The Australian World Orchestra returns

June 22, 2017 by J-Wire News Service
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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.

Simone Young

The AWO is also conducting its first Australian chamber tour with the an ensemble of truly exceptional Australian musicians performing an unmissable series of intimate chamber concerts in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth

Since its inaugural concert series in 2011, the Australian World Orchestra has established itself as one of the most exciting orchestral initiatives in Australia’s cultural history, dazzling audiences in Australia and overseas, bringing together the cream of Australia’s national and international musicians.

After conducting the first concert of the AWO’s inaugural season, acclaimed Australian conductor Simone Young returns on July 29 to lead musicians from the AWO and from ANAM in one unmissable concert, the culmination of a mentoring collaboration between Australia’s finest musicians on the international stage and the next generation of exceptional emerging musical talent. The two elite groups come together to collaborate on Messiaen’s 10-movement Turangalîla–Symphonie, an epic “love song” that is both a mammoth symphony, demanding the full commitment of over one hundred musicians, and a virtuosic piano concerto, performed by Timothy Young. Considered one of the most important pieces of the century, Turangalîla–Symphonie is scored for a huge orchestra with multiple percussionists, brass, winds, and the electronic ondes Martenot—an instrument familiar to fans of 1950s science fiction soundtracks—performed by Jacob Abela. The 2017 ensemble includes 48 Australian musicians from the world’s leading orchestras, including the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonic Orchestras, Chicago and London Symphony Orchestras, Gewandhaus, and the Australian state-based orchestras, together with 56 musicians from ANAM.

Simone Young is internationally recognised as one of the leading conductors of her generation. Young was Music Director of Opera Australia from 2001-2003, Chief Conductor of the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra from 1999-2002, Principal Guest Conductor of the Gulbenkian Orchestra, Lisbon, from 2005–2012, and General Manager and Music Director of the Hamburg State Opera and Music Director of the Philharmonic State Orchestra Hamburg from 2005-2015. She regularly conducts at the world’s leading opera houses including the Vienna Staatsoper, Berlin Staatsoper, Zürich Opera House, Semper Oper Dresden, Bayerische Staatsoper, Opéra National de Paris, Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Metropolitan Opera New York, Los Angeles Opera and Houston Grand Opera.

Continuing its commitment to present concerts of soul-stirring musicianship, the AWO is delighted to present the premiere performances of the AWO Chamber 8 On Tour – eight of Australia’s finest musicians from prestigious international and national orchestras – joining together to perform a breathtaking programme of the Beethoven Horn Septet and the Dvořák Double Bass Quintet in a tour of four Australian capital cities including AWO’s debut performances in Brisbane and Perth.

AWO Chief Conductor and Artistic Director, Alexander Briger  said, “We’re thrilled to bring together this exceptional ensemble from different corners of the globe for these four intimate concerts. To experience the chemistry of these world class musicians performing together will be an unforgettable treat.”

The AWO Chamber 8 On Tour are all exceptional soloists: Andrew Bain (Horn), LA Philharmonic Orchestra; David Berlin (Cello), Melbourne Symphony Orchestra; Natalie Chee (Violin), 1st Concertmaster, Radio Symphony Orchestra, Stuttgart; Paul Dean (Clarinet), Brisbane Senior Lecturer of Clarinet and Head of Woodwind at the Queensland Conservatorium; Dan Dodds (Violin), Festival Strings Lucerne; Matthew McDonald (Double Bass), Berlin Philharmonic; Tahlia Petrosian (Viola), Gewandhaus Leipzig; Lyndon Watts (Bassoon), Melbourne, formerly Munich Philharmonic;

Under the dedicated direction of Alexander Briger, the Australian World Orchestra has delivered extraordinary musical experiences over the last six years and performed to over thirty one thousand music lovers in Australia, India and Singapore; guest conductors have included Sir Simon Rattle, Alexander Briger, Stanley Dodds, and Maestro Zubin Mehta, and guest performers have included sopranos Cheryl Barker, Greta Bradman and mezzo-soprano Magdalena Kožená. Embracing its educational charter, the AWO has conducted workshops in Sydney, Melbourne, Chennai, Mumbai, New Delhi and Singapore, and in 2016 commissioned Elena Kats- Chernin’s The Witching Hour, a concerto for eight double basses, a first in musical history.

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