‘HIP’ specialists, the Australian Romantic & Classical Orchestra has announced its 2020 Sydney season with a series of concerts featuring familiar and unfamiliar works from the Classical period to the late-Romantic, all to be played at City Recital Hall in historically informed performances on instruments from the composers’ own time.
Australian Romantic & Classical Orchestra. Photo © Nick Gilbert
The season kicks off in March with a concert of Mozart, Beethoven and Eberl (for those who don’t know Anton Eberl, back in the day there was no Viennese composer whose work was more frequently passed off as that of Mozart). Concertmaster Rachael Beesley directs Beethoven’s popular Seventh Symphony alongside a charming 1806 E Flat effort by Eberl, the two works prefaced by Mozart’s overture to his opera Der Schauspieldirektor (The Impresario).
In May, a first rate line up of soloists and Sydney Chamber Choir will help the orchestra breathe life into Haydn’s Creation. Led by regular guest conductor, Berlin-based Jakob Lehmann, a performance of this perennial favourite was always the dearest wish of the orchestra’s greatly-loved late founder Richard Gill AO. Celeste Lazarenko, Lotte Betts-Dean, and Andrew Goodwin sing the archangels Gabriel, Uriel and Raphael, with James Ioelu joining in the second part as Adam.
Finally, in August, the orchestra will perform a program including Mozart’s Serenata Notturna, his virtuosic E Flat Horn Concerto No 3 (featuring London-based hornist Anneke Scott on the fiendish natural horn), Beethoven’s Sextet for Winds and Tchaikovsky’s sunny Souvenir de Florence.
Sydney Chamber Choir. Photo © Pedro Greig
To complement the mainstage program, a series of Voyage of Musical Discovery concerts will investigate the compositional similarities between historical and Australian contemporary works. Each program will feature musicians from the orchestra in the first half with guest artists in the second, with themes to be explored including Motivic Development (in March with guest saxophonist Nick Russoniello); Voices & Instruments (in April with the Sydney Chamber Choir); and Texture & Timbre (in August with drumming ensemble Taikoz). Each event will be presented by the orchestra’s Co-Artistic Directors Rachael Beesley and Nicole van Bruggen.