Sydney Chamber Music Festival
Holding to the maxim of ‘starting as you mean to go on’ and taking the broad and encompassing title of the Sydney Chamber Music Festival, this annual event has now reached its tenth anniversary.
In 2008, ignoring the elements of limited resources and a secure home, Artistic Director Bridget Bolliger, her supporting committee and Festival Patron Guy Noble plunged into the fray with a series of innovative concerts by outstanding players. The results speak for themselves.
Securing Manly Art Gallery & Museum as a permanent home from 2009 gave the Festival a unique quality. Listening to fine music in a large hall (purposely built for concerts in the 1920s) beside Sydney Harbour has given the Festival an energy and freshness that make it stand apart from similar events.
The programming of three weekend concerts, including one for children has ensured that the Festival remains vibrant and accessible. In its quest to engage very young audiences, the Saturday morning Coffee Concert series has presented 30 minute concerts of works that appeal directly to children. Sitting on the floor just metres from the players has enabled a new audience to see and hear instruments up close and to be guided through the elements of musical performance. This educative role saw the utilization of the talents of selected performers in a series of masterclasses for tertiary music students in 2008.
There have been multiple highlights over the past nine years and the list of first class players is extraordinary. Gerard Willems, Taryn Fiebig, James Crabb, the Faust Quartett, the Volatinsky Trio, Dimitri Ashkenazy, Shalev Ad-El, Teije Hylkema, Andrew Ford, Juerg Daehler, the Acacia Ensemble, Anthony Heinrichs, Jane Edwards, David Miller and of course Bridget Bolliger herself, are among the many whose dazzling talents have been part of these great events. The long list means that many others are regrettably omitted here.
The artistic programming has been innovative and thematic. Selecting works for a Parisian “Salon” theme (2011) or those related to birds, to complement the accompanying Manly Gallery visual art exhibition (2014), has repeatedly given audiences experiences of somewhat obscure works as well as contemporary pieces. Thematic program highlights have included the works of Elena Katz-Chernin in 2011, the Bach and Sons series from 2013, Forgotten Instruments from 2011 and the musical tribute to the actor John Bell, Robert Keane’s Five Shakespearean Portraits and a concert of Miriam Hyde’s compositions, both in 2015. The 2016 program A Celebration of Friendship and Youth, brought together friends Hylkema, Ashkenazy and Bolliger with Airena Nakamura, Grace Kim and Maria Raspopova with their fresh interpretations of Mozart, Mendelssohn, Gade, Bloch, MendelssohnBartholdy, Jolivet and Hyde. The 2017 program will feature works related to the Manly Gallery Phantom exhibition and in keeping with the tradition of showcasing Australian compositions, a new work by Jim Coyle will premiere.
Programming a remarkable series of ten concerts without external financial sponsorship and with only in-kind sponsorship from many organizations and individuals and volunteers is a note-worthy achievement. Congratulations to the Sydney Chamber Music Festival and happy anniversary!
Dr. Michael Hedger
Director Manly Art Gallery&Museum
The Sydney Chamber Music Festival (SCMF) is held every year in the beautiful surrounds of the Manly Art Gallery and Museum.
In the festivals held since 2008, SCMF has offered its audiences the opportunity to hear some of the best Australian and international musicians playing fine classical and contemporary works, in programs drawn from a wide diversity of musical and cultural traditions.
The Sydney Chamber Music Festival aims to be an exciting event in Sydney’s cultural community by: offering a performance platform for dedicated chamber musicians, covering the repertoire from renowned works to the lesser known, and to inspire and promote new compositions by Australian composers.
On behalf of all of us at the SCMF we extend a warm welcome to you to join and support us in this wonderful musical experience each year.
Who Are We?
The Sydney Chamber Music Festival, founded by Bridget Bolliger, is devised, and orchestrated by an independent group of chamber music lovers. SCMF is a not for profit, incorporated association and is managed by a volunteer Committee of Management. Various members of the Committee take on specific responsibility to ensure a high quality and smooth functioning Festival event. The Committee is assisted by many other volunteers on the days of the festival.
Board of Directors
President: Akky van Ogtrop
Secretary: Michael Hedger
Honorary Treasurer: John van Ogtrop
Board member: Melissa Browning
Advisory member: Elisabeth Ramsay MBE
Artistic Director: Bridget Bolliger
GUY NOBLE | Conductor
Guy Noble knew he wanted to be a musician from the age of 8. As a boy, he sang as a soloist with the Sydney Symphony and with the Australian Opera. He studied the piano in Sydney and toured with the Australian Youth Orchestra to the BBC Proms in London, playing in Stravinsky’s Petrouchka.
