In the beginning – retold…a music review by Fraser Beath McEwing

Whether you believe in the Big Bang or the Bible when deciding how everything started, Haydn’s The Creation stands inarguably as one of the most outstanding musical works of the 18th Century. Read more

Box office boo-boo but a great performance

March 15, 2016 by  

While many punters voted no with their buttocks, those who did come to the Sydney City Recital Hall last night for two hours of Messiaen went home rewarded, writes Fraser Beath McEwing. Read more

A testing night for some, bliss for others

March 10, 2016 by  

The SSO went out on a limb presenting a single work by a contemporary composer for the usually predictable ATP Master Series concert last night, writes Fraser Beath McEwing. Read more

Ludwig van does it again

February 19, 2016 by  

Another entire program of Beethoven under Vladimir Ashkenazy, with the addition of a solo violinist, again packed the Sydney Opera House for the second of the 2016 APT Master Series concerts, writes Fraser Beath McEwing. Read more

A night at the pictures

February 16, 2016 by  

Pictures are what American pianist Garrick Ohlsson had in mind for his recital last night, the first of the International pianists in Recital concerts for 2016 in the Sydney City Recital Hall, writes Fraser Beath McEwing. Read more

The unbeatable trio…a music review by Fraser Beath McEwing

February 11, 2016 by  

It’s the magic formula: a full program of Beethoven, the guest return of the much-loved Vladimir Ashkenazy and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra in full song. It is no surprise that the APT Master Series drew a full house for the first concert of its 2016 season, writes Fraser Beath McEwing. Read more

A special occasion for the king

November 29, 2015 by  

French organist, Olivier Latry, treated last Friday morning’s Emirates ‘Tea & Symphony’ full capacity audience to a unique concert, writes Fraser Beath McEwing. Read more

Thus spake Edo de Waart

November 26, 2015 by  

Edo de Waart, who was chief conductor and artistic director of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra between 1992 and 2003, returned to the Opera House to conduct the final concert in the APT Master Series last night. I found it inspiring, writes Fraser Beath McEwing. Read more

Take Six took their breath away

November 19, 2015 by  

Fraser Beath McEwing reports on a unique piano concert…six Steinways in recital. Read more

Beethoven’s mighty mass

October 15, 2015 by  

One big bite filling the whole program was the Sydney Symphony Orchestra’s offering for the ATP Master Series concert last night, writes Fraser Beath McEwing. Read more

A bit of Bach and a lot of Liszt…a music review by Fraser Beath Mc Ewing

August 18, 2015 by  

Russian pianist, Kirill Gerstein climbed a pianistic Mount Everest at Sydney’s Recital Hall last night by tackling Franz Liszt’s Transcendental Etudes, but not before warming up on Bartok and Bach. Read more

Molto Russian, meno Italian…a music review by Fraser Beath McEwing

August 13, 2015 by  

Rachmaninov and Shostakovich had their big guns blazing while Verdi pinged away with his pea-rifle in an Opera House concert last night that many in the audience rated as the best in the APT Master Series so far this year. Read more

Rattling the bars

A full house, plenty of celebrities and Sir Simon Rattle conducting a uniquely superb orchestra could hardly miss being the standout event of the Sydney (and probably Australian) classical music calendar…writes Fraser Beath McEwing. Read more

The girl in green plus other music

I’m pretty sure that the full house for last night’s Opera House SSO Master Series concert was all about one diminutive Chinese girl pianist….writes Fraser Beath McEwing. Read more

For once, I’m lost for words…a music review by Fraser Beath McEwing

July 14, 2015 by  

Chinese pianist, Yuja Wang, whipped a sold-out Sydney Recital Hall audience into a standing, bravoing frenzy last night with a program of Chopin and Scriabin. Read more

A howling success – kind of…a music review by Fraser Beath McEwing

July 3, 2015 by  

Chris Botti, one of the world’s finest jazz trumpeters, surrounded himself on the stage of the Sydney Opera House with the SSO and seven soloists to present a concert that I both loathed and loved. Read more

Two bouncing Czechs and a spot of fiddling…a music review by Fraser Beath McEwing

One of the finest of Dvorak’s symphonies, along with two pieces from Smetana’s popular set of tone poems provided safe and enjoyable bookends to an ear-challenging contemporary violin concerto at the Sydney Opera House Master Series last night. Read more

Bringing them home to make music…writes Fraser Beath McEwing

On Tuesday 23rd of July, at five o’clock in the afternoon, ninety-five of the finest Australian orchestral musicians in the world will file in through the side doors of the Sydney Opera House concert hall stage. Read more

Avan Yu fulfilling his promise…a music review by Fraser Beath McEwing

While winning piano competitions can seem like an end in itself, it is more often the beginning of a career as a professional soloist. Read more

A Byrd in the hand

A Byrd in the hand…and much more, as pianist Peter Serkin ranged over five centuries to source music for his concert in Sydney’s City Recital Hall last night, writes Fraser Beath McEwing. Read more

Music for two wives and a hero…a music review by Fraser Beath McEwing

Wagner wrote a piece for his wife, Cosima. Bartok also wrote a piece for his wife, Ditta. Schoenberg, on the other hand, orchestrated a quartet already written by his hero, Brahms. Read more

A whole night of foreplay

April 14, 2015 by  

The first of this year’s International Pianists in Recital series held in Sydney’s City Recital Hall last night presented French Canadian pianist Louis Lortie playing no less than 57 preludes spread over three composers, writes Fraser Beath McEwing. Read more

Granite blocks with strange lace in between

March 19, 2015 by  

Two heavyweights from the popular international composes list plus a rarely heard offering from Australia’s Nigel Butterley made for a hearty musical feast at the second of this year’s Sydney Symphony APT Master Series concerts last night, writes Fraser Beath McEwing. Read more

Mendelssohn’s violin concerto sent them wild

February 12, 2015 by  

Explosive violinist, Christian Tetzlaff, ran away with the show in the first of this year’s Sydney Symphony APT Master Series concerts last night, writes Fraser Beath McEwing. Read more

A night to please

December 4, 2014 by  

Take a British beginning and end, put Sibelius in the middle, and everybody goes home feeling good – but only if the musicians can deliver, writes Fraser Beath McEwing. Read more

Bronfman returns and brings Mahler with him

November 28, 2014 by  

He saw him rehearse the Brahms Piano Concerto No 1 with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra…now Fraser Beath McEwing reviews the concert itself. Read more

Yefim Bronfman, pianistic force, in two acts

November 26, 2014 by  

J-Wire took its music reviewer Fraser Beath McEwing to watch one of the world’s top pianists Yefim Bronfman rehearse Brahms powerful Piano Concerto No1 with the Sydney Symphony orchestra followed by a private interview with the maestro…read his report. Read more

Favourite bookends and a bone-shaking middle

November 20, 2014 by  

The grandeur and familiarity of Beethoven and Brahms sat either side of a pyrotechnic exhibition in sound at the SSO APT Master Series in the Sydney Opera House last night, writes Fraser Beath McEwing. Read more

Very much a live performance from Jean-Efflam Bavouzet

November 19, 2014 by  

The difference between a careful, note-perfect recording and a caution-to-the-winds live performance was graphically demonstrated by French pianist Jean-Efflam Bavouzet last night, writes Fraser Beath McEwing. Read more

A voluminous night with Poulenc and Mahler…writes Fraser Beath McEwing

October 30, 2014 by  

Poulenc and Mahler made a satisfying pairing in the SSO Master Series at the Sydney Opera House last night. They both offered passages no louder than a purring cat juxtaposed with kegs of gelignite being ignited. Read more

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