Our 2018 season enjoyed a wealth of media coverage, both from local media outlets and nationally. Here are just some of the highlights as featured in Limelight Magazine, Canberra Critics Circle, and City News, the latter who once again took on the ambitious project of reviewing the 2018 program in its entirety!
Woodward looked exhausted as he walked off, but graciously returned for two short encores. Sometimes music reviewers have the privilege of hearing something quite exceptional. This was one of those occasions.
-Concert 3: Roger Woodward I, reviewed by Graham McDonald, City News, 29 April 2018
With the addition of Andrew Fysh singing bass, the vocalists returned to the stage to perform Kantate BWV 175, ‘Er ruftet seinen Schafen’. It was pleasing to hear Tobias Cole perform the aria, Komm, leite mich, his male alto providing a strong and distinctive voicing in the work. The splendid Chorale: ‘Nun, werter Geist, ich folg dir’,sparkled at the conclusion of the Kantate, lingering like a blessing from the composer at the end of the concert.
-Concert 5: Bach on Sunday, reviewed by Jennifer Gall, Canberra Critics Circle, 3 May 2018
The Festival Strings did a magnificent job, navigating the tempo variations; never faltering as they recreated Spring birdsong, a Summer storm, a wild Autumn dance party, and shivering crashing Winter icicles, all with the intensity of Richter's demanding minimalist score. Tim Fain grasped the challenging soloist role and led the musical exploration deftly while Roland Peelman kept a steady hand on the harpsichord directing the ensemble with his trademark precision.
-Concert 4: Four Seasons, reviewed by Jennifer Gall, Canberra Critics Circle, 29 April 2018
A Summer-sun-drenched performance of Tchaikovsky’s Souvenir de Florence, played by the young Orava Quartet joined by violist James Wannan and cellist Miles Mullin-Chivers brought the cheering audience to its feet. For some, the first half was equally satisfying: a gorgeous performance of the short Impromptu in G flat by Schubert played on the fortepiano by Keiko Shichijo followed by Beethoven’s Violin Sonata Op. 96. ... This was a musical experience of the highest order.
-Concert 7: Classic Souvenir, reviewed by Vincent Plush, Limelight Magazine, 1 April 2018
All the while, the man at the helm, Roland Peelman, was in high emotion, with extraordinarily expressive but tightly-controlled conducting, pulling every sensitivity and colour, passion and mind’s-eye picture out of this truly inspiring work.
It was a privilege to witness such superb musicianship from these fabulous Australian musicians. Five stars to them all.
-Concert 9: Israel in Egypt, reviewed by Clinton White, 1 May 2018, City News
For anyone who hasn’t heard of Orava Quartet, I urge you to pick up a copy of their debut recording with Deutsche Grammophon Australia. This young ensemble is rapidly becoming one of the most exciting voices in the art music world.
Last night’s performance of chamber music by Haydn, Rachmaninoff, Debussy and the rarely heard Erwin Schulhoff, was masterful, imaginative and electric.
Concert 14: Orava Quartet, reviewed by Judith Crispin, 4 May 2018, City News
Some might say this was a pleasant Saturday afternoon concert, but that cruelly understates the superb musicianship of these young players, who gave us a performance of supreme beauty and musical satisfaction.
-Concert 19: The Trout, reviewed by Clinton White, 6 May 2018, City News
Overall, Bagby’s rendition of Beowulf was fascinating and entertaining… and … offered a different and deeply satisfying performance experience, one for which Bagby was repaid at the end of the two hours with a standing ovation. It would be fascinating to see the marathon epic performed in full.
-Concert 20: Beowulf, reviewed by Angus McPherson, Limelight Magazine, 7 May 2018
This is music that does not bellow out its statement; it is introspective and delicate and it is Plato’s subtle telling of the loss of a friend and fellow philosopher Socrates. The performances of Keiko Shichijo and Kate Howden mirrored one another in style and sensitivity; they created a distinctive partnership.
Concert 22: Barbara Blackman's Festival Blessing, reviewed by Rob Kennedy, City News, 7 May 2018