Arts / Plenty of choice in next year’s classical concerts

Share Canberra's trusted news:

Richard Tognetti. Photo by Simon van Boxtel.
CANBERRA’S classical music enthusiasts will have plenty to choose from next year. But as well as the Canberra Symphony Orchestra, The Griffyn Ensemble, and the National Capital Orchestra, there are plenty of out-of-town favourites and international names to venture to the capital as well. Clinton White explores three of them…

“DA Da Da Duuuuum,” says the Australian Chamber Orchestra, by way of prefiguring a concert in which director Richard Tognetti will explore Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony.

From those most famous four notes in music, still resounding after more than 200 years, to several Australian and world premieres, the Australian Chamber Orchestra and Richard Tognetti will present six concerts in their 2018 Canberra season.

The orchestra commissioned New York composer Missy Mazzoli, to write a concerto in honour of their principal double bass of 20 years, Maxime Bibeau. He will be soloist in the world premiere of Mazzoli’s “Concerto for Double Bass and Strings”.

As well, there’s a new work by celebrated Australian composer, Elena Kats-Chernin.

Guest artists in the season are Russian/British violinist and conductor, Alina Ibragimova, and the incomparable cellist, Steven Isserlis.

Favourite repertoire will include ‘”An Aria with Diverse Variations for the Harpsichord with Two Manuals. Composed for Music Lovers to Refresh their Spirits by Johann Sebastian Bach”, otherwise known as the “Goldberg Variations”, Schubert’s “Death and the Maiden” arranged for string orchestra, and Haydn’s last symphony “London”.

The ACO promises “a journey steeped in history that questions conventions and creates new destinations”.

Bookings and all program details at


IF names like Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, Ray Chen, and Nicola Benedetti strike harmonious chords, then Musica Viva’s Canberra season for 2018 will be worth exploring. It’s more so when it also features people like the “wizard of the mandolin”, Avi Avital, and “legendary” German clarinettist, Sabine Meyer.

Six concerts, featuring international artists, will grace the stage of Llewellyn Hall with program offerings as diverse as Bernstein and Bach, or Prokofiev and Ravel.

But Australian composers feature generously as well. Audiences will be able to discover music by Elena Kats-Chernin, Elizabeth Younan, Matthew Hindson, and Gordon Kerry, along with music by British composer, David Bruce, that is “often witty, always colourful, pulsing with earthy rhythms”.

Artistic director, Australian composer, Carl Vine, says he tries “to make every season as diverse as possible, but it is hard to imagine a chamber music smorgasbord more multifarious than this”.

Bookings to


Kathryn Selby, photo courtesy of Selby & Friends
PIANIST, Kathryn Selby has lots of talented friends in Australia and around the world and brings them to play in her concerts. And so it will be in Selby & Friends’ 2018 Canberra season, to be held in the friendly, intimate setting of the James O Fairfax Theatre.

And if the diary is too unforgiving as to allow attendance at the NGA, then it’s not far down the road to Mittagong or Bowral, where, for the first time, Selby & Friends will be expanding their venue offerings.

Selby says: “This season is devoted to deconstructing the parts that make up the whole, with piano trios expanding to quartet and reducing to duos.”

The first concert, cleverly but suitably titled for her Canberra audience, is “Beethoven by Ballot”. Four works will be presented, chosen entirely by audiences this year – by ballot! Another intriguing concert theme is “A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Romantic”, a concert dripping with the musical romance of Mendelssohn, Brahms, and Schubert.

Along with Australian artists, like Melbourne violinist, Grace Clifford, and Darwin clarinettist, Lloyd Van’t Hoff, audiences will be able to catch talent like Finnish principal cellist with the ACO, Timo-Veikko Valve, or the British violinist, now concertmaster of the SSO, Andrew Haveron.

Of Selby & Friends’ 2018 season, Kathryn Selby says, “Our 2018 Season … will explore stunning soundscapes”.

Bookings to


Who Can You Trust?

In a world beleaguered by spin and confused messages, there's never been more need for diverse, trustworthy, independent journalism in Canberra.

Who can you trust? Well, for more than 25 years, "CityNews" has proudly been an independent, free, family-owned news magazine, serving the national capital with quality, integrity and authority. Through our weekly magazine and daily through our digital platforms, we constantly and reliably deliver high-quality and diverse opinion, news, arts, socials and lifestyle columns.

If you trust our work online and believe in the power of independent voices, I encourage you to make a small contribution.

Every dollar of support will be invested back into our journalism so we can continue to provide a valuably different view of what's happening around you and keep free.

Click here to make your donation and you will be supporting the future of journalism and media diversity in the ACT.

Thank you,

Ian Meikle, editor

Previous articleReview / Finest playing produces enthralling concert
Next articleArts in the City / Irish dance gets a modern reboot

Leave a Reply