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FIVE–MINUTE

PROGRAMME

NOTES

A SHORT READ BEFORE THE CONCERT BEGINS.

CONTRA

CONCERTS

JONATHAN HENDERSON / CURATOR

CONTRA
MOZART

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Classical quartets in dynamic contrast.

WELCOME

Welcome to CONTRA MOZART. In a recital of dynamic contrast, the striking shift between Mozart and Peter Sculthorpe's music is intended to shock the senses. Side by side, their juxtaposition assists to emphasise the opposing sound worlds of these two masterful composers.

 

The pleasure of Mozart’s full quartet is suddenly paired back to a restrained instrumentation of solo violin, and solo cello. Within these solitary mediums, Sculthorpe paints with music. The imagery is evocative and playful with melancholic undertones. Aesthetic differences aside, Sculthorpe, like Mozart, is driven by melody. By placing Sculthorpe’s works within the familiar territory that Mozart ’s quartets offer, my hope is that the listener will be at ease and primed to receive Sculthorpe’s music, and to enjoy each work with equal pleasure.

 

To attend a Contra Concert permits you an hour to switch off, recharge and disconnect from deadline mode. We invite you to rebel against your smartphone and dare to get nothing done! Sit back, let your mind wander and share in the rare exchange of music between performers and audience, only achievable in the intimacy of the chamber music salon.

Contra Concerts are proud to partner with Southern Cross Soloists to be able to present this concert. I can think of no better project than one which brings my closest chamber partners and friends together to play in such an intimate setting – my favourite kind of music-making. We are excited to play for you today and thank you for attending our second series.

 

JONATHAN HENDERSON

flutist / curator

NOTES

A SHORT READ BEFORE THE CONCERT BEGINS.

CONTRA MOZART

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Mozart’s Flute Quartet in A Major K. 298

Mozart’s Flute Quartet in D Major K. 285

In the winter of 1777, leaving behind their native Salzburg, the Mozarts (both mother and son) hitched horse to carriage and set off on the lookout for a more amenable patron. Mozart's Salzburg patron – head of the Salzburg Court, Archbishop Colloredo – had stifled his creativity and the young composer came to the conclusion that the only way to extricate himself from the services of the Salzburg Court was to tour Europe, showing off his musical skills. So to that end, he set off to Mannheim.

Mozart would soon meet the wealthy Dutch amateur flautist Ferdinand De Jean who, for 200 florins, commissioned the up-start composer to write three short, simple concertos as well as several quartets for flute and strings. 

In this commission we observe the work ethic Mozart was to possess for the rest of his professional life. At the time of composition, he was staying with the Webers, he had become particularly enamoured by their eldest daughter – the soprano Aloisia Weber. Spending most of his time writing Aloisia arias, Mozart’s pledge to De Jean fell to the wayside and, although he was sternly reminded by his father of his commitment to De Jean, Mozart only completed three quartets and two concertos. De Jean was naturally furious and only paid Mozart 96 florins for his efforts. 

The flute quartets are a good example of ‘salon music’, written with the sole intention of being played privately in the home of the Viennese family the Jacquins (friends of the Mozarts). In Mozart’s day, domestic amateur music making was on the rise. In the evenings, families began gathering in their living rooms to sing, play the piano, or other instruments. And, as these private musical soirees grew in popularity, more and more composers began writing music to be enjoyed at home. In fact, some of Mozart’s most beloved pieces were either written at the request of friends or with the sole intention of being played in private.

 

In this instance there is no evidence to suggest that Mozart played alongside the Jacquins; However, one cannot unsee this image whilst listening.

Peter Sculthorpe 

Irkanda I for Solo Violin (1955) 

The 1920s and ’30s saw the rise of an Australian-centric artistic movement. Rather than looking to Europe for inspiration, Australian artists of the decade looked within, drawing inspiration from the native Landscape, as well as aspects of indigenous and non-indigenous culture in an attempt to craft literature, art and music that was distinctly Australian. By the 1950s, this movement began to impact the Australian music scene. 

Whilst studying at the Melbourne Conservatory of Music, Sculthorpe was to befriend James Penberthy, a fellow student with whom Sculthorpe shared compositional ideas, inspiring Sculthorpe to explore the possibility of infusing indigenous culture into his own music. 

