Peerless playing from Paul Lewis: a music review by Fraser Beath McEwing

November 19, 2019 by  

British pianist, Paul Lewis, filled his Sydney Recital Hall program with just two works last night: Schubert’s Sonata in G D894 and Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations. No bonbons to be seen. Read more

The beauty of sadness: a music review by Fraser Beath McEwing

October 24, 2019 by  

While concert programs are usually eclectic, so that everybody gets at least something they like, last night’s SSO offering in the Masters Series was unashamedly emotional from start to finish. And I, for one, loved it, not just for the program but the quality of the performance. Read more

Something completely different: a music review by Fraser Beath McEwing

September 3, 2019 by  

Although Geoffrey Lancaster is a world-renowned performer on the fortepiano, it was risky to devote one of the four piano series recitals to a period instrument. Read more

Music from beneath the Bolshevik boot: a music review by Fraser Beath McEwing

August 29, 2019 by  

Last night’s Masters Series concert was not for faint-hearted orchestral players, conductors or an audience that wanted orderly, familiar music. Read more

Bright young stars shine In West Side Story: a review by Victor Grynberg

August 22, 2019 by  

If PORGY and BESS is the pre-eminent American Folk Opera, then certainly WEST SIDE STORY is the outstanding American Musical. Read more

Birth of the Cool

August 16, 2019 by  

MILES DAVIS: BIRTH OF THE COOL – a documentary featuring the life and career of musical giant and cultural icon Miles Davis, a true visionary, innovator and originator who defied categorization and embodied the word, will be screened in a short season. Read more

Kirill Gerstein’s journey through genres: a music review by Fraser Beath McEwing

August 6, 2019 by  

Visiting 40-year-old Russian-American pianist, Kirill Gerstein, is at the top of his game. Read more

Whiteley: a stunning triumph for Opera Australia

July 17, 2019 by  

Victor Grynberg reviews the premiere of a new Australian opera recounting the life of the iconic artist Brett Whiteley… Read more

Da-da-da-darr plus rarities: a music review by Fraser Beath McEwing

July 4, 2019 by  

Beethoven’s fifth symphony, a Verdi overture and a Prokofiev violin concerto made a perfectly balanced program for the Masters Series SSO concert last night. And that was before the bonus attractions of a female Chinese conductor and a celebrated Russian/Israeli violinist. Read more

La Traviata on the harbour

July 3, 2019 by  

Opera Australia has announced that Verdi’s much loved work La Traviata will return to the Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour stage in 2020. Read more

Move over Franz, Lang Lang is in the building: a music review by Fraser Beath McEwing

You know it’s a Sydney Opera House gala celebrity event when the concerto is played last. Read more

Madama Butterfly reaches new heights: an opera review by Victor Grynberg

June 30, 2019 by  

When Opera Australia premiered their new era digital sets last year with the production of AIDA not everybody was as enthusiastic as this critic. Read more

Australian World Orchestra back together

June 28, 2019 by  

Following last year’s sensational response to the concerts led by Maestro Riccardo Muti, the AUSTRALIAN WORLD ORCHESTRA (AWO) is returning with an eclectic and bravura program for this July, and to present the newly formed AWO SIX, an elite ensemble of AWO all-stars. Read more

An evening with The Scott Van Gemert’s Big Band: a music review by Ron Jontof-Hutter

June 7, 2019 by  

I attended a concert given at Melbourne’s Paris Cat Jazz Club given by Scott van Gemert and his 17-piece jazz big band this week. Read more

Claytons Brahms and genuine Chopin: a music review by Fraser Beath McEwing

Two composers who borrowed from Brahms flanked the real-deal Chopin in the SSO’s Masters Series concert last night at the Sydney Opera House. Read more

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix in concert: a music/film review by Hila Tsor

April 25, 2019 by  

I have to admit that I’m a bit of a Harry Potter nerd. At the beginning of the year I reread all the books and got sucked into a world of wonder, friendship and adventure again. Read more

Ludwig and Pyotr step up again: a music review by Fraser Beath McEwing

An SSO Masters Series concert with two sure-fire blockbuster works would usually leave room for something quirky from artistic director, David Robertson’s black book of offbeat music he likes to share, but it didn’t happen last night. We got the Beethoven violin concerto and Tchaikovsky’s fourth symphony neatly divided by interval. Both these works are favoured with plenty of playtime around Australian orchestras because they are so popular. Read more

An exciting piano package from Alessio Bax: a music review by Fraser Beath McEwing

March 26, 2019 by  

Italian pianist, Alessio Bax, ticked all the right pre-concert boxes for his Sydney Recital Hall performance last night. Read more

Salome: an opera review by Victor Grynberg

March 12, 2019 by  

Once banned. Still shocking. But Salome is bloody and fantastic. Read more

Werther: an opera review by Victor Grynberg

March 1, 2019 by  

Suicide is painless when Massenet pulls the strings. Read more

A riddle in the middle: a music review by Fraser Beath McEwing

February 14, 2019 by  

The first concert in the SSO Masters Series for 2019 (now sponsored by upmarket travel company Abercrombie & Kent) presented significant works by Janacek and Bartok, book-ending the Australian premiere of a piece by Steve Reich that had been co-commissioned by several orchestras, including the SSO. Read more

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

Wozzeck: an opera review by Victor Grynberg

February 3, 2019 by  

After the glorious melodies of LA BOHEME and TURANDOT Opera Australia’s latest production is Alban Berg’s atonal opera, considered today a modern opera but written almost 100 years ago in 1925. Read more

L-E-V: an experience in dance

January 28, 2019 by  

L-E-V Dance Company, renowned as an innovative leader in the thriving Israeli contemporary dance scene, will appear at Sydney’s Opera House between Jan-31 and Feb-03. Read more

Turandot: re-working lifts opera to new heights

January 20, 2019 by  

Giacomo Puccini is rightly acclaimed for so many brilliant operas, and for many of the arias and duets in his less successful works. Read more

New stars create another success for the world’s favourite opera

January 6, 2019 by  

There will always be carping critics complaining about Opera Australia repeating once more the world’s most played 0pera, Giacomo Puccini’s masterpiece “La Boheme”…writes Victor Grynberg. 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

Shir Madness: Song of Songs

October 21, 2018 by  

Song of Songs is the Shir Madness Finale, after a full day of music, it is a ritual to put together a line-up of top performers who perform their chosen song written, performed or recorded by a Jewish person. 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

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