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

Kosky’s genius brings hilarity to an opera farce: The Nose – an opera review by Victor Grynberg

February 25, 2018 by  


Based on a novel by Gogol, Shostakovich’s opera The Nose is as ridiculous a story as ever seen in opera. Read more

A contemporary take in music on old Yiddish

February 18, 2018 by  

Taking old Yiddish drinking songs, collaborating them with 60’s jazz, 70’s funk and good old big band sounds to create a dance mash up, is what YID! is all about. This unique recipe for success takes you through a whirlwind of cheerful, edgy, wild and vibrantly upbeat tunes that’s sure to get you on your feet. Read more

Rinat and company star in dazzling Carmen – an opera review by Victor Grynberg

February 13, 2018 by  

It was a lot more than Israeli Carmen superstar Rinat Shaham and the glorious music of Georges Bizet that prompted the audience to rise as one for a rapturous standing ovation at the premiere last Saturday night. Read more

La Traviata returns to the Opera House

February 7, 2018 by  

Award-winning Australian soprano, Nicole Car, will make a triumphant return to the Sydney Opera House this summer to make her debut in the title role of Violetta Valéry in Verdi’s iconic La Traviata. 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 good nose job is hard to find: Kosky’s The Nose premieres in Australia

January 26, 2018 by  

The Australian premiere of Barrie Kosky’s new production of the rarely performed Shostakovich classic The Nose has become the most highly anticipated production of Opera Australia’s Sydney Summer Season following its critically acclaimed debut in London in 2017. Read more

An Israeli Carmen

January 23, 2018 by  

After a sell-out season in 2016, John Bell’s vibrant production of Bizet’s Carmen, featuring gypsy girls and bull-fighting boys in eye-popping colours, returns to the Sydney Opera House next month. 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

Winners of Chamber Music to perform at The Great

November 28, 2017 by  

After sell out performances at East Melbourne Hebrew Congregation, Affinity Collective celebrates Jewish and Czech music at Sydney’s The Great Synagogue. Read more

Voices adds Sydney to its thrilled list

November 23, 2017 by  

The Voices spectacular thrilled two sell-out audiences in Sydney last week, following two equally successful earlier performances in Perth and Melbourne. All were greeted by standing ovations by an enthusiastic, cheering audience… 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

Madama Butterfly: an opera review by Victor Grynberg

October 25, 2017 by  

Last July Victoria’s Minister for Creative Arts, (in)famously accused Opera Australia of being happy to have an audience that will “die in their seats”. 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

Mahler’s longest – but worth the wait: a music review by Fraser Beath McEwing

The perceived popularity of Mahler’s third symphony was illustrated by the SSO scheduling four performances, three of them in its APT Master Series – rare for any work. The first, in the Opera House last night, vindicated the decision, with a virtually full house which was rewarded with an outstanding musical event. Read more

Out of the Shadows: rediscovering Jewish music and theatre

July 4, 2017 by  

Music and theatrical works of Jewish refugee artists fleeing fascist persecution in the 1930s and 1940s will be rediscovered in a one-off festival staged by the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and the Seymour Centre next month. Read more

A bit of Bach and a bunch of Brahms…a music review by Fraser Beath McEwing

A hearty main meal had been prepared for Brahms lovers, but not before Israeli/American pianist, Orli Shaham, had served up a substantial starter of Bach. Read more

Forbidden Music: Composers banned by the Third Reich

July 3, 2017 by  

The last of a series by Stevie Whitmont of music banned by the Nazis…this month features Erwin Schulhoff   [1894-1942]. Read more

And then along came Yuja: a music review

What started out as a ‘special event’ SSO concert, then fell in a hole when the star attraction pulled out, finished up as a roaring success – thanks to a sexy Chinese girl pianist in a stunning, partly see-through evening dress…writes Fraser Beath McEwing Read more

The Australian World Orchestra returns

June 22, 2017 by  

The Australian World Orchestra (AWO) has announced two major performance events for their 2017 season, with internationally renowned conductor Simone Young returning to lead musicians from the AWO and the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM) in a spectacular one-off performance of Olivier Messiaen’s orchestral masterpiece Turangalîla-Symphonie at Melbourne’s Hamer Hall. Read more

Forbidden Music: Composers banned by the Third Reich

June 17, 2017 by  

Continuing a series by Stevie Whitmont of music banned by the Nazis…this month features  Darius Mihaud (1892-1974). Read more

Hard at the top: Fraser Beath McEwing meets composer Elena Kats-Chernin

June 12, 2017 by  

Composing classical music is a fraught occupation and Elena Kats-Chernin is not exempt from feeling its pressure. Read more

Tsujii set the feet stamping…a music review by Fraser Beath McEwing

May 23, 2017 by  

Japanese pianist, Nobuyuki Tsujii, sent the usually reserved Sydney Recital Hall audience into rapturous applause last night, and it wasn’t because he has been able to totally conquer the restrictions of blindness from birth. Read more

Forbidden Music: Composers banned by the Third Reich

May 4, 2017 by  

Continuing a series by Stevie Whitmont of music banned by the Nazis…this month features Bertholdt Goldschmidt (1903-1996). Read more

Mozart with differences: Fraser Beath McEwing report from New York

April 21, 2017 by  

My reviews usually come from the Sydney Opera House but this time I’m reporting from Carnegie Hall in New York on a J-Wire special assignment. Read more

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