Irkanda is an indigenous word meaning ‘remote or lonely place’. Sculthorpe’s collection of four Irkandas, including Irkanda I for violin alone, represents a creative departure for Sculthorpe as a composer and, as such, their composition was a watershed moment in his career. 

Threnody for Solo Cello (1992) 

By the late 20th century, Sculthorpe had firmly established himself within the Australian music scene. 

Whilst teaching composition at the University of Sydney, Sculthorpe was approached by the ABC to compose a piece commemorating the passing of Australian conductor Stuart Challender, who died of AIDS in 1991. As Challender had conducted the premiere of Kakadu (a work that helped secure the composer’s fame within Australian music circles) Sculthorpe naturally considered him a close friend and therefore felt a strong desire to pay homage to his life. The work Kakadu was extracted from an aboriginal chant that comes from Elcho Island. Sculthorpe drew heavily upon this earlier work to compose Threnody. In essence, Sculthorpe has expanded and recomposed the Kakadu lament; the result is a touching and heartfelt dedication to the life of his friend.

Notes by James Haywood >

MUSICIANS

ABOUT TODAY'S PERFORMERS

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JONATHAN HENDERSON

flute / curator

 

Jonathan Henderson trained with Europe’s leading flute professors and has carved out a multifaceted musical career spanning from Australia to the Nordic countries. Whilst still a student at the Hochschule für Musik Freiburg, Jonathan was appointed Principal Flute of the Estonian National Opera Orchestra at age twenty-four. He has appeared as a guest principal flute with the Turku Philharmonic and Tampere Philharmonic Orchestras (Finland), and has performed with the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Nordic Symphony Orchestra and MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra. Orchestral engagements and recitals have seen him perform at the Lucerne Festival, Tallinn Chamber Music Festival, Audi Sommerkonzerte and BBC Proms. As concerto soloist, Jonathan gave the world premiere of a new flute concerto composed for him by Australian Composer Lisa Cheney, commissioned by the Brisbane Philharmonic Orchestra. In Australia, Jonathan has performed as guest artist at the Craven Creek and Brisbane Music Festivals. In 2020 Jonathan was appointed as flute soloist with one of Australia's most celebrated chamber ensembles, the Southern Cross Soloists, after appearing regularly with the group as Associate Artist in their 2019 QPAC Subscription Series. Jonathan completed his early musical training at the Queensland Conservatorium (Australia), followed by further performance studies at the Hochschule für Musik Freiburg (Germany) and the Haute École de Musique Genève (Switzerland).

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ADAM CHALABI

violin

 

Adam Chalabi holds the position of Associate Professor at the University of Queensland School of Music. He is first violinist of the internationally renowned Tinalley String Quartet and held the position of Concertmaster of Orchestra Victoria from 2009-2014. He has appeared as guest concertmaster with numerous orchestras within Australia and overseas including the Sydney, Melbourne, Queensland and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras. He previously held the position of Head of Strings at the Australian National Academy of Music. Adam has recorded extensively on the DECCA, ABC Classics, Capriccio and Move record labels and is regularly broadcast as a recitalist and chamber musician on ABC Classic. Between 2002-2009 Adam was Principal Violin with the Zurich Chamber Orchestra. Born in London, Adam began his violin studies at the age of four with the Suzuki Method and attended the Purcell School  and Royal Northern College of Music under the tutelage of Maciej Rakowski. He is very grateful to have been supported by the Countess of Munster, Ian Fleming and Lawrence Atwell Charitable foundations. Adam plays on a Joseph Panormo violin circa 1805.(Switzerland).

