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

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

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

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

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

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

A night of rich rewards…a music review by Fraser Beath McEwing

March 30, 2017 by  

A blend of Johannes Brahms and Richard Strauss provided an uplifting SSO concert last night. I dips me lid to the programmers. Read more

Uncommon music for the common man…a music review by Fraser Beath McEwing

March 15, 2017 by  

Calling its program ‘Symphony for the Common Man’, the SSO presented music by Ford, Rachmaninov and Copeland in an interesting mix of Australian, Russian and American composers. Read more

They stood and cheered…a music review by Fraser Beath McEwing

After hearing Russian pianist, Daniil Trifonov play Rachmaninov’s First Piano Concerto last week in the Opera House, I eagerly anticipated his solo recital last night. I came away not just impressed, but gobsmacked, writes Fraser Beath McEwing. Read more

The Russian boys get together: a music review

The APT Master Series opened its SSO 2017 season at the Sydney Opera House with a cleverly conceived and superbly executed concert dominated by Russians…writes Fraser Beath McEwing. Read more

The lion was let out…a music review by FraserBeath McEwing

February 19, 2017 by  

I enthusiastically joined an almost full house at the Sydney Opera House to hear the embedded grand organ played – as I have occasionally done in the past – but nothing prepared me for uplift and grandeur produced by English-born, Australian-educated organist, Joseph Nolan…writes Fraser Beath McEwing. Read more

Sarah Grunstein to perform Bach’s Goldberg Variations

October 20, 2016 by  

One of Australia’s most distinguished international pianists New York-based Sarah Grunstein will come home to Sydney and Melbourne later this year. Read more

The Australian World Orchestra wowed them…a music review from Fraser Beath McEwing

September 29, 2016 by  

Reflecting the unique nature of the Australian World Orchestra (AWO), its fifth birthday concert last night in the Sydney Opera House could be reviewed from two different perspectives. Both are worthy of resounding praise. Read more

A little too gentle?

September 27, 2016 by  

After his sensitive and powerful rendition of the Schumann piano concerto with the SSO last week I was looking forward to a sparkling solo recital form Nelson Freire last night – but I didn’t get it, writes Fraser Beath McEwing. Read more

Boys from Brazil…a music review by Fraser Beath McEwing

September 22, 2016 by  

Not athletes or para-athletes in Rio this time, but a Brazilian conductor and a pianist who, with considerable help from the SSO, produced an outstanding concert in the APT Master Series last night. Read more

A unique orchestral concert not to be missed

September 8, 2016 by  

The renowned Australian World Orchestra will perform at the Sydney Opera House on 28th and 29th of September to celebrate its fifth year of formation and performance. Read more

A resoundingly satisfying performance…an SSO music review

Staying in familiar territory, but with more ear-challenges than the last APT Mater Series concert, the SSO loaded up its heavy artillery for a resoundingly satisfying performance last night, writes Fraser Beath McEwing. Read more

An appeal to the sweet tooth and Mad Max…a music review

June 13, 2016 by  

After testing recent audiences’ resilience with the lunges and shocks of Messiaen, and then their staying power to see off Haydn’s Creation, last night’s concert opened a chocolate box full of favourite flavours, writes Fraser Beath McEwing. Read more

Audience in embryo

It doesn’t take much imagination to look over the aging sea of regular Sydney Opera House orchestral audiences to know that in 20 years from now the tide could have gone out – never to come back in, writes Fraser Beath McEwing. Read more

An evening with a remarkable pianist…a music review by Fraser Beath McEwing

While there are many valid opinions as to who is the best classical pianist in the world, you do know when you’re in the presence of a contender. That was how I felt after hearing Alexander Gavrylyuk in recital at the Theme & Variations Foundation fundraiser last night. Read more

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