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Australian Composers in Focus

Astor PIAZZOLLA / Daniel ROJAS Libertango Suite *World Premiere

Met Concert #3 – Saturday 6th July 2019, 8pm, Eugene Goossens Hall, ABC Centre

This suite is heavily influenced by Astor Piazzolla, and complemented by Rojas’ distinctive take on salsa and mambo rhythms.

Argentine composer Piazzolla revolutionised tango music, by incorporating elements of jazz and classical music into his traditional tango compositions. Piazzolla is undoubtedly the master of the genre, with this work which features spicy rhythms and a fiendish melody have kept this one at the forefront of modern Tango, with countless brilliant interpretations to explore. Tonight’s rendition featuring Australian pianist and composer Daniel Rojas with TMO’s vibrant string orchestra will infuse this renowned work with Rojas’ own blend of Piazzolla is undoubtedly the master of the genre, and his ‘Libertango’ (a portmanteau that incorporates ‘Libertad’ and ‘Tango’) is one of the most performed of his works. Spicy rhythms and a fiendish melody have kept this one at the forefront of modern Tango, with countless brilliant interpretations to explore.

SOQ Beauty *World Premiere

Met Concert #1 – Saturday 17th February 2018, 8pm, Eugene Goossens Hall, ABC Centre

SOQ creatives, Stephen O’Connell and Graham Sattler, have worked together intensively as musicians and leading regional arts administrators for several years. In 2013 they embarked on the long term project of connecting music inspired by central Australia and the relationship it demands with those who immerse themselves in it, and contemporary texts that explore parallels of interpersonal human relationships. As the five-year developmental journey progressed, one that has spawned three manifestations of the material, the theme of beauty emerged in all the works’ guises. For this reason, the orchestral song cycle receiving its first ever performance in full this evening is titled, quite simply, Beauty. On April 14, 2017, SOQ collaborated with the Sichuan Conservatory of Music Symphony Orchestra at their home in Chengdu, to present the world premiere performance of four of the individual songs, conducted by the eminent Chinese conductor Maestro ZHENG Xiaoying. Since then new songs have been written and orchestrated to complete the cycle, and it is with enormous pleasure that SOQ joins The Metropolitan Orchestra to premiere the complete cycle tonight. In addition to Beauty, SOQ’s other major projects include the cross-artform theatre piece ‘Out of Chaos comes Beauty’ for Voice, Soprano Saxophone, String Quartet, Dancer and large-scale projections. SOQ recently recorded and released the music from Out of Chaos with The Metropolitan Orchestra String Quartet. We are proud to acknowledge Kevin Barker as our immensely gifted arranger and orchestrator.

JIM COYLE Dancing with Billy Bray *World Premiere

Met Concert #5 – Saturday 27th October 2018, 8pm, Eugene Goossens Hall, ABC Centre

As a composer, Jim has worked with some of Australia’s finest musicians including Sydney Sinfonia and Sydney Brass, and has been commissioned to write works for soloists from the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra. Jim has also written music for some of Australia’s least experienced musicians, notably his opera for primary school children The Selfish Giant.

Jim’s music is usually optimistic and often cheerful, joyous and exuberant. His recent works have had a particular focus on angels in the sense of supernatural messengers whose arrival brings awe and wonder.

MARK GRANDISON Cellar Door *World Premiere

The Cellists of TMO – Sunday 30 September 2018, 3.30pm, Independent Theatre

Mark Grandison (b. 1965) studied composition with Richard Meale in Adelaide before moving to Sydney in 1994 to become Director of Music at Kambala. Music education has become a passion equal to his compositional pursuits. Thus he continues to write in equal measure works for youth, community and professional groups. Commissions have reflected this diversity, such as his Sinfonietta for Sydney Youth Orchestra and his Violin Concerto for Queensland Symphony Orchestra. More recently, his Narratives and Detours was the feature work on the Australian CD of the same name.

Grandison’s orchestral works have won national contests, whilst his works for symphonic winds have made the finals in European composition contests and received numerous performances there. His pieces have received performances in New Zealand, Europe, South-East Asia and United States.

Grandison’s compositions typically employ a motif of a few pitches as the basis for extended development, within a predominantly tonal style. A childhood and youth exclusively absorbed in popular and jazz music inevitably filters its way into his rhythmic language. Though strictly limiting his initial compositional resources this way, his music nevertheless aspires to create an experience that is visceral, sensual and dramatic.