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Senza Sord DECEMBER 2018



Major Performing Arts Consultation Paper

careful what you wish for


Senza Sord DECEMBER 2018 Contents

Contents Contents 1

Overture Tania Hardy Smith_________________2

Orchestra reports___________________________ 25

Melbourne Symphony Orchestra works with young musicians and composers in Yogyakarta Kirsten Kenny_______________________________________3

Adelaide Symphony Orchestra__________ 25

Industrial Report Paul Davies______________5 Richard Gill Tributes___________________________6 Paul Goodchild _____________________________________ 7 Nigel Crocker_____________________________________ 10 Sydney Symphony Orchestra______________ 11 Careful What You Wish For Matthew Chesher______________________________ 12 OH&S: Earplug Use Amongst Musicians – a recent study________________ 15 Adelaide Symphony Orchestra Bush Concert Harbin, China Lachlan Bramble________________________________ 16

Melbourne Symphony Orchestra_______ 26 Opera Australia Orchestra__________________27 Orchestra Victoria _____________________________ 28 SOMA Federal Executive meeting _____ 29 Queensland Symphony Orchestra_____ 30 Sydney Symphony Orchestra ____________ 32 Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra_______ 34 West Australian Symphony Orchestra__________________________________________ 36 New Zealand Symphony Orchestra__________________________________________ 38 Penultimate Bar_______________________________ 41

SOLO. An interview with Martin Butler Tania Hardy Smith________ 21

Cover: NZSO & Phoenix Foundation – Phoenix Foundation celebrates 20 years by touring with the NZSO. Photo Bryson Rooney

Left: ASO, China Bush Concert. Steve Peterka teaching percussion

Design by Bayliss Design + Illustration www.baylissdesign.com.au 1


Overture Tania Hardy Smith Orchestra Victoria

Hi everyone The final issue of Senza Sord for 2018 unsurprisingly presents several tributes to Richard Gill, who so sadly passed away recently in Sydney. We could have filled an entire issue, but sentiments are encapsulated in contributions from Paul Goodchild, Nigel Crocker and SSO players and management – many thanks. I’m sure we were all infected with Richard’s passion and unfailing commitment to the prosecution of the importance of music to all of us, and to the place it should hold in the education regime of the young. We’ll all miss his whip-like humour, and sharp observation, often tinged with an edge of biting yet inoffensive sarcasm – I know I loved the times Richard came into OV to conduct as it was such a spectator sport. And he was also always unfailingly respectful towards everyone. Vale Richard. The MEAA recently responded to the Major Performing Arts Framework Consultation Paper following consultation and the request for submissions from people and organisations interested in the arts and cultural sector. This Consultation Paper was designed to inform the national consultation process about the Major Performing Arts (MPA) Framework. Within this context this paper sets out issues identified with the MPA Framework and puts forward a proposal for a Framework that is better able to respond to changing circumstances and the evolution of the performing arts sector. 2

Matthew Chesher (Director, Legal and Policy MEAA) has contributed a summary of MEAA’s response and some pertinent observations of the funding process in general for the MPA organisations. You can also have a look at the MPA Framework paper at: http://www.australiacouncil.gov.au/ workspace/uploads/files/mpa-frameworkconsultation-pap-5bd2b5173e998.pdf We also profile Martin Butler oam from Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and wonder at his many achievements and how he actually fits everything in! Recently Mark Bruwel has been re-elected to the position of SOMA President and Howard Manley was presented with the SOMA Gold Honour Badge for service to the union – congratulations Mark and Howard. Merry Christmas to everyone – have a wonderful festive season and enjoy the break if you have one… All the very best for 2019. Tania



MELBOURNE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA WORKS WITH YOUNG MUSICIANS AND COMPOSERS IN YOGYAKARTA Apart from the usual subs concerts and commercial projects, Sarah Curro, Monica Curro, Kirstin Kenny (violin), Elizabeth Woolnough, Miranda Brockman (viola), Steve Reeves (bass), Philip Arkinstall (clarinet), Stephan Cassomenos (piano) and Ade Vincent (composer/performer) travelled to Indonesia representing MSO. Kirsten Kenny Violin, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra



The violin crew

The Orchestra has been building a strong relationship with The Sultan of Yogyakarta, the Indonesian Government and the leading music makers in Indonesia. This was the fourth year of MSO’s touring to this region.