He has talked about music (as host of ABC Classic FM’s Breakfast Show), recorded it (9 CDs for ABC Classics), and conducted it all over the country and abroad (Sydney Symphony, West Australian Symphony, Melbourne Symphony, Queensland Orchestra, Adelaide Symphony, Auckland Philharmonic and Malaysian Philharmonic).
Noble has been able to work with such wonderful performers as Harry Connick Jr, Dianne Reeves, Ben Folds, Clive James, the Beach Boys, the Pointer Sisters, and in great musical theatre shows such as The Phantom of the Opera, South Pacific, Sunset Boulevard and Gypsy.
AKKY VAN OGTROP, President
Akky van Ogtrop (born in The Netherlands), graduated from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands, and has a Masters Degree Fine Arts, Sydney University.
As a director and manager of major arts events including the Sydney Art on Paper Fair (which she founded in 1989) and the Biennale of Sydney, Akky has proven experience as an arts administrator and creative manager with extensive contacts and national and international project experience.
Akky works as an art historian, independent curator and is an Approved Valuer for the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program. Akky is presently serving on various boards, including: President of the Print Council of Australia and serves on the Cultural Committee of the Manly Art Gallery and Museum. She is a foundation member of the Art Gallery of NSW.
Akky has a passionate interest in music and multicultural issues and has been President of the Sydney Chamber Music Festival since its inception.
BRIDGET BOLLIGER, Artistic Director
An accomplished concert soloist, chamber musician, orchestral player and recording artist, Australian-Swiss flautist Bridget Bolliger has recently been hailed by Fanfare as “the very essence of what flute sound should be…”
Bridget first performed as a soloist with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra at the age of 15 and studied at the Basel Music Academy completing her Masters degree in performance under Prof. Peter-Lukas Graf.
As a soloist, Bridget appeared with the St Gallen and Basel Symphony Orchestras, Orquestra del Teatro Massimo Palermo and the Sinfonica de São Paulo among others and she performs regularly for the ABC, Musica Viva, and is a regular guest at the Huntington Music Festival and Australian Festival of Chamber Music, Townsville.
Bridget spent several years as Principal Flute with the St Gallen Symphony Orchestra, Switzerland, and then the Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra, Brazil. She was Guest Principal Flute with the Zurich Opera Orchestra , Zurich Chamber Orchestra and Basel Symphony Orchestra. Since returning to Australia, Bridget has played principal flute with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra and has regularly played with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.
Bridget studied voice at the Koln Music Hochschule and at the Bologna Music Academy . She performed the roles of Clorinda in Rossini’s “La Cenerentola” at the Teatro di Sao Pedro in Sao Paulo and was the first soprano in “Drei arme adelige Waisen” from Richard Strauss’ opera Rosenkavalier , at the Teatro Massimo de Palermo in Sicily. Bridget studied art song and opera as part of her music education in Europe.
Bridget’s debut solo CD release in 2014, “Dancing Shadows”, has earned great international acclaim from Gramophone, BBC Music Magazine and Limelight and she made her Sydney Opera House debut as solo artist in 2016.
Bridget is the founder and Artistic Director of the New Sydney Wind Quintet and the Sydney Chamber Music Festival. She is an Artistic Advisor for the Sydney Conservatorium High School Senior Chamber Music Program, was the 2016 Artist in Residence at Fine Music 102.5 FM, and is a flute teacher on the international faculty of playwithapro.com
MICHAEL HEDGER, Secretary
Michael Hedger has been a Secretary of the Sydney Chamber Music Festival since 2008. He has worked in the arts scene of Sydney for 20 years and has long been an arts advocate and a member of several key arts committees.
He is the Director of the Manly Art Gallery and Museum and was previously the Manager of Cultural and Information Services at Manly. Before this he was the Manager of Visitor Services at the National Maritime Museum, from 1999 – 2003 the Director of the Campbelltown Arts Centre and before this the Deputy Director of the British Council, Australia. He was the art reviewer of The Newcastle Herald, an arts lecturer and teacher.
JOHN VAN OGTROP, Honorary Treasurer
MELISSA BROWNING, Board member