Symbiosis I – The Launch Of A new Concert Series

Soprano and curator of the Symbiosis concert series, Jane Sheldon.
Soprano and curator of the Symbioses concert series, Jane Sheldon.


Redfern’s 107 Projects hosts the launch of Symbioses, a traveling concert series curated by New York-based Australian soprano Jane Sheldon. At each Symbiosis Jane and two guest instrumentalists present music for duo and trio, with a focus on works of the present and of the 20th-century avant-garde. These hour-long programs are designed to cast a light on the symbiotic nature of chamber music performance: breathing together, thinking together, and witnessed at close range by the listeners.

Symbiosis I, the series opener, includes two world premieres and an Australian premiere. It features guest artists clarinetist Megan Clune and viola player James Wannan. It includes the world premiere of a pair of new works by Australian composer Jack Symonds, as well as the Australian premiere of Elliott Carter’s beautiful late work for soprano and clarinet, Poems of Louis Zukofsky, composed in 2008, 4 years before his death at 103.

New York-based Australian soprano Jane Sheldon has sung under the direction of William Christie, Charles Dutoit and Antony Walker and performed with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Pinchgut Opera, Boston Camerata, the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, Halcyon, Synergy Percussion, and Ensemble Offspring. The New York Times describes her as singing “sublimely” and the Sydney Morning Herald as “superb, with a voice of penetrating beauty, precision and variegated colours.” Jane specialises in early music and is active in creating and performing new works. Jane won the 2011 Australian Art Music Award for Performance of the Year with Ensemble Offspring for The Origin Cycle, a work she co-commissioned. Her album, North + South, was nominated for the 2013 ARIA award for Best Classical Album. Upcoming engagements include New York’s Resonant Bodies Festival of contemporary and experimental vocal music and the launch of her new album, Nature.

Clarinetist and writer Megan Clune studied with Robert Schubert at the Victorian College of the Arts and later began the biannual publication World’s Only, a magazine about contemporary art and music. Since mid-2012 Megan has curated and performed at MUSICAL ALASKA, a monthly night of contemporary music at Kings Cross gallery space Alaska Projects. She is also a performer and manager of the Alaska Orchestra. In July 2013, Megan performed at the Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival in Massachusetts, USA before returning to Australia for a series of performances at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney in October as part of ‘Sounds on the Terrace’ and ART BAR .

Violist James Wannan is a founding member and co-Artistic Director of the Australia Piano Quartet. The quartet has toured nationally, performing at the Sydney Opera House and Melbourne Recital Centre, and is ensemble-in-residence at the University of Technology, Sydney. As a soloist James has played with the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra, the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. He has performed as a viola d’amore soloist in festivals in Austria and Germany, and has been
invited to perform as guest principal viola with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra. James was a prizewinner in the Australia–New Zealand Viola Society’s International Competition and was a finalist in the Symphony Australia Young Performers Awards. He has won the ANAM Concerto Competition twice. Engagements in 2014 include performances with the Renaissance Players, and with Sydney Chamber Opera as guest soloist and orchestral leader. James is also undertaking doctoral research into viola d’amore practices of the 18th century at the University of Sydney. He has performed and researched the viola d’amore in France, Switzerland, Germany, England and Austria with the assistance of a Churchill Fellowship.

Tickets: $20/$15 concession, at the door or in advance at

Free to high school and uni students, just show your student card.

The programme:

Jack Symonds: Die Engel (2013) for soprano & viola d’amore (World Premiere)
Rebecca Clarke: Prelude, Allegro and Pastorale (1941) for viola & clarinet
Giya Kancheli: Caris Mere (1995) for soprano & viola
Nicholas Vines: Parnell’s Gloom (2010) for viola & clarinet
Harrison Birtwistle: Deowa (1983) for soprano & clarinet
Larry Sitsky: Seven Zen Songs (2005) for soprano & viola
Elliott Carter: Poems of Louis Zukofsky (2008) for soprano & clarinet (Australian Premiere)
Jack Symonds: Liebeslied (2014) for soprano, viola & clarinet (World Premiere)

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