A festival of Australian Music from the Conservatorium High

In their final concert for 2012, the students of the Conservatorium High School Orchestra and Choir conducted by Carolyn Watson present Australian works marking the end of the school’s  Festival of Australian Music. Students of the Conservatorium High School have collaborated with several Australian composers during the course of this project.

The programme features a number of highly regarded composers, amongst them Matthew Hindson, Paul Stanhope, John Peterson, Peter Sculthorpe and Carl Vine.

Matthew Hindson’s Dangerous Creatures was commissioned by the London Philharmonia Orchestra and premiered by them in 2009. Written as a suite of 9 movements, the composer writes on his website: “This piece was conceived as a contemporary Carnival of the Animals, except filled with animals that can hurt or harm us.  The animals range from the enormous (Big Black Bears) to the tiny (Spiders, Army Ants, Scorpions).  Each movement depicts the animals in question, and some of the movements depict pictorial interactions between humans and the animals in question: for example, waking at night to find a scorpion in one’s tent.  And speaking of humans, the work concludes with the most dangerous creature of all.”

Paul Stanhope’s Groundswell is built on a fragment that is repeated “as if it were a half-remembered phrase or a niggling question.”  The  fragment is taken up by different parts of the Paul Stanhope comments “the musical tension (builds) to a front which is then  released in a climactic hymn-like section….. I began to think of this melody (which was  influenced by sections of plainchant in the Victoria Requiem) as  an Agnus Dei for refugees who are currently imprisoned in  detention centres across Australia. The Agnus Dei movement in a  mass or requiem is a plea for peace and forgiveness: here it  suggests the need for compassion and dignity in the face of the  institutionalised abuse of human rights.” http://www.australianmusiccentre.com.au/workversion/stanhope-paul-groundswell/12675. Groundswell was commissioned by the Sydney Sinfonia and premiered in 2002, conducted by Richard Gill.

“The music reflects my interest in the structures, the rhythmic  energy and the harmonic progressions inherent in several styles  of popular music. ” http://www.australianmusiccentre.com.au/workversion/peterson-john-shadows-and-light/14735 says John Peterson of his large scale work Shadows and light which premiered in 2004. It is written in 3 movements for soprano solo, tenor solo, SATB semi-chorus, SATB symphonic chorus, string orchestra, timpani and percussion. The words have been derived from the Requiem Mass, and other written media like newspaper and  magazine headlines, and quotes from Jun’ichiro Tanazaki and Martin Luther King Jr.

Written in 1963 and revised in 1976, Peter Sculthorpe’s Small Town is the earliest work in the line up. It is dedicated to artist Russell Drysdale and takes its name from D H Lawrence’s novel Kangaroo which is set in a ‘small town’.

Finally Carl Vines 2002 composition V: an orchestra fanfare.

Tickets: This event is free.





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