It gives me great pleasure to announce that I have been named as the 2018 Associate Artist with Sydney-based Ensemble Offspring! I am looking forward to all the wonderful projects and music making ahead!
“ENSEMBLE OFFSPRING ARE CHAMPIONS OF ADVENTUROUS NEW MUSIC.
Presenting concerts of seminal chamber music to free improvisation, alongside the creation of striking interdisciplinary productions, the group embraces open-minded music making in all its forms. Ensemble Offspring is led by acclaimed percussionist Claire Edwardes, and features some of Australia’s most innovative performers. The group have toured to locations such as Hong Kong, London and Warsaw, are regularly featured at MONA FOMA, Sydney and Melbourne Festivals, and have a cult following at their Sizzle series at Petersham Bowling Club. Passionate about nurturing the work of emerging, as well as established composers, Ensemble Offspring has premiered over 200 works in its 22 year history.“
Richard Strauss: Metamorphosen; Symphony for Wind Instruments
Over Easter 2015, I had the pleasure of travelling to Aldeburgh, England to perform in the ‘Britten Pears Young Artist Programme’, which was founded over forty years ago by Benjamin Britten, in order to provide high-level performance training for the world’s best emerging professional musicians. Here we were led by oboeist Nicholas Daniel in the interpretation of Richard Strauss’ Serenade and his Symphony for Wind Instruments. Finally, two years later, our CD of these works – which were recorded in the Snape Maltings Concert Hall, has been released!
Daniel’s feeling for Strauss’s longrange ebb and flow is one of the great attractions of this disc…’. —Gramophone July
**** Their sound is lithe and rich…It’s a sophisticated performance. —The Guardian
Their shaping of Strauss’ Serenade in E flat is glowing in nuance, paving the way for a scintillating representation of the Symphony for Wind Instruments. —The Scotsman
After months of preparation, it was exhilarating the perform Pierre Boulez’s ‘Domaines’ for Clarinet and Orchestra with the Webern Kammerphilharmonie and conductor Simeon Pironkoff, in the Mozart Hall of the Vienna Konzerthaus. The piece involves the clarinetist entering different ‘domains’ of musical ideas, all represented around different parts of the stage. The six ensembles are spaced in clusters and arranged in a hexagonal shape. Throughout the piece the clarinet soloist travels all around the stage, visiting each ensemble in their own spacial and musical domain. I have written an entire thesis on the work, including a background history, performance tips and technical preparation suggestion – so get in touch via the contact page if you are preparing the piece and are looking for a springboard of information to get inspiration from.
Here are a few pictures from the dress rehearsal taken on the morning of the big concert.
Together with Pianist Mari Sato, we performed an evening concert in the charming ambience of Hotel Imperal Vienna’s ‘1873 HalleNsalon‘!
It was a performance of exquisite French music (with a touch of Russian flair!). The repertoire included the world-famous romantic meditation from the opera Thaïs, French Lieder, the virtuoso Carmen Fantasy and a sonata by Russian composer Sergey Prokofiev, who spent many years of his life in Paris.
IMPERIAL TALENTS Concert Series – „Beau Soir“
Georgina Oakes (Clarinet) & Mari Sato (Piano)
Hotel Imperial – Kärntner Ring 16, Vienna, 1015, Austria
Music of Poulenc, Debussy, Widor, Massenet, Poulenc & Prokofiev.
My first ever trip to Russia was to perform and record Mahler’s 6th Symphony with the International Diaghilev Festival Orchestra, under the baton of the brilliant conductor Teodor Currentzis. The first two weeks begun with an intense rehearsal schedule, culminating with a performance in the Perm Opera House. Then the whole orchestra travelled to Moscow to record the 6th Symphony for SONY, as well as give a concert in the prestigious Moscow Conservatorium. It was a vibrant and exhilarating to perform with such a fantastic pool of musicians, and Currentzis was full of vitality, charisma and mountains of energy!
Over October and November 2015 I competed in the 2015 ‘Casino Austria Rising Stars Award’ Competition Final. I am pleased to announce that I made it into the finals, and came 2nd. The final round of the competition was recorded live, and parts were broadcast nationally throughout Austria.
Here are some photos from the final round of the competition and the award ceremony. It was a great evening and I enjoyed the performing! I performed about 90mins of music over the 4 rounds, including Rossini’s Introduction, Theme and Variations (with a string quartet! many thanks to my colleagues for helping out!), Widor’s Introduction and Rondo and my own transcription of Prokofiev’s Sonata in D minor.
Congratulations to Katharina Hörmann, the Viennese-oboist who won first place!
Who was Fanny Hensel? Is that what I hear you asking?
Well! Hamburg-born Fanny Hensel (1805 – 1847) was the musically-gifted eldest sister of composer Felix Mendelssohn. Although she wrote about 500 musical compositions, she was not permitted to pursuit it professionally, largely due to the fact that her father believed that “Music should be an accomplishment, an adornment, and never a career for women.” Her brother was sneaky though, and published some of her songs under his own name!
One part of the project was a composition prize, and today my colleagues and I gave the premiere performances of the works that made it into the final round of the competition! The finals took place as a Matinee Concert in the Fanny Hensel Hall at the MDW. Congratulations to the winner – Daniel Serrano Garcia, with his composition: “Mobile for Wind Quintet”.
The prize-concert also doubled as a CD presentation for a parallel Fanny Hensel project that the university has been doing. You can check out the trailer below!
Fanny Hensel: Szenen einer Ehe – CD Trailer - YouTube
Under the baton of Maestro Kurt Masur!
Just spent the week performing Schumann’s 4th Symphony & Wagner’s Tannhäuser Overture with the Aurora Festival Orchestra!
Loved his unabashed shouts whilst rehearsing the clarinet solo in the Wagner… “MORE EROTIC! You are Venus, the most beautiful women in the whole world. She is the embodiment of EROTIC! Mehrrrr EROTIC!!!!”
I briefly contemplated taking all my clothes off whilst playing – but then decided that putting more heart&soul into the hairpin dynamics would suffice. ‘Twas a blast!
It was beautiful to still see how at 88 years old he can still energise 100+ musicians with his sheer passion for music!
We performed Schubert’s glorious beast of an Octet to a packed house in Vänersborg, Sweden! Just thinking about the buzzing energy from my wonderful colleagues + the enthusiastic audience plants an unwipeable smile on my face!!!
Octet in F major, D.803, Franz Schubert
Violin – Gordon Nikolic
Violin – Anna Göckel
Viola – Rachel Roberts
Cello – Peter Bruns
Doublebass – Joel Quarrington
Horn – Marie-Luise Neunecker
Bassoon – Ignacio Soler Pérez
Clarinet – Georgina Oakes