The Sirius Ensemble: chamber works from Beethoven and contemporary France


Helen Vidovich

The Sirius Chamber Ensemble presents its inaugural concert for 2012 with an innovative programme that welcomes back guest flautist Helen Vidovich, visiting Australia from her base in the UK. It’s an exclusive opportunity to hear this Australian born musician who graduated in Melbourne and furthered her studies with Alison Mitchell and Geoffrey Collins. She obtained a Master of Music Performance at the Sydney Conservatorium and won an Australian Bicentennial Scholarship in 2006 to continue her studies at the Royal College of Music in London. Vidovich now freelances with the orchestra of the Welsh National Opera and with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, as well as performing chamber music with the Marsyas Trio.

The Sirius Chamber Ensemble was born from friendships amongst a group of talented freelance musicians. Clarinetist Ian Sykes leads the ensemble whose members include bassoonist Alison Evans, Julia Zeltzer playing the French horn, Georgina Price, viola, and cellist Clare Kahn.

Their programme is grounded in the classics with the Clarinet Trio Op.11 by Beethoven, but then arrives in the 20th century with Martinu’s Trio for flute, cello and piano and Nigel Butterley’s The Wind Stirs Gently (1992) for flute and cello. Things get really interesting with the Sonatine et Trio for flute, clarinet and piano by Florent Schmitt, Disco Toccata for clarinet and cello by Guillaume Connesson, and new arrangements of pieces by Adrienne Albert for flute, clarinet, cello and piano.

Florent Schmitt (1870-1957) was a significant French composer and critic of the 20th century. He was taught by Faure and Massenet and fraternised with the best – amongst them Stravinsky, Satie and Debussy.  He rejected Impressionism but was drawn to Orientalism, Modernism and Jazz. His music was widely popular during the first half of the 20th century, but then fell into obscurity. He was revered enough to be awarded the Légion d’honneur in 1952.

Guillaume Connesson is an emerging 21st century composer, also born (1970) in France. His music has been performed by the Cincinnati, BBC and Houston Symphony Orchestras and the Philadelphia Orchestra. his Disco Toccata was written in 1994. Contemporary American composer Adrienne Albert (b 1941) began her career in music as a mezzo-soprano and is gaining recognition as a composer. SdeS

Tickets: Adults $35 / Concession $25 / Child (12 years and under) $15

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Contact: Alison Evans 0419 650 814 or

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