MUSICIANS

ABOUT TODAY'S PERFORMERS

JH square 01.jpg

 

JONATHAN HENDERSON

flute / curator

 

Jonathan Henderson trained with Europe’s leading flute professors and has carved out a multifaceted musical career spanning from Australia to the Nordic countries. Whilst still a student at the Hochschule für Musik Freiburg, Jonathan was appointed Principal Flute of the Estonian National Opera Orchestra at age twenty-four. He has appeared as a guest principal flute with the Turku Philharmonic and Tampere Philharmonic Orchestras (Finland), and has performed with the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Nordic Symphony Orchestra and MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra. Orchestral engagements and recitals have seen him perform at the Lucerne Festival, Tallinn Chamber Music Festival, Audi Sommerkonzerte and BBC Proms. As concerto soloist, Jonathan gave the world premiere of a new flute concerto composed for him by Australian Composer Lisa Cheney, commissioned by the Brisbane Philharmonic Orchestra. In Australia, Jonathan has performed as guest artist at the Craven Creek and Brisbane Music Festivals. In 2020 Jonathan was appointed as flute soloist with one of Australia's most celebrated chamber ensembles, the Southern Cross Soloists, after appearing regularly with the group as Associate Artist in their 2019 QPAC Subscription Series. Jonathan completed his early musical training at the Queensland Conservatorium (Australia), followed by further performance studies at the Hochschule für Musik Freiburg (Germany) and the Haute École de Musique Genève (Switzerland).

Adam square 01.jpg

 

ADAM CHALABI

violin

 

Adam Chalabi holds the position of Associate Professor at the University of Queensland School of Music. He is first violinist of the internationally renowned Tinalley String Quartet and held the position of Concertmaster of Orchestra Victoria from 2009-2014. He has appeared as guest concertmaster with numerous orchestras within Australia and overseas including the Sydney, Melbourne, Queensland and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras. He previously held the position of Head of Strings at the Australian National Academy of Music. Adam has recorded extensively on the DECCA, ABC Classics, Capriccio and Move record labels and is regularly broadcast as a recitalist and chamber musician on ABC Classic. Between 2002-2009 Adam was Principal Violin with the Zurich Chamber Orchestra. Born in London, Adam began his violin studies at the age of four with the Suzuki Method and attended the Purcell School  and Royal Northern College of Music under the tutelage of Maciej Rakowski. He is very grateful to have been supported by the Countess of Munster, Ian Fleming and Lawrence Atwell Charitable foundations. Adam plays on a Joseph Panormo violin circa 1805.

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JAMES WANNAN

viola

 

James Wannan studied viola with Alice Waten in Melbourne and viola d’amore in Vienna with Marianne Rônez. He explores his passion for music from ancient to contemporary on a number of instruments. In 2015 James performed as violin soloist in Elliott Gyger’s opera Fly Away Peter featured at the Melbourne Festival, recorded a CD of music by Jack Symonds, collaborated on five Australian premieres and toured to China with the Sydney Symphony.​ As a soloist James has worked with orchestras including the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra, the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. He has performed as a viola d’amore soloist in festivals in Austria and Germany, and has been invited to perform as guest principal viola with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra. He toured Europe as principal viola of the Asia Pacific United Orchestra. He has toured as principal violist with the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra. He has performed as guest principal viola with the Hong Kong Philharmonia Orchestra. He recently premiered a new viola d’amore concerto at the Bendigo New Music Festival.

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HYUNG SUK BAE

cello

 

An acclaimed soloist, chamber musician, educator, orchestral musician and artist, Hyung Suk Bae's performances have taken him all over United States of America, South Korea, Japan, New Zealand and Australia, including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Harris Theater in Chicago and Sydney Opera House. His recent highlight includes performing with Pinchas Zukerman, Charmian Gadd, and Australia/New Zealand tour with pianist Maxwell Foster. Hyung Suk Bae has been praised for his performance style that extends ‘beyond technical excellence and into the realms of artistry’ (Gisborne Herald). He studied at The Juilliard School with Joel Krosnick (former cellist of Juilliard String Quartet), with a full scholarship for the Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees.

UPCOMING

CONTRA SCHUBERT

Nocturnal art song in exotic settings.

Contra Schubert promises an invigorating recital of art song and instrumental solos imbued with exotic melodies. Masterworks by Schubert and Ravel are intertwined with solos by Peter Sculthorpe, one of the defining figures in twentieth-century Australian Music.

BRISBANE

Friday Oct 07, 6pm

Holy Trinity Hall

Fortitude Valley

 

TOOWOOMBA

Sunday Oct 09, 3pm

The Annex - City Hall

Toowoomba

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