In their final concerts for the year, Strathfield Symphony Orchestra, featured at Breakfast on Bondi on 23 October, presents a dynamic programme of Beethoven’s beloved 5th Symphony and the spectacular compositions of “the Maestro”, Tommy Tycho, under the baton of conductor/pianist Bernard Walz.
From its opening notes – arguably the 4 most famous notes in classical music! – to its triumphant finale, Beethoven takes us on a journey at the very heart of the human experience.
For over 6 decades the name of Tommy Tycho has been synonymous with musical excellence. In these concerts Strathfield Symphony pays tribute to “the Maestro” with his Prom Overture, Violin Concerto (featuring soloist Maria Lindsay), Romanza – a world premiere performance of the lush, romantic 2nd movement from his Piano Concerto No. 2, and the rousing Irving Berlin Fantasia for Piano and Orchestra (featuring Bernard Walz as conductor and soloist).
Seating is limited! Don’t miss out! Book your seats today!
On 22 September I received a phone call from Gareth Lewis of Fourth Wall Events asking if we would be interested in providing the orchestra for the inaugural Breakfast on Bondi event as part of the Crave Sydney International Food Festival on Sunday 23 October, playing an hour of music at sunrise to an audience of thousands. What an opportunity!
With positive reactions from the committee and our Guest Conductor for these concerts, Bernard Walz, I confirmed our interest and by 26 September we said yes please! Thanks to our very responsive committee, we decided to go ahead without knowing if we could persuade our players to rise and shine at an unearthly hour and be ready to play at sunrise. We promised an orchestra of at least 40 players, and thanks to our wonderful players were able to provide an orchestra of 55 including a concert harp, played by our faithful and reliable Helen Boyd.
Laura Jamieson took on responsibility for the massive job of Operations and Logistics. You may not know that Laura has extensive experience in events management including the Sydney Mardi Gras for many years and the Asian Games at Doha in 2006. I took on the tasks of assembling the orchestra, liaising with Fourth Wall Events and administration. Bernard worked on the musical aspects including sound and audio.
We received excellent logistical support from Fourth Wall Events, including provision of transport (coach and truck), audio, lighting, a marquee, and of course food and drink. It was a breakfast event after all. Gareth Lewis wrote:
In a very limited time frame Strathfield Symphony Orchestra have assembled a full orchestra of 55 players prepared to play outdoors at 6am and created a superb program of music that will be showcased to thousands of people. Their enthusiasm and professionalism have been fantastic.
There were of course many challenges to be overcome during a hectic three weeks. Three extra rehearsals were scheduled for a new repertoire of:
Grieg – Peer Gynt Suites 1 & 2 (Selections)
Strauss – Blue Danube
Dvorák – New World Symphony (2nd movement)
Bach Air on the G string
Beethoven Symphony No 5 (3rd and 4th movements) from this concert.
Rehearsals over, it was time to get the show on the road – literally. The truck was packed with timpani, music stands, risers and podium. We couldn’t access the site until 8pm Saturday and Laura and Bernard were required to do a layout and sound check at 10pm.
At 2.30am (or in some cases earlier) we struggled out of bed and assembled at Ashfield Railway Station for our coach which left at 4am. I was delighted to find that not one player was late for the bus. At 4.30am we were at Bondi and straight on to the stage for a layout check and warm up. At 6am, after didgeridoos brought the sun over the horizon, we took over with Morning from Peer Gynt.
The whole thing was magical. The audience was estimated by organisers at up to 5000, and they all enjoyed a breakfast like no other. A surfer came up to us afterwards and offered free surfing lessons!
Exhausted but happy we made our way home.
Two masterpieces of the Romantic repertoire will be featured in Strathfield Symphony’s third season concert on Sunday 11 September at 2.30pm at Strathfield Town Hall. Kenichi Mizushima returns as soloist in one of the greatest and best loved of all cello concertos, the fiery Dvorák Concerto in B minor, op 104. And in his debut with us, outstanding young conductor Sadaharu Muramatsu will lead us through Sibelius’ Symphony No 1 in E minor, op 39. A graduate of the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester and the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Sadaharu has excited audiences with his bold interpretations of opera and symphonic music alike. His journey through Sibelius’ youthful masterpiece will be memorable.
Great music for a great cause!
Strathfield Symphony presents Elena Kats-Chernin as soloist and Geoffrey Gartner conducting sensational music on 24 & 25 June at Strathfield Town Hall.
Kats-Chernin “Redmyre Suite”- commissioned by the Orchestra in 2009 and revised for these concerts
Kats-Chernin “Mater” – arranged for full orchestra in a commission for these performances
“Preludes” – Elena will open the concert with some of her best known pieces for solo keyboard
Vaughan Williams – Fantasia on a theme of Tallis for double string orchestra
Dvorak – Symphony No 6 in D major
Join us for a wonderful evening including an auction of some unique signed manucripts.
The proceeds will be used to buy a rowing machine for Rivendell
Friday 24 June 2011 at 7pm
Saturday 25 June 2011 at 7pm
After an extreme Sydney summer, the mind wanders. To icy lakes, bare trees against a grey misty sky, perhaps even a skating rink. Maestro Cristian Cimei, returned from an Italian winter, will take our spirits north to Europe and Russia.
Strathfield Symphony’s first concert season for 2011 features Tchaikovsky’s first symphony, “Winter Daydreams”. Not as well known as it could be, it’s full of moods and melodies, with many memorable tunes. The triumphant finale resolves any lingering dark thoughts. It is reminiscent of his best ballet music and close in spirit to the great sixth symphony, the “Pathétique”.
In “On the Skating Rink”Vincent Leonard, Sydney composer and long time member of the orchestra, takes us back to his boyhood in Harbin in northern China, where White Russian émigrés gathered in winter at the skating rink, waltzes crackling through the PA system. An unexpected storm completes the drama.
A cheeky Thieving Magpie portrayed by Rossini and a peasant girl in Bizet’s incidental music to L’Arlésienne (Suite No 1) complete this tuneful programme.
Come join us at Strathfiel Town Hall, Sunday 3rd April at 2.30pm.