The Australian National Academy of Music has announced its 2019 season, with guests including UK a cappella octet VOCES8, the LA Philharmonic Wind Quintet and Gábor Takács-Nagy (of Takács Quartet fame).
“ANAM is about helping our finest young musicians become our future leaders and ambassadors of the arts,” said ANAM Artistic Director Nick Deutsch. “We aren’t only about training musicians, but teaching them to learn by awakening curiosity, so that the learning process continues for the rest of their lives. Fostering an environment in which to be innovative, push boundaries, and create music that is applicable to today’s world and speaks to today’s society. ANAM’s 2019 Season invites musicians and audiences alike to join in on a transformative journey, exploring a diverse range of music alongside some of the finest national and international artists. It is with immense pride and gratitude that I’m able to share it with you all.”
ANAM’s Melbourne Recital Centre series features four concerts across the year, with Nicholas Carter conducting the ANAM Orchestra in Beethoven and Bruckner’s Fourth Symphonies in May, Benjamin Bayl leading Bach’s B Minor Mass (which will feature VOCES8 and sopranos Susannah Lawergren and Amy Moore), Brazilian conductor Eduardo Strausser leads the orchestra in Stravinsky’s Petrushka (alongside Borodin and De Falla) in September, while Gábor Takács-Nagy conducts Beethoven, Mozart, Haydn and Schubert in November.
The South Melbourne Town Hall season opens in March with a concert spanning Strauss to Grainger. Highlights of the Melbourne Town Hall series will include John Luther Adams’ Ten Thousand Birds in June, led by Australian flute player and former Eighth Blackbird member Tim Munro, and later that same month a homage to Czech pianist and composer Gideon Klein, led by Deutsch.
“Gideon Klein has been almost totally referenced by his imprisonment in Terezin and subsequent murder in Auschwitz at the age of 25,” Deutsch told Limelight. “But it is important to realise that Klein was a brilliant visionary that was also part of a very exciting, modernist, avant-garde cultural scene prior to the rise of National Socialism in Europe. The aim of the concert is not to draw a sympathy card, but to celebrate the works he left us as brilliant masterpieces in their own right – not because of the circumstances in which they were written.”
“I became acquainted with the works of Gideon Klein a number of years ago when I was asked to organise a concert in Leipzig for survivors of the Terezin Concentration Camp,” he says. “We performed for survivors who knew him and heard him perform in Terezin. It awoke an interest in me to look for further works of his and other composers and has become an ongoing project and passion of mine, giving a voice to the silenced.”
Klein’s work will also feature in a concert led by Berlin Philharmonic First Concertmaster Noah Bendix-Balgley in August, alongside music by Hartmann and Mendelssohn.
The LA Philharmonic Wind Quintet performs with the ANAM musicians in September, while Swedish Trumpeter Håkan Hardenberger makes an appearance in October.
Bendix-Balgley and several other guests will also appear in the ANAM Mornings series, which will include a celebration of Clara Schumann’s music in September, led by violinist Robin Wilson.
Ten years after a public campaign saved ANAM from closing down, the school was hit by another hurdle this October when its office at South Melbourne Town Hall experienced a roof collapse following extensive flooding due to a burst water pipe (which flooded the venue with some 12,000 litres of water). Nobody was injured and no instruments were damaged however the building is currently closed and performances and masterclasses have since been relocated – with the support of arts organisations around Melbourne – until the end of the year.
Deutsch, however, remains upbeat. “The roof collapse has not kept us from moving forward,” he says. “It has shown us that if you are determined to do what you are meant to do, you will find a way to do it. As they say, life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.”
So what is the ANAM AD most excited about in next year’s season? “They are all highlights!” he says. “I think each and every work we put into our season has been given extensive thought and contemplation and is there for a particular reason. But if I had to choose one personal highlight, it would be Bach’s B Minor Mass. The last major choral work he wrote. You could say it’s his artistic bequest to humanity. I played my first B Minor Mass in St Thomas’ Church in Leipzig under Helmuth Rilling, when I was still a student, and it was one of those musical milestones I will never forget. I can’t wait to be able to share this extraordinary work with our ANAM musicians. As Johannes Brahms said to his pupils: Study Bach. There you will find everything.”