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Eclectic contemporary music for the heart, mind and soul

Perolas

Perolas brings the harp into the contemporary realm, coupling this sonorous instrument with analogue effects and a mix of acoustic and electronic instruments. From up-tempo beats to otherworldly soundscapes, Perolas brings a fusion of cultures to original compositions and musical arrangements, which earnt the band the award for ‘Best Intercultural Act’ at the 2019 Music Victoria Awards.

Capped off with visual projections by Fan Club President, Perolas immerses its audiences in art that subverts expectations. Liana and Fabian’s multi-instrumentalist talents, combined with Louis’s inventive percussion, together forms an all-encompassing sensory experience that mimics synaesthesia.

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Weird and wonderful sounds from the Australian bush

Ensemble Offspring

Ensemble Offspring is an extraordinary force in Australian music. Bold, brave and inspired champions of living composers, the musical mavericks of Ensemble Offspring have brought to life over 300 new works. Led by acclaimed percussionist Claire Edwardes, the Ensemble unites some of Australia’s most well-regarded and virtuosic musicians to explore innovative new ideas.

As birdsong drifts in on the summer breeze, flute, clarinet and percussion take inspiration from the weird and wonderful sounds of the Australian bush. Gerard Brophy’s impressive Beautiful Birds is joined by beguiling pied butcher bird songs from Hollis Taylor and Jon Rose.

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KIAZMA Piano Duo play Shostakovich and Harrison

KIAZMA Piano Duo

KIAZMA Piano Duo highlights the brilliant musical synergy of pianists Aura Go and Tomoe Kawabata. Equally at home in two-piano and four-hand repertoire from the Baroque to the present day, KIAZMA exemplifies the intimacy, intricacy and dynamism that make the piano duo such a unique artform.

Composed in the shadow of his father’s death in 1922, Shostakovich’s Suite for two pianos, Op.6, is music of immense power and tragic intensity, written when the composer was just 15.

Composer Holly Harrison is one of Australia’s rising stars. Her music embraces juxtaposing styles, blending the visceral energy of rock with whimsical humour. KIAZMA Piano Duo performs the world premiere of Harrison’s exciting new piece for piano four-hands, which the duo commissioned.

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Innovative and exciting compositions by gender diverse composers

Tura New Music

Tura New Music’s The Summers Night Project is a biennial national mentoring project established to support and mentor female and non-binary composers to create a new composition. The aim of the project is to grow the gender diversity of composers in music programs Australia-wide.

After workshops and performances in Perth and Adelaide, this concert of the five new innovative and exciting works from the selected composers are performed in Melbourne by Gabriella Smart (piano), Vanessa Tomlinson (percussion), Aaron Wyatt (violin/viola) and Tristen Parr (cello).

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Experience George Crumb’s masterwork

Sonya Lifschitz & Christine Johnston

Renowned for the exceptional artistry in their own genres, pianist Sonya Lifschitz and vocalist Christine Johnston (Madame Lark) are one of Australia’s most dynamic powerhouse duos.

The worlds of classical music, performance art and comedy collide in a breathtaking performance, showcasing Sonya and Christine’s consummate musicianship, thrilling audacity and imagination.

Part cabaret, part recital, this delightfully surreal performance places legendary composer George Crumb’s zodiac-inspired fantasy pieces amidst the sounds of the Antipodes.

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Beautiful melodies and thoughtful lyrics by effervescent jazz singer Harriett Allcroft

Harriett Allcroft

Harriett Allcroft is well known for her dynamic, emotive and whimsical compositions, accessible to both stalwart jazz appreciators and newcomers to the genre. With a voice that lilts and glides through beautiful melodies and thoughtful lyrics, Harriett Allcroft’s performance features a suite of new music written as a follow up to her 2018 debut album Archie, backed by her incomparable band.

Traversing themes of love, the mundane minutiae of life, and figuring out one’s place in the world, the music Harriett has written is centred on all the places where love has and will occur.

This recording is supported by The Peggy and Leslie Cranbourne Foundation.

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Stephen celebrates a lifelong love of Italy's great music for keyboard

Stephen McIntyre

Stephen McIntyre AM is one of Australia’s most eminent pianists and teachers.

