We acknowledge the traditional custodians of the many lands on which we meet, work and live and pay our respects to elders past, present and emerging – people who have sung their songs, danced their dances and told their stories on these lands for thousands of generations.
As a teenager, newly in love with classical music, I’d spend a tiny portion of my milk-run wages each month on a copy of 24 Hours (later Limelight), underlining each piece I wanted to hear, planning my weeks around these broadcasts. Later, with more money (though earned with less physical exertion), I’d do the same with other people’s season launches, writing in a diary the live performances I couldn’t possibly miss. Of course, these two behavioural patterns are connected; the child, after all, is father to the man.
And now it’s my own seasons I happily anticipate. Any concert season tells a story, and the one Musica Viva Australia tells in 2022 is simple, if boldly told: it is a tale of creativity during adversity; of partnerships that span the country and the world; of resilience, communal experience and the sheer, astonishing joy of live performance.
I can’t remember if Bach’s Goldberg Variations was one of the works I diligently underlined in 24 Hours, though I do remember buying Glenn Gould’s 1981 recording not so long after it was released, thereafter quickly falling under its considerable spell. Bringing Andrea Lam and Paul Grabowsky together for this Goldberg project – in which they will both hold up a mirror to their respective musical worlds – will shine a bright light on this work for the ages.
The same applies to the collaboration between Kristian Winther and the Signum Saxophone Quartet – a cracking, hip ensemble from Cologne – in Weill’s masterpiece, his Violin Concerto of 1924. Add to the mix some of Signum’s signature works – from Bach to Broadway – and the program could not be more enticing.
Is Schubert’s Winterreise a greater monument than Bach’s Goldberg Variations? I’ll ask what you think once you see the incomparable English tenor Allan Clayton perform the cycle with pianist Kate Golla, against the backdrop of Fred Williams’s own winter’s journey through Australia’s physical and emotional landscape – all in a magical staging by Lindy Hume.
We round out this season with the phenomenal artistry of a line-up of Australian and international musicians: Karin Schaupp and the Flinders Quartet; Julia Fredersdorff and her Van Diemen’s Band; the brilliant young Z.E.N. Trio; mandolinist Avi Avital and cellist/composer Giovanni Sollima; and a series of Australian soloists populating our Sydney and Melbourne morning concerts.
Come do your part, for music is meaningless without our beloved audiences. Join us – along with the many donors and partners who tirelessly and generously make our work possible – for a season of innovation and wonder.
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Learn more about the concerts you can enjoy in your city plus details on how to subscribe.
We would also like to thank those individuals who have generously supported each ensemble (Ensemble Patrons) or concert (Concert Champions) of the tours that you are about to explore.
To use the terms musician, poet and artist in one sentence is unusual. ‘To find them in one person,’ declares Musica Viva’s Artistic Director Paul Kildea, ‘is a delight.’ A joy we’ll learn more about in 2021, as we unveil the appointment of Dr Judith Nangala Crispin as the company’s Artist in Residence.
Since 2011, Judith has spent several months each year working with Warlpiri people in the Tanami Desert, and with their help, has begun tracing her own Bpangerang Aboriginal ancestry. Guided by these conversations, Judith has explored the themes of intelligence of country and light through her art. The results are seen in extraordinary Lumen Prints, created with the bodies of Australian animals, with sticks, leaves, seeds, and Vegemite, exposed in natural light for over 30 hours, as demonstrated in our cover image.
Judith now identifies as a poet and visual artist who draws upon elements from her musical training. The fearlessness with which she has moved from composition into other artforms is explained by her view that creativity is an organic evolution. ‘Think about the difference between music and poetry, there’s almost none. They both use time as a canvas, they both use intonation, metre, rhythm, they both convert a kind of narrative. They’re very closely aligned.’
This residency is a return to a company that Judith formed a relationship with as a young musician. She points to the organisation’s policy of commissioning emerging composers, and has fond memories of performances. ‘If it was a Musica Viva concert, you’d always hear something new.’
More details on our Artist In Residence coming soon.
Image: Kerrie Brewer, Canberra Weekly