2020 Season | Beethoven and Beyond
Now forty years young, the Australia Ensemble sets its eyes on a season celebrating Beethoven’s Semiquincentennial or 250th birthday. Our 2020 season is about visionaries, with Beethoven as the central pillar, performing a range of his mature works as well as lesser-known works to round out the experience. We also explore the sort of eclectic programming and diverse instrumental combinations for which the ensemble is well-renowned, in addition to uncovering some less-familiar gems by nineteenth century composers Franz Berwald and Louise Farrenc.
From the canon of established master-pieces we revel in Schumann’s highly-favoured Piano Quartet as well as the supremely dramatic Shostakovich Piano Quintet and the elegiac and heartfelt Brahms Horn Trio. Elena Kats-Chernin’s dramatic Velvet Revolution (written for the same combination of instruments) is about the fall of the Berlin Wall and the ensuing dramas and turmoil, and is one of six Australian pieces programmed, including a newly commissioned work by young Sydney-based composer Holly Harrison whose energetic compositions reference popular music forms that have excited ensembles all around the world.
But not everything is as serious as a Beethoven marble statue: there is plenty of opportunity for light and shade. Levity abounds in the music of Jean Françaix, heard twice in our season, while we are also delighted to reprise Carl Vine’s witty and much-loved Café Concertino, a piece the Australia Ensemble has performed all around the world. We are also happy to welcome Robert Macfarlane to share our stage, whose light and flexible tenor voice is renowned for its clarity and diction, and he is well known for his dramatic performances.
We invite you to enjoy this season and share in our vision and thank you, our audience, for your great support and passion.