Planning a chamber music festival is like doing a jig-saw puzzle as any Artistic Director might tell you. The Sydney Chamber Music Festival prides itself on being in the boutique style – Small and Fine, and presents three unique concerts.
In a world of too much, I see the importance of bringing people back to smaller intimate settings where there is a feeling of connecting with each other through chamber music expression. Up close and personal performances by talented Australian musicians alongside international guest musicians who advocate Australian music both new and old is the focus at SCMF, as is curating music programs around a particular theme which will move and inspire the community.
The festival this year is entitled “Where The Word Ends..” carrying the message that where spoken word ends music continues and takes us into another world.
The festival this year begins as always with a family coffee Concert 1 – “Fun Brass” – featuring distinguished musicians from the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra. Classic Australian Children’s stories will be narrated and set to exquisite classical music by Francis Poulenc. This is an introductory concert followed by tea, scones and chatter…. Children of all ages are most welcome.
Concert 2 is “Dancing Shadows” – the music for flute and piano by the Australian composer Miriam Hyde. As a mother, musician, poet and music educator Miriam Hyde has left her own individual mark in Australian music history. Many composers have been inspired by the written word and Hyde’s music is indeed as descriptive as Lieder, a poetic reflection of her life, extremely detailed, expressive and masterfully crafted. I’m proud to bring to light this astonishingly beautiful music alongside one of the UK’s finest pianists Andrew West. Complementing this program will also be music by JS Bach, Aaron Copland, and Franz Schubert for solo piano.
In Concert 3, I have the great honour this year to present the iconic Australian actor John Bell in celebration of his 75th birthday and to whom the Townsville born composer Robert Keane has dedicated his new work “Music for John Bell” – Five Shakespearian Portraits for Wind Quintet and Actor. This world première will feature John Bell himself alongside the New Sydney Wind Quintet. This concert will also include Mozart’s piano quintet featuring Andrew West once again at the piano, as well as Sergei Prokofiev’s much loved masterpiece “Peter and the Wolf Suite” performed by the New Sydney Wind Quintet with a new updated script written by ABC personality and narrator Guy Noble.
The SCMF would not be possible without the support of the Manly Art Gallery and Museum, and the hard work and dedication of its dedicated committee members, all volunteers working for the greater good! I trust there will be something at SCMF this year to enchant everyone of all ages and from all walks of life. I look forward to meeting and greeting you at these concerts as well as having the great privilege to perform for you in this special community event during the Manly Arts Festival 2015.