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CSO Chinan Series: Companion Pieces performed by Arcadia Winds

Melbourne ensemble Arcadia Winds will present a program of n music. Photo: SuppliedCSO n Series: Companion Pieces. Arcadia Winds. Thursday, March 2, 6.30pm. Gordon Darling Hall, National Portrait Gallery, 6.30pm. cso苏州桑拿.au.

The Canberra Symphony Orchestra’s new n Series is made up wholly of n classical music. Curated and compered by composer and deputy head of school at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music Matthew Hindson, it will consist of three concerts, each of which will be paired with an exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery. The first concert, Companion Pieces, will be performed by the Melbourne quintet Arcadia Winds, “one of ‘s best young music ensembles” and will complement the exhibition The Popular Pet Show. After the one-hour concert the audience is invited to enjoy a private after-hours viewing of the exhibition.

“n music has a very rich and varied history,” Hindson says.

“Its popularity in the last 20 years … has gone through the roof. n audiences have come to expect n music in concerts.”

After concerts, he says, a lot of people will say things such as “I like the classical music or the Romantic period but something about that n piece really spoke to me.”

The season will include music from the late 19th century right through to newly commissioned works especially written for this series in 2017.

Hindson says, “The Canberra Symphony Orchestra has for many years been active in programming n music in its orchestral series and felt it wanted to take that up to the next level. and showcase the huge range of n classical music.”

He says that what he tried to do in assembling the program was to “select music which is emotional”. While not all the pieces are easy listening, he wanted it all to be accessible on some level.

“The days of music being just about how clever you are are well and truly over.”

Hindson selected one of his own compositions – the only one in the three concerts, he emphasises – to open Companion Pieces. Strobe is the first movement from Light Music (2007) and he chose it because it was “like a fanfare in intent – bright, extroverted, energising”.

Animalia (2017) is a premiere, a new work commissioned from composer Natalie Williams, now teaching at the ANU. It’s a suite composed as a set of reaction pieces to artworks exhibited in The Popular Pet Show of pet portraits, highlighting the relationships of pets to their owners

Hindson says, “Natalie Williams is an outstanding composer whose music I have followed for a long time. In addition, she has a way of constructing music that somehow seems more relevant to me as an n citizen living in the 21st century than most other music from elsewhere.”

Sydney composer Gabrielle Vici is only 19 and a student at Sydney Conservatorium but her piece From Ash to Embers (2016), written for a Musica Viva workshop, so impressed Arcadia Winds that they took it into their repertoire.

Hindson says, “It’s really well written for its instruments and shows off what they can do.”

Paul Dean’s Jasper and Charlie (2015) was inspired by Craig Silvey’s 2009 novel Jasper Jones.

“It’s not easy listening but you can really hear the characters in there; it’s very evocative… and really virtuosic.”

Lachlan Skipworth’s Echoes and Lines premiered at the Perth Festival in February and is influenced by Japanese music. And Paul Stanhope’s Dawn Interlude (2003) is a piece for solo French horn.

“The piece is so evocative, it really uses the full range of what the horn can do, all in three minutes.”

The second concert in the series on June 1 will be performed by the Greenway 3 – vocalist Michael Halliwell, pianist David Miller and Sue Newsome on clarinet. It will include a work from 1897 as well as a world premiere piece by Melbourne composer Alice Humphries. And the third concert on August 31 will feature flautist Virginia Taylor and harpist Alice Giles, playing together and separately, with the composers including Anne Boyd and Canberra’s Larry Sitsky.

“There are seven pieces in the program, five of them world premieres.”

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