Workshop at the Australian Embassy Jakarta


We presented concerts in 2015, a music camp and performances in 2016 and a ‘side by side’ orchestral concert conducted by Johannes Fritzsch at the spectacular Prambanam Temple in 2017.

Budhi Ngurah


This year was a music camp with students from Institut Seni Indonesia Yogyakarta (Indonesian Institute of the Arts). Ade Vincent and Plexus worked with some young composers, building and developing compositions with four works being performed at our final public performance. The string quintet worked with a wonderfully enthusiastic string orchestra, performing works ranging from Respighi to Beethoven expertly directed by Sarah Curro. Sarah also performed a violin concerto by Budhi Ngurah (musical legend and all round nice guy). Before kicking off the Music Camp we did three performances in Jakarta hosted by DFAT and The Australian Embassy. This kind of collaboration is so very important for the wonderful students in Yogyakarta and for the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. It is a wonderful cultural exchange and the musicians and staff of MSO were deeply touched by the gratitude and emotion shown by everyone there.


The standard of playing and engagement was high and full of infectious energy. I hope we see this collaboration continue for many years to come. Grateful thanks to The Sultan and his wife whose interest and support has been immense. Also to the marvellous Budhi Ngurah, composer and musical educator.

INDUSTRIAL REPORT Paul Davies Director, Musicians MEAA

New agreements were reached during 2018 for MSO, Orchestra Victoria, TSO, Opera Australia Orchestra, ASO and most recently WASO. At the time of going to print an in-principle agreement for the SSO was being voted on.


Pay rises in agreements averaged close to 2% PA although actual rates and the length of agreements varied greatly between the orchestras, reflecting mostly local circumstances. Prevailing funding arrangements meant that there has been no improvement to he structural pay inequities between orchestras.






Paul Goodchild Associate Principal Trumpet Sydney Symphony Orchestra

“Music, is Good!” To me, these three words are Richard Gill. Richard lived for music and wanted everyone he came in contact with to experience that same joy. Whether it was a four year old child at a Baby’s Prom, a year 11 elective music student or an SSO subscriber from the 1950s, they were all hooked by his gift of communicating what was good about music. My colleagues and I were all deeply saddened by the news of Richard’s death last month and we all are so grateful for the times we spent in his company both on and off the podium. Most of us remember Richard in his capacity as the conductor of our SSO School Concerts in the Eugene Goosens Hall at the ABC

Left: Brendan Williams (Age 2) and Richard Gill share the podium an early Sydney Youth Orchestras Babies Proms Concert at the Sydney Opera House, April 1983. Photographer, Gordon Clarke.


building in Ultimo. This was the ideal venue for the concerts as around 300 school kids could be seated with the last row barely fifty feet from the orchestra. In no time at all Richard would have the kids in the palm of his hand, spreading the word of what he did best – music education. In those days we would have kids from all ages spread over two to three concerts per day and to see the genius of R.Gill between a concert of years 1–3 then the next concert years 10–11 was just amazing. My favourite part was watching him teach the little ones a march or a dance as we played the piece. Sometimes he would be so outrageous, he’d have the kids laughing their heads off – the fact he was having the best time obviously rubbed off on the little

The orchestra was playing In the Hall of the Mountain King and Richard was talking to Brendan the whole time, asking him questions, encouraging him to engage with what was going on. He’d ask Brendan to point towards a particular instrument – hence the point and the smiles!


