The Splendour of Venice – grand renaissance music for brass, choirs and organ

The Choir of St James’ and The Choir of St Mary’s Cathedral join forces for another of their concerts called The Splendour of Venice. The acoustic of St Mary’s Cathedral will resound to the spectacular sound of ceremonial music for brass, choirs and organ as the choirs are joined by. Sydney Brass to perform music from 16th and 17th century Venice.

The programme commemorates the 400th anniversary of the death of Giovanni Gabrieli, a major force in the late Renaissance and a leading figure at St Mark’s Basilica in Venice, and has been compiled by Richard Charteris, musicologist, writer, editor and Emeritus Professor in Historical Musicology at the University of Sydney.  A world authority on Gabrieli and other composers of the period, he has written the programme notes and guided the musical direction.

Featuring the music of Monteverdi as well, the concert marks a welcome return of a collaboration between the two choirs which last performed together in 1994. Since 1989, the two choirs have presented five concerts with Sydney Brass with the focus on Venetian music.

The Choirs each represent some of the oldest traditions of music in Sydney. St James’ has been regarded as one of Australia’s foremost Anglican choirs for much of its almost two hundred years of ministry. This tradition continues and today, under the Head of Music at St James, Warren Trevelyan-Jones, the choir numbers of approximately a dozen professional adult singers  who have a central role in the weekly services of Choral Eucharist and Choral Evensong. The choir is also renowned for its very popular presentation of three Orchestral Masses in January each year. The choir has recorded four CDs and broadcasts regularly on ABC Radio and Fine Music 102.5FM, and collaborates with leading ensembles such as Ironwood, Sydney Youth Orchestra and Australian Baroque Brass. Warren Trevelyan-Jones was born in the UK, and has sung for several leading vocal ensembles including The Tallis Scholars, The Sixteen, the Gabrieli Consort, Collegium Vocale Gent, and was a Tenor Lay Vicar in the Choir of Westminster Abbey, London for 10 years before moving to Australia in 2008. Warren also directs The Consort of Melbourne and The Parsons Affayre.

The Choir of St Mary’s Cathedral is Australia’s oldest permanent musical organisation. Its history dates from 1818 when a choir formed to sing at masses conducted for Catholic convicts and it became the ‘court house’ choir. After the establishment of St Mary’s Cathedral in 1833 the choir became a regular part of cathedral worship. St Mary’s is now the only cathedral in Australia to have a resident choral school where  34 boy choristers are educated. Its Musical Director, New Zealand born Thomas Wilson, spent six years as Assistant Organist at Westminster Cathedral.

Sydney Brass was formed in 1958 by Cliff Goodchild who was Principal Tuba with the Sydney Symphony and four of his colleagues. Calling themselves The Sydney Brass Ensemble, they quickly established a fine reputation. Cliff’s son, Paul inherited the role of Musical Director of the ensemble. Paul joined the Sydney Symphony Orchestra over 30 years ago as Associate Principal Trumpet and is the musical director of Sydney Brass, a versatile ensemble of freelance and symphonic musicians. Paul Goodchild is the Artistic Director of The Splendour of Venice

 Tickets: $48 – $44;

Visit: or call (02) 8256 2222

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