Euan Murdoch (CMNZ CEO) was in Melbourne earlier in July as a judge in the Asia Pacific Chamber Music Competition. Here’s his wrap up…
The four finalists in the 2013 Asia-Pacific Chamber Music Competition –two trios and two quartets- representing Japan, Australia and China, all played wonderfully well two Sunday’s ago in the Melbourne Recital Centre. They gave the large audience in the hall and listening at home two great concerts and it was not easy to select the prize-winners.
It may seem like a tired cliché, however, the real winner on the day was Chamber Music.
Amber Quartet from China performed Debussy with complete unity of sound and nuance as if they were one voice. Orava Quartet from Australia, currently studying in Colorado with the Takács Quartet, performed Mendelssohn with heartfelt conviction and tonal warmth. Both are groups to keep an eye on as they transition into their professional careers. It’s interesting to note that both have already been together since 2007.
The two piano trios have been together for much shorter periods of time, however, their performances lacked nothing in conviction or projection. Shostakovich and Dvořák were ideal choices and both trios rose to the occasion. Arc Trio from Japan gave a very polished performance of Dvořák’s F minor Trio. In the end for me the sense of spontaneity and commitment that the Lyrebird Trio from Queensland demonstrated throughout the event gave them a slight edge. Following on from my last post about the People’s Chamber Music afternoon, it is this ability to communicate passion for the music and for the occasion that is vital for us to promote. As a national presenter of this genre, we always look for ensembles that are willing to invite audiences to join them on a musical journey, the ones who may not have found all the right answers yet!
If you want to know more details about the results and prize-winners, here’s the link to the Chamber Music Australia website: http://www.chambermusicaustralia.com.au/
While in Melbourne I was delighted to pick up a brochure for the Local Heroes 2013 series also presented at the Melbourne Recital Centre. Among the many familiar names are ensembles that have toured for us recently including Ensemble Liaison, Latitude 37 and The Song Company.
Their Local Heroes Manifesto reads rather like a plot for a superhero movie:
We, Melbourne’s musical local heroes, hereby pledge to:
SING AND PLAY WITH PASSION AND COURAGE
SHARE OUR ENDLESS LOVE FOR GREAT MUSIC
DELIGHT IN THE WONDERS OF CHAMBER MUSIC
ENGAGE MELBOURNE IN A MUSICAL CONVERSATION
DISCOVER NEW SOUNDS, UNEARTH OLD TREASURES
AND USE OUR MUSICAL POWERS FOR GOOD
On that note, I’ll sign-off from a very enjoyable week across the ditch in Australia.
– Euan, 22.07.13