ones. The years 10–11 may not all have been elective students so you had some wishing they were elsewhere! Richard, knowing this, wasn’t fazed one bit and eventually had even those kids up and dancing or itching to come and have a go conducting! I often meet people of all ages who say they remember Mr Gill at our schools concerts, and “that’s why I come to listen to the SSO”. He certainly made his mark! The most enjoyable concerts for me were the Discovery Series we performed in Angel Place where Richard would dissect various pieces of music, with incredible intellect, charm and that unmistakable wit and humour, telling stories about the composer or the goings on of the time when the piece was written. I always came away having learnt something, as did all who were there. I have been asked may times why I chose the Dambusters March for the impromptu gathering in front of his house the day before he died.

“As we know, a few hours before he died, a flash band organised by Paul Goodchild gathered outside Richard’s house,” Vallentine said. “70 musicians turned up to celebrate a great life by playing the theme from The Dam Busters. There’s some controversy whether this was, as claimed, Richard’s favourite piece of music. Who would know what that was? He seemed to slumber through the performance, but his eyes flickered to life as vigorous applause followed. He loved applause and he loved a full house.”  Mary Vallentine I knew for a fact that he was fond of the Dambusters movie and liked the theme music, so much so he could recite numerous scenes from memory, adding a few nicknames of characters to myself and some of my colleagues!

Paul Goodchild distributing music for the impromtu performance



Richard Gill and Paul Goodchild

The night before he died I received a call from Kim Williams informing me of Richard’s deteriorating condition, a call I shall never forget. I suddenly realised that I had no chance to say goodbye or to say thank you and felt totally helpless. I rang a few of my colleagues and told them of the news and said we should do something. Like in the scene from Brassed Off where the band is playing under the hospital window of their beloved conductor, I decided to do something similar. Emails, texts and social media posts went out for anyone who was free to gather at 1pm the next day. Expecting 15–20 people, I was amazed that over 70 players appeared – even members of the Police Band on their way to a performance popped in! Musicians from all over Sydney turned up including members of the SSO, ACO and Opera Australia, the Conservatorium, Bondi Brass and other community bands as well as members of the general public including the composer Nigel Westlake with a triangle, 9

all taking part, all wanting to say thank you and goodbye. Once we finished the Dam Busters March, Tony, Richard’s son, said Dad loved a good applause and we all burst into a resounding applause that appeared to go on forever. I was told after that Richard opened his eyes and smiled at the end of the March when the applause started! Waltzing Matilda was also appropriately played to finish. The rest, as we all know, is history. Richard, your death has sent shock waves around the music world. We are your living legacies and the music will not stop on our watch!

Additional note: Information about the photograph of Richard and little Brendan Mills was kindly provided by Margie Moore oam, Arts and Education Consultant and previously Education Manager for SSO


TRIBUTE TO RICHARD GILL Nigel Crocker Trombone

For those of you who never witnessed Richard Gill present a school’s concert, it was truly something to behold.

and then he would go on to hilariously find some tenuous relationship between bassoons and guitars.

Over the years, a classical musician ends up playing countless numbers of school concerts. Generally presented in a convivial atmosphere, you look out at the audience and see the full spectrum – some kids enjoying it immensely through to some kids who would rather be sitting in a dentist’s chair. You walk away after accepting that you win some and you lose some.

“What’s your name?” Egged on by his mates the kid would invariably make up some smart arse name like Osama or something. More laughs from kids from the other schools now. Without blinking an eye, “Stand up Osama.” Emboldened by his new found celebrity status up would get this seventeen year old colossus looking every bit destined to be a front row forward for the Long Bay 1sts.

Not Richard Gill.

At this stage you would probably be thinking ’this isn’t gonna go well’ and you might head outside to call security – or an ambulance.

