Eavesdropping on heaven: a music review by Fraser Beath McEwing

February 6, 2019 by  

When a concert series combining the Australian Chamber Orchestra and the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir was announced, I had to be there – and so did a lot of other music lovers, judging by its sell-out. Read more

Tognetti and the ACO+  blew us away: a music review by Fraser Beath McEwing

November 19, 2018 by  

As if the announcement that local hero Richard Tognetti was going to perform Beethoven’s violin concerto was not enough to stir the interest of Sydney music lovers, the announcement that he’d beef up the Australian Chamber Orchestra’s 19 regular players with another 30 borrowed from various other orchestras, set their pulses racing. And to top it off, when Tongetti revealed that his hybrid team would throw in Beethoven’s 5th Symphony they came scampering to the box offices. Read more

Beethoven didn’t have it all his own way: a music review by Fraser Beath McEwing

November 8, 2018 by  

As well as playing some fine music, the SSO played a noteworthy tactical game this week and next by staging three different concerts with somewhat challenging musical cakes, but each laced with the delicious icing of Beethoven’s 7thSymphony. Moreover, Beethoven appeared in the second half of each concert to prevent the unconvinced from scuttling away after interval. Read more

Three favourites that couldn’t miss: a music review by Fraser Beath McEwing

October 18, 2018 by  

I’d love to be a fly on the wall when he SSO programmers meet. Read more

A home visit from Sarah Grunstein: a music review by Fraser Beath McEwing

September 26, 2018 by  

Internationally recognised concert pianist, Sarah Grunstein returned to her Sydney roots for a twilight Opera House recital.
Read more

Grosvenor was generous and brilliant: a music review by Fraser Beath McEwing

September 18, 2018 by  

If ever there was a piano recital worth queuing up for it was the one given last night by young English pianist, Benjamin Grosvenor. Read more

A moving feast of Johannes: a music review by Fraser Beath McEwing

August 30, 2018 by  

The Sydney Symphony Orchestra devoted its prowess to a whole program by one composer in the APT Master Series concert last night. And while that didn’t cast a wide musical net, it delivered an outstanding experience for those who are partial to Johannes Brahms. Read more

Ben and Gus don’t let you off lightly: a music review by Fraser Beath McEwing

August 9, 2018 by  

A program of Britten and Mahler is not for those who want to hum tunes or tap feet, as demonstrated by last night’s APT Master Series SSO concert at the Sydney Opera House. Read more

Osborne at war and peace – a music review by Fraser Beath McEwing

August 7, 2018 by  

Distinguished Scottish pianist, Steven Osborne, unexpectedly interleaved major piano works by Debussy and Prokofiev to present contrasting musical landscapes, not only in composition but playing style as well. Read more

Put this one on your Liszt: A CD review by Fraser Beath McEwing

The piano music of Franz Liszt is often seen as either too syrupy or a keyboard version of a wood-chopping event. Read more

Picturesque, to say the least: a music review by Fraser Beath McEwing

July 19, 2018 by  

Last night’s Sydney Symphony Orchestra’s APT Master Series concert was all about creating dramatic sound pictures, some clearly subtitled, some borrowed form the Russian Orthodox Church and the rest a challenging kaleidoscope from a contemporary American female composer. Read more

The unexpected from Simon Trpčeski: a music review by Fraser Beath McEwing

Those who have followed the career of Macedonian pianist, Simon Trpčeski, might have expected a program of at least some popular technical showpieces for his solo concert in the Sydney Recital Hall last night. Read more

Play it again, Avan: a music review by Fraser Beath McEwing

Avan Yu, winner of the 2012 Sydney Piano Competition, was invited back to play a concert at the Sydney Con last night. Read more

Alexander Briger and the AWO

In my review of the Australian World Orchestra’s concert in the Sydney Opera House last Wednesday, I named the past conductors of the orchestra and omitted Alexander Briger who, in fact, first conducted it in 2011…writes Fraser Beath McEwing. Read more

Australian World Orchestra is among the best: a music review by Fraser Beath McEwing

May 3, 2018 by  

The choice of two major symphonies by Brahms and Tchaikovsky gave the Australian World Orchestra the chance to shine at the Sydney Opera House last night. And shine it did. Read more

A unique concert opportunity

April 20, 2018 by  

Although the now celebrated Australian World Orchestra is scheduled to perform early in May, it is not a symphony orchestra that anybody has ever heard before or will ever hear again…writes Fraser Beath McEwing. Read more