An illustrious career in both performance and education has taken Stephen all over the world, earning him accolades such as the National Critics Award, Sir Bernard Heinze Award for distinguished contribution to music and recognition as a member of the Order of Australia (AM).
A former student of Italian pianists Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli and Guido Agosti, this concert sees Stephen celebrate a lifelong love of the country’s great music for keyboard. From Scarlatti to Busoni, by way of Liszt, music spanning two centuries revels in all things Italian. Radiating brilliance, passion and excitement, these pieces are among the most beautiful jewels in the repertoire.

This recording is supported by The Peggy and Leslie Cranbourne Foundation.

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Immerse yourself in the sounds of the Australian bush and beyond

Trio Avium

Trio Avium celebrates nature’s great orchestra through bird-inspired music from the 14th century to today.

Australian and European birds of all varieties spring to life through the Trio’s lush combination of Baroque violin, viola da gamba and recorders. Elevated by field recordings of the Australian bushland, you will feel as though you are nestled right there among the treetops.

Composer and recorder player Ros Bandt’s world premiere pays tribute to the Australian bird named after its beautiful ‘curra-wong’ call. In another of Ros’s works, the cheeky creature famous for its vocal tricks comes to the fore. The flock continues to grow as we fly to Baroque and Medieval Europe, where composers were equally transfixed by winged creatures. From currawongs to nightingales; from lyrebirds to phoenixes; from roosters to eagles; these melodious works illuminate our endless fascination with birds, both as animals and poetic symbols.

This recording is supported by The Peggy and Leslie Cranbourne Foundation.

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Explore the mystical world of Carnatic music

Adrian Sherriff & The Iyer Brothers

Adrian Sherriff is a composer, musician and lecturer with a fervency for studying the music of cultures around the world. In each of these traditions, he has studied and performed with master musicians of international calibre. His breadth of experience includes European classical, Afro-American jazz, South Indian classical, Japanese shakuhachi, Balinese gamelan, folkloric Afro-Cuban, Brazilian choro and experimental music traditions.

Now the star trombonist is journeying to South India once more, to the mystical world of Carnatic music. Joining him are the virtuoso veena (plucked Indian lute) duo The Iyer Brothers and mridangam (two-headed Indian drum) player Ragavan Sarma.

When they perform in India, brothers Ramnath and Gopinath Iyer perform for audiences in the thousands. Their mastery of the veena – a beautiful sounding instrument that is notoriously difficult to play – is mesmerising to watch.

This recording is supported by The Peggy and Leslie Cranbourne Foundation.

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Exploring themes of femininity, fragility, the natural world and white privilege

Nat Bartsch & Inventi Ensemble

Nat Bartsch is the 2021 recipient of Melbourne Recital Centre’s Merlyn Myer Commission. This performance saw the premiere of her suite, The Glasshouse, alongside Inventi Ensemble.

Inspired by the work of Victorian-era portrait photographer, Julia Margaret Cameron, The Glasshouse explores themes of femininity, fragility, the natural world and white privilege.

This recording is supported by The Peggy and Leslie Cranbourne Foundation.

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Enjoy the meditative and ancient beauty of Sixteen Alleluias

Nick Tsiavos & Adam Simmons

Nick Tsiavos is a bassist and composer whose work crosses cultural boundaries: from 6th-century chant and contemporary minimalism to experimental improvisation. Joining Nick is multi-instrumentalist Adam Simmons, one of Australia’s most prolific and varied artists, also a gifted improviser and masterful performer.

Alleluia is an ancient word that has come to express more than worship. It encompasses the lightness of joy and elation. It voices our awe when we are otherwise lost for words. And if we fall into some depths, looking for inspiration in the darkness or trying to accept what may come to pass, it brings us hope.

These 16 alleluias are early fragments of texts, of ideas, of memories that have travelled through the millennia – and that have been constantly written and rewritten by the hymnographers of the day. Their solemn beauty traces back to Byzantine hymnography and is equally profound today.

This recording is supported by The Peggy and Leslie Cranbourne Foundation.

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Two of Australia's foremost female jazz musicians play spellbinding original tunes

Femina

Two of Australia’s foremost female jazz musicians, Fem Belling and Mina Yu, have been masterminding more ways to make music together.

Drawing from their native cultures of South Africa and Korea, the duo’s musical storytelling is unique in spirit. Enjoy the joyous company of these two friends as they bring their instinctive flair to original tunes for piano, violin and vocals. The artists’ intimate and charmingly playful style exudes over every song – you won’t want to miss a beat.

This recording is supported by The Peggy and Leslie Cranbourne Foundation.