How To Get The Most Out Of An Australia Ensemble Concert

Julian Smiles holds his cello and David Griffiths stands in front of the gold cladding in the foyer of Sir John Clancy Auditorium

We asked Australia Ensemble cellist Julian Smiles how to get the most out of an Ensemble concert. Here are his four top tips.

1 Upon Arrival

Arriving in a relaxed state of mind can profoundly influence your enjoyment of a concert. The Sir John Clancy Auditorium boasts a large free car park nearby - almost unique in Sydney these days! - accessed via Gate 11 on Botany Street. Alternatively you could try out the Eastern Suburbs’ new Light Rail, “L’Escargot Rouge”, which has a stop directly out the front of the hall. What it lacks in speed it more than makes up for in style and comfort!


2 Remember To Relax

Be sure to arrive early enough to have a relaxed glass of wine and catch up with friends in the glamorous new foyer of the Sir John Clancy Auditorium. You could also take this moment to read the excellent program notes that are always provided.


3 A Culinary Journey

When the concert begins, maybe think of it as a meal we have prepared for you - in planning these programs we think not only of the taste of the dishes individually, but also of the way in which the diner travels through the culinary journey.

We’ll often have a light Entree, and a substantial Main Course. Amuse-bouches might feature, and if you find a dish containing somewhat more roughage than you are happy with, see it as an aid to your overall digestion of the meal.


4 Expect The Unexpected

One of the most important things to treasure is this being a unique moment. While we rehearse thoroughly, spontaneity remains a very important part of our performances.

Through our many years of playing together we are able to suggest things to each other during a performance, with a look, physical gesture or the way we play a phrase, which will send the music down a new path. In this way every performance will be different, fed by our inspiration, mood and how we feel the audience responding.

You will be present at the creation of a work of art that has never been heard this way before and will never be heard the same way again.


See you when I walk through the door...

Julian Smiles  is one of Australia’s leading cellists, with a career based in chamber music and solo performance reaching a national and international audience. He held the position of Principal Cellist with the Australian Chamber Orchestra for several years, and has frequently performed as guest Principal with the Sydney Symphony, Tasmanian Symphony and Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestras.