In 2015 we celebrate the 70 years during which Musica Viva has brought the world’s finest chamber music to Australia. Refugees from war-torn Europe found themselves in an exciting young nation brimming with promise but lacking the capacity for, and history of, the fine music they had left behind. The pioneering founders of Musica Viva chiselled out a unique niche in the New World for string quartets, piano trios and everything else that followed.
Old and new combine to perfection next year with Tafelmusik, the brilliant Baroque orchestra from Canada, presenting the sequel to its ingenious show, The Galileo Project. This season we get to enjoy House of Dreams, a kaleidoscopic journey through the art, architecture and music of Europe brought to life as musicians and narrator inhabit the stage and encircle the artworks themselves in a single musical flow.
2015 also heralds the 20th birthday of Australia’s most loved and enduring string quartet, the Goldner Quartet. They will undertake a nationwide concert tour befitting this national icon and featuring new music by Paul Stanhope specially crowd-funded for the Goldners by the audience of the Huntington Estate Music Festival.
Longtime favourites abound, with appearances by renowned English cellist Steven Isserlis, the ever-popular Eggner Trio from Austria, and the brilliant young Modigliani Quartet from France, first seen here in 2012 in performance with Sabine Meyer. One of Britain’s most prized exports, pianist Paul Lewis, will undertake his first full national Australian tour since 2010.
Making its debut appearance for Musica Viva is the outstanding English vocal ensemble, I Fagiolini. Their program spans the full compass of music for combined solo voices, starting in the Renaissance and ending with new music by Australian composer Andrew Schultz who was commissioned especially for this tour.
We honour this landmark year in Musica Viva’s history with a multitude of performers who have been most admired by our audiences on recent visits. We also honour it with a limited number of special performances by an extraordinary soloist, the exceptional Russian violinist Maxim Vengerov, in his first ever recital appearances in Australia.
The founders of Musica Viva didn’t agree about everything 70 years ago, but agreed with great passion that excellent music makes the world a better place. This simple precept, when all else is said and done, has propelled the company since 1945, and shows no signs of losing its potency.
Carl Vine AO