On The Vine – December 2014
Even before Ray Chen’s national concert tour with Timothy Young had ended, the Musica Viva Operations and Artistic teams headed off to Mudgee to ramp up the 2014 Huntington Estate Music Festival that was, I have to confess, bigger and better than ever. It began with a rejuvenated festival Prelude on the weekend before the festival proper, featuring the Amaryllis and Goldner Quartets, amazing coloratura soprano Emma Matthews, brilliant pianists Joyce Yang and Bernadette Harvey, and a fantastic new find in New Zealand harpist Ingrid Bauer.
The Chamber Orchestra of the Australian National Academy of Music, directed by Howard Penny, joined us on Wednesday for the start of the full festival, along with Ray and Timothy plus a throng of other marvellous musicians to perform 730 minutes of music to more than 500 patrons over 8 action-packed concerts. This year’s program included an unusually high proportion of new repertoire, including world premiere performances of string quartets by Australian composers Philip Jameson and Paul Stanhope. Paul’s new third quartet can be heard again in April and May when the Goldner Quartet tour our capital cities to celebrate their 20th anniversary as one of Australia’s premier chamber groups.
While the rest of the country winds down for the Christmas break, Musica Viva is becoming increasingly busy planning the start of its 2015 International Concert Season. Our first focus is on the Canadian baroque chamber orchestra Tafelmusik, touring its incredible House of Dreams program around Australia in February and March.
This stunning exploration of music, art and drama was created by the group’s bass-player, Alison Mackay, who was also responsible for The Galileo Project presented for us by the orchestra back in 2012. The new show steps into the world of Bach and Vivaldi by examining in detail five historic European houses, and the works of art hung on their walls. Accompanied by images from London, Paris, Delft, Leipzig and Venice, House of Dreams takes the audience on an enchanted vision of the past accompanied by breathtaking music, words and images.
If you don’t subscribe to the full Musica Viva concert season, make sure that you don’t miss this singular opportunity to witness at first hand one of the great concert experiences of the decade.
Carl Vine AO
For more information on Musica Viva’s 2015 International Concert Season, the Musica Viva Festival, and the 70th Anniversary, please visit;www.musicaviva.com.au/2015