“Aida”, Opera Australia at Sydney Opera House until August 31. Reviewed by HELEN MUSA
FOR a 12th birthday present, not many of us would have been given a concert to perform sonatas and symphonies we’d composed. Young Canberra composer/performer, William Dooley, got exactly that as well as a nearly full house to perform to.
Twelve-year-old William Dooley, who plays piano and violin, has been enthusiastically composing since the age of six. His concert gave him the opportunity to demonstrate his ability on piano and violin playing works he has composed himself.
In addition, a number of leading musicians from the Canberra Symphony Orchestra and Canberra Wind Symphony formed an ensemble to play a couple of his compositions.
The group consisted of Barbara Jane Gilby and Timothy Wickham (violins), Iska Samson (viola), Alex Voorhoeve (cello), Sarah Nielsen (flute), Richard Mason (clarinet), Emily Leong and Michael Dooley, (William’s father) on piano. That such an eminent group of musicians was prepared to play William’s music speaks for itself.
Colourfully introduced by his young brother, Anthony Dooley, William – resplendent in Mozart-style costume and wig – played his Sonata No. 1 in C Major. This was followed by the Ensemble with his Symphony No. 1 in A Major. Changing over to violin, William was joined by his father, Michael, on piano with “6 Little Pieces For Violin & Piano”. Emily Leong and Michael Dooley alternated on piano with the lengthy Piano Sonata No. 2 in C minor and the Ensemble returned with Michael Dooley on piano playing William’s “Waltz in C minor”.
Here was a serious young musician displaying great promise in both playing and composition. Obviously his expertise with his instruments should continue to mature and it will be even more interesting to hear his compositions as he develops his own unique voice.