Lesser known works from two great composers: a music review by Fraser Beath McEwing

April 12, 2018 by  

If you want a Beethoven mass you’ve only got two choices: the more secularly accessible 1812 Mass in C major, Op.86 or the longer, holier and meatier 1824 Missa Solemnis which the SSO last presented in 2015. Read more

The lion never got out of its cage: a music review by Fraser Beath McEwing

March 25, 2018 by  

The Sydney Opera House organ recital is something like an annual pilgrimage for me. Read more

A thoroughly good weepfest: a music review by Fraser Beath McEwing

March 22, 2018 by  

If you wanted to feel magnificently melancholic, Sydney’s Recital Hall was the place to be last night. Russian-born violinist Alina Ibragimova joined the Australian Chamber Orchestra to present ‘Death and the Maiden” a title borrowed from Schubert’s Quartet in D minor arranged for string orchestra  – which was the final work on the program. Read more

An excitingly unexpected concert: a music review by Fraser Beath McEwing

March 15, 2018 by  

Last night’s APT Master Series concert at the Sydney Opera House dispensed with a curtain raiser and jumped straight into the drawcard: Nelson Freire playing Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No 5 in E flat major (Emperor) with Donald Runnicles conducting the SSO. Read more

Carlo Goldstein, a conducting rarity

February 25, 2018 by  

Brought to Australia to conduct the John Bell production of Carmen in the Sydney Opera House, Carlo Goldstein’s very name raises a smile. And when he tells his story, he emerges as a rarity in the world of classical music performance…writes Fraser Beath McEwing. Read more

 Mozart is a Manny splendoured thing: a music review by Fraser Beath McEwing

February 6, 2018 by  

If you want to put bums on seats you schedule all-Mozart programs. And if you want to add a bit of high-wire thrill you bring in Emanuel Ax to play two piano concertos per concert. That’s what spawned sell-out houses to the SSO’s opening series for 2018. Read more

A big night with the three Bees…a music review by Fraser Beath McEwing

November 30, 2017 by  

I have a feeling that the SSO wanted its APT Master Series to finish the year on a high when it nudged its budget with a big orchestra, solo singers, a male chorus (on loan from the Australian Opera) and powered up the organ. Read more

Gavrylyuk stunned his audience – literally: a music review by Fraser Beath McEwing

November 21, 2017 by  

I’ve never been to a piano recital quite like this one. Ukrainian pianist, Alexander Gavrylyuk, took his audience on such an emotionally demanding journey that, in the end, they felt as exhausted listening as he probably did playing and demanded only one encore before escaping into the balmy Sydney night. Read more

A night for Shostakovich fans – a music review by Fraser Beath McEwing

November 14, 2017 by  

A whole program of Shostakovich was something of a gamble for the SSO concert last night, because not everybody likes his music. Luckily, I’m one who does, although my love blossomed only after many hearings. Read more

Two big fish and one tiddler: a music review by Fraser Beath McEwing

October 28, 2017 by  

The SSO concert in the APT Master Series presented two major works: the Sibelius Violin Concerto in D minor, Op 47 and Mahler’s Symphony No.1 in D major. Read more

Four out of six were made in Australia…a music review by Fraser Beath McEwing

October 19, 2017 by  

The SSO’s Emirates Metro Series chose the theme of fire for its Opera House concert last night. And fiery it was – mostly. Australian composer Brett Dean conducted his own Fire Music while Australian pianist, Piers Lane, had to fire up to get into the ring with Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No.3 in D minor leaving Sibelius to represent Finland with six minutes of Scene with Cranes Op 44 No2. Read more

Two old friends and a stranger…a music review by Fraser Beath McEwing

August 24, 2017 by  

The SSO concert last night just kept getting better as it went from Mendelssohn to Mackey to Dvorak. Read more

Imogen Cooper gave a scholarly performance

August 22, 2017 by  

Although the tiger never got out of the cage, English pianist Imogen Cooper gave an impeccable account of Beethoven, Haydn and Ades at Sydney’s Recital Hall…writes Fraser Beath McEwing. Read more

Australian World Orchestra’s  chamber spin-off…a music review by Fraser Beath McEwing

July 26, 2017 by  

With the veracity and popularity of the Australian World Orchestra now firmly established, its creators, led by conductor Alexander Briger, no doubt feel the need for development. That’s what last night’s chamber music concert was all about. Read more

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