs the faculty have given this year. There are so many we can only estimate, but our informed figure since the start of semester is 480! Our jazz faculty are out and about 3-4 nights a week in Canberra and nationally, and in the tradition of jazz they are building a culture of sustained practice and dedication with their students, who are so lucky to have gigging musicians as their teachers.
Frank Millward has a major work touring the United Kingdom this June. BRIAN & BANKSY : projected animation with live score performed by the Delta Saxophone Quartet. This performance will show Frank’s work at the nexus of art music composition, technology and fine art. BRIAN & BANKSY has multiple dates booked in the UK and will be performed later in the year in Canberra. Frank has also started a chamber music album at the ANU which we are following.
My Antarctic Sounds of Space and project is at the Venice Biennale, with 8 films made showing new composition and space sounds, including a setting of the first gravitational wave. There is terrific support from the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) for this, it will soon be played at the Blue Dot Festival, a leading UK science festival before coming to Australia in July and August with Cambridge artist engineer Diana Scarborough showing the animated parts of the project and lecturing for us and the ANU Humanities Research Centre. You can hear me talk about the project this Thursday night in the ANU’s Collision of Science and Music event at Llewellan Hall. PhD alumnus Georgia Pike will also present with our musicology lecturer Bonnie McConell on their work using music as a social intervention in the aged care system. More information on this Thursday’s event here.