Tag Archives | Arts Learning Festival

Orchestra Musicians Never Fail To Amaze Me

Kevin_PurcellI had the great pleasure last weekend of working with an essentially ‘scratch’ orchestra comprised predominantly of musicians teaching instrumental music in Schools in Melbourne and regional areas; including some musicians from the ADO roster, all of whom gave so generously of their time.

The ADO, through Managing Director, Janine Hanrahan, and Artistic Administrator, Briony Buys, was asked to curate this concert for the inaugural Independent Schools Victoria (ISV) Arts Learning Festival. I was delighted to return to Melbourne to work with the orchestra on a program of music specifically composed for Children.

We really need to celebrate the capacity of orchestra musicians who live in Australia: their willingness to tackle difficult music – with far too little rehearsal time; an undaunted enthusiasm for the task of finding their musical way through a barrage of notes, rhythms, dynamics and endlessly shifting tempi and, ultimately, their conviction that they can “pull it off” when the moment really counts – the concert!

We underestimate and under-appreciate orchestra musicians generally.  I believe this is true in most places in the world with very few exceptions. What is asked of them – in terms of the minutely exacting technical and artistic expectations  – is a continuing feat of human dexterity and skill-level that belies any general understanding of what they individually and collectively accomplish in the process of making music. Continue Reading →

The 2017 Season Announced

Janine HanrahanHappy New Year to everyone – or “Auguri” as they say in Venice from where I am writing this post.

Today I have announced the preliminary concert schedule for the ADO’s 2017 season.  More details, including dates and venues to be announced shortly.  If you haven’t already seen it, tap here.

For the Season opening concert, we’re absolutely delighted to present Lisa Cheney’s evocative The Pool and the Star in a new version for symphony orchestra which the ADO will premiere.  The Pool and the Star, originally conceived for chamber orchestra, was first performed as part of the MSO’s Cybec program (under the direction of Brenton Broadstock) at the 2014 Metropolis New Music Festival.

The second work on the concert is the Sibelian-inspired second Symphony No. 2 ‘Romantic’ op. 30 by 20th-Century American composer, Howard Hanson (1896-1981).  Probably the best know of his seven symphonies, the work was commissioned by the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s music director Serge Koussevitsky in 1930 as part of their 50th anniversary celebrations.

This symphony became the subject of some notoriety when one of its most haunting themes was used in the closing credits of the original Alien film without the composer’s consent – much to his displeasure.  It’s a marvelous work of great beauty and not performed nearly enough.

The second concert in our season is a 50-minute thrill ride through the  ultimate music of  ‘love, murder and betrayal’ captured in Giacomo Puccini’s operatic masterpiece, TOSCA.  Whereas we’d love to play all of the opera our concerts as you know are only 50 minutes long, so we’ve selected equally the most sensuous and gripping moments to perform for you.  But don’t worry, we’re also developing a new 3D immersive game environment around Tosca’s Rome – where the opera is set – for you to explore the complete story in your own time.  Our principal conductor, Kevin Purcell, is currently in Rome preparing the media assets for this exciting new audience engagement platform.

The 2017 season kicks off  on May 7 with a special version of the ADO performing as part of Independent Schools Victoria’s Arts Learning Festival (May 3- 7).  More information about this to be posted shortly.

Lastly, just to note, we are having major issues with our Facebook page and not able to access it properly.  Basically we can’t write any posts onto our timeline right now.  We don’t know how long this will take to resolve with the ever-charming and helpful folk at Facebook!

Enjoy the remainder of the Summer,

Janine

Are We There Yet?

Janine HanrahanI thought it was a good time to reflect on the first half of our 2016-17 Season.  But, it’s over I hear you say?  No, actually, we’re only half-way through.  But I can understand the assumption that we have concluded our current season projects.

Our season starts in May each year and concludes in April-May the following year.  Odd? Perhaps, but there is a reason why we do this.  In Australia, the coming of Spring heralds the Spring Racing Carnival, the ALF Football Final series (like the American championship division finals and World Series), Melbourne Spring Fashion Week, The Melbourne Festival and the list goes on and on….

As a daring, highly-innovative and niche orchestra enterprise, we don’t want during this time to compete with all this noise – and, in reality, we can’t – so we don’t. Then, the long Australian Summer is upon us which takes us through to early February, followed by the mad scramble of people gearing up once more for School or work.  Suddenly, it’s April and wouldn’t you know it, we’re gearing up to start another ADO season.  But, wait, there’s more.  Like the eponymous free steak-knife bonus, the ADO has been busily planning during the Spring-Summer hiatus the second-half its previous calendar year season of projects.  Oh, what are they? Read on. Continue Reading →

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