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10 March 2008

Composer/Performer Notes

Katy Abbott Image: Katy Abbott  
© Matthew Hindson

Composers Out and About

Composer George Dreyfus and his son Jonathan's appearence at the Staatsoper Unter-den-Linden (Berlin State Opera) was not just a flash in the pan; they have been invited back to the prestidious Opera House to perform their new program, Sonny's Luck, in November 2008. A children's adventure with music by George and Jonathan played live to silent film, Sonny's Luck is to be performed by members of the world-renowned Staatskapelle Berlin under Jonathan's direction.

Jennifer Fowler's piece for string orchestra Plainsong for Strings is one of four Australian works to be performed at the International Congress of Women in Music in Beijing in April 2008. Works by Australians Kate Moore and Katia Tiutiunnik will also be included in the program. In June 2008 Fowler’s Streaming Up for 4 bassoons and piano will also be performed at the festival Fou de Basson in Angouleme, France. The Music Conservatory in Vibo Valentia, Calabria, Italy, has chosen her Cycling for piano to be included in a CD project of piano music for children. This piece was also recently played as part of a piano competition for youth in Krusevac, Serbia.

Peter McNamara's Landscape of diffracted colours – a work for mixed ensemble and pre-recorded electronics – is one of thirteen works selected for performance during the 2008 International Gaudeamus Music Week. Taking place in Amsterdam from September 1 to 7, the Music Week focuses on music by young composers. Although the first Gaudeamus Music Week, staged shortly after World War II, was devoted to Dutch composers, the Music Week was soon opened to composers worldwide. Each year new works by composers are presented, with emphasis on composers younger than 30 years. During the week the Gadeamus Prize will be awarded. For more information visit: www.muziekcentrumnederland.nl

The premiere of Jon Rose's Violin Concerto – Internal Combustion for amplified orchestra, solo violin and video will take place on 12 March at the MaerzMusik (Festival of Contemporary Music). Commissioned by Berliner Festspiele/MaerzMusik, the piece will sit alongside works by Elena Mendoza-López, Conrado del Rosario and Philippe Hurel.

Australian Performers overseas

Synergy Percussion Quartet made their U.S. debut last month at the 15th annual Tucson Winter Chamber Music Festival, providing most in the audience with their first taste of Australian contemporary music. The ensemble – Bree van Reyk, Timothy Constable, William Barton and Michael Askill – devoted the entire two-hour concert to works by Australian composers, including Martin Wesley Smith's Marimba and Tape and Nigel Westlake's Omphalo Centric Lecture, as well as works written by members of the ensemble.

The Australian Voices also recently returned from a concert tour in California, USA. Over 17 days, they gave 12 performances in major venues from San Francisco to San Diego and gave numerous workshops for choirs, singers, composers, and other musicians in universities, colleges and high schools enroute. The all-Australian music programs were well received. According to one listener’s experience, the performances were like 'hearing very fine crystal being sculpted, moulded and formed'. TAV’s next major concert will be held on Sunday March 30, 2.00pm at St Stephen's Catholic Cathedral, Brisbane and features new works by Australian Composers Katy Abbott, Michael Sollis and Gordon Hamilton. Please visit www.theaustralianvoices.com for more information.

New Releases

ABC Books has released a new book Talking to Kinky and Karlheinz: 170 Musicians get Vocal on The Music Show. Editor Anni Heino, drawing on the archives of interviews conducted over the last fifteen years of The Music Show [presented by Andrew Ford on Radio National], gathers them together into fascinating chapters that cover topics ranging from what makes a jazz singer, to getting political into the musical message; from the relationship that musicians have with their instruments; to the composers to the performers to the directors of performance. Anni is currently maintaining a blog (http://anniheino.com/kandk/) as an online companion to the book, where you can listen to audio and transcript clips from The Music Show.

The music of Andrián Pertout – recently graduated with a PhD in composition from the University of Melbourne – will feature in a series of international CD releases in 2008, including: 50 años de música electroacústica en Chile – a triple CD celebrating fifty years of electroacoustic music in Chile, and 25 Jahre Harmonia Classica – a triple CD celebrating Harmonia Classica’s 25th anniversary. Also to be released this year are Digressioni modali for Tenor Saxophone and Pianoforte by local saxophonist Barry Cockroft (Reed Music, Melbourne, Australia), as well as by American saxophonist Dr. Noah Getz (Musician-In-Residence, American University, Washington, DC, USA) on Albany Records (Albany, NY, USA), two DVD releases by Kostas Metaxas Recordings, two forthcoming CD releases by the Australasian Computer Music Association, as well as the University of Melbourne’s Time Capsule: Electro-Acoustic Music CD.

Move Records has re-released Uttered Nonsense: The Owl and the Pussycat. The Album consists of eight word-pieces by Edward Lear spoken by Ivan Smith, and set to music by John Sangster (1928-1995) – a central and charismatic figure in Australian jazz. These works are accompanied by fourteen instrumental works which take their titles and inspiration from Lear’s Nonsense Books (first published in 1846). The original double LP was published in 1980 by Rainforest Records Australia (RF LP001).

As a national service organisation, the Australian Music Centre is dedicated to increasing the profile and sustainability of Australian composers and other creative artists. The AMC facilitates the performance, awareness and appreciation of music by these artists through: composer and other creative artist representation and assistance; resonate – its online magazine; library and retail services; sheet music publishing; and the management, administration and publication of project-based initiatives. Its library collection holds over 30,000 items by more than 500 artists.


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