Listening to New Music

Sitkovetsky Trio on stairs

This week is an exciting one at Musica Viva. It’s the first time many of us will get to hear the Sitkovetsky Trio live after enjoying their recording so much. And it’s also the first time we – and anyone, including the composer – will hear Carl Vine’s new piano trio “The Village” as the performances of the work by the Trio are its premiere ones.

How does anyone approach hearing a new work for the first time? Sometimes we’re helped by having heard other works by the composer. I’m lucky in that regard with Carl’s music, having heard in concert or on recording all of his symphonies and concertos, many of his ballet works, a lot of his piano music and all the works for chamber ensemble he allows to be performed.  Some of those works have hit a very emotional spot for me, especially the Third and Fourth String Quartets and the Anne Landa Preludes for piano. What’s exciting me about this week’s premiere is that it’s the first time Carl has written a piano trio, one of my favourite groupings of instruments and  one that combines three of the instruments Carl writes best for – violin, cello and piano.

Carl’s music is often described as being accessible, richly coloured and rhythmically driven. He also writes great melodies, especially in his slow movements (listen to the Third String Quartet or his recent Violin Concerto). I’ve always felt that the piano trio combination would be a great one for Carl to write for as it would allow him to use the piano to create a wonderful palette over which the two string instruments could create textures and colours.

Now that he’s done it I’m really looking forward to hearing how he has approached the three instruments. I’m also looking forward to hearing it four times, to really get to know it. I know that I’m lucky to have the job I do that allows me to get to know a new piece so well, but I hope that through the radio and web many others get the chance to listen to some of Carl’s other works before ABC Classic FM broadcast the piece on Saturday 22 March (with it then being available on the station’s website for another month).

I’ll let you know my response to the work after I’ve heard it a couple of times!

Tim Matthies
Director of Business Development, Concerts

For more information on the Sitkovetsky Trio and their tour for Musica Viva, visit, or call 1800 688 482.


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About Musica Viva Australia

Welcome to Musica Viva’s International Concert Season blog. Here you can follow and read more about our wonderful touring artists.

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