IN WHAT they’re calling “a triumph of logistics and passion,” the Australian World Orchestra is bringing together 105 performers, comprising 48 internationally based artists and 57 musicians from Australia this week for three concerts to be conducted by Zubin Mehta, at Melbourne’s Hamer Hall and the Sydney Opera House.The performers represent 40 leading international orchestras including Berlin and Vienna Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, London Symphony Orchestra and Chicago Symphony Orchestra, while the local musicians represent the Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Queensland, Tasmanian and West Australian Symphony Orchestras, the Australian Opera Ballet Orchestra and the Australian National Academy of Music.
AWO Artistic Director Alexander Briger said “Australian musicians are well represented in many of the world’s top orchestras, and their passion, dedication and talent are remarkable…With Maestro Zubin Mehta at the helm, and the music will be sublime and the atmosphere electric.”
Mehta has, of course, conducted the world’s premier orchestras, including the Berlin, Los Angeles, New York and Vienna Philharmonics and is Music Director for Life of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.
The AWO is performing two works for which Mehta’s interpretations are renowned, Stravinsky’s “The Rite of Spring” and Mahler’s 1st Symphony, one of the composer’s most popular works.
The orchestra was created in 2011 by Briger, whose vision was to bring together Australia’s finest musicians from home and around the world to form “one of the country’s most electrifying orchestras. The inaugural AWO concert series took place in Sydney in August 2011 at the Sydney Opera House.And there’s a Canberra angle to the story. Max McBride, former Principal Double Bass with the Australian Chamber Orchestra, former Co-Principal Double Bass with Sydney Symphony, who taught at ANU School of Music since 1992, will play alongside no fewer than five of the students who followed him to Canberra to study with him, in the AWO concerts.
The Australian World Orchestra, at Hamer Hall, Arts Centre, Melbourne Wed October 2 and Fri October 4, bookings to 1300 182 183 or artscentremelbourne.com.au and at Concert Hall, Sydney Opera House, Thursday, October 3, bookings to 02 9250 7777 or sydneyoperahouse.com.au