I loved watching him conducting/presenting these concerts to an audience containing teenage kids from the roughest, toughest downtrodden high schools – dragged along unwillingly and in some cases unwittingly! Kids openly hostile to most adults and certainly any authority figure. While introducing the orchestra Richard would scan the audience looking for the most disengaged kid he could find. After a while he would directly ask them a question. For example, “Who can tell me what this instrument is? That boy there in the red baseball cap with his feet up on the seats”. “I dunno. A guitar or some shit” would come the reply to titters from his mates.

But if you came back two minutes later you’d be greeted by howls of laughter as the orchestra whipped through a tarantella with Osama and a not-to-be-outdone Richard improvising their versions of a dance one might perform upon receiving a spider bite. From then on the ENTIRE audience would be absolute putty in his hands. Hanging off every word as Richard’s passion for music would infectiously spread through them, Osama’s mates being the first to volunteer for any further audience participation. Incredible!

With Richard there are no wrong answers. “Excellent. It’s also called a bassoon…” 10


The impromptu gathering in front of Richard Gill’s house the day before he died.

VALE, RICHARD GILL This article was written by the staff and musicians of Sydney Symphony Orchestra, and first appeared in print for the SSO tribute event, Richard Gill: Celebration of a Life on Sat November 17. Reprinted with kind permission from Raff Wilson, Director of Artistic Planning and Luke Nestorowicz, Director of Marketing, Sydney Symphony Orchestra

As the Artistic Director of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra’s Education Program, Richard Gill established the SSO Sinfonia, a training orchestra that formed the bridge between conservatorium education and professional practice. His Discovery series, running for 16 years, premiered 53 Australian works and changed the way people listened to music.

Renowned as a “strong and compassionate teacher” from the moment he entered his first classroom in 1958, Richard Gill dedicated a life to the pursuit of music education. An unmatched communicator, Richard was a pioneer and the mentor of generations of Australian musicians.

In his own words “I think helping someone is incredibly satisfying… I love the fact that people I‘ve taught will be smarter, infinitely better than I ever was…”

In a career spanning 60 years, his achievements were innumerable and his talents broad: conductor, musician, artistic director, mentor and most importantly a fierce champion for the role that music plays in the education and development of young people. His spirit was indomitable, which drove a singular vision. 11

“Ladies and gentlemen. Boys and girls” as he would say at the top of every concert, let us join in paying tribute to a remarkable man. Vale, Richard Gill ao (4 November 1942–28 October 2018) The stream of the event at the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall can be found online at http://watch.sydneysymphony.com/




The paper has some good ideas, such as ensuring diversity in governance, taking better account of demographic differences among the states and undertaking deeper analyses of touring activities. The showstopper, however, is the idea of converting ‘perpetual funding’ to four year (or four + four year) contracts.

Matthew Chesher Director, Legal and Policy MEAA

The release of the Major Performing Arts (MPA) Framework Consultation Paper (the paper) has sparked renewed attention on the quantum and terms of funding for the twenty-eight MPA companies that have received critical funding from the Australia Council for almost twenty years. 12

While better egress within the current MPA framework is a worthwhile policy objective (preferably more entry than exit), introducing funding uncertainty by shifting to fixed-term allocations will create more trouble than it is worth. Arts funding across the board is in a parlous state; singling out the one group that wasn’t savaged as a result of the disastrous post2014 arts funding ‘reforms’, namely cuts BACK TO CONTENTS

to the Australia Council’s budget and the failed National Program for Excellence in the Arts (NPEA) and Catalyst program, is short-sighted and feeds the mistaken notion that MPA companies are pampered and unaccountable. Although $8 million in annual Australia Council funding was restored in late 2015 after the NPEA was abandoned, and a further $30 million over four years following the collapse of Catalyst, the Australia Council remains worse off than it was in 2014. Of course, it’s not just the Australia Council that took a hit: it was the small to medium arts sector that really got walloped. The Australia Council’s 2017-18 annual report reveals funding for Council Grants and 13

Initiatives of $45.3 million in 2013-14, but has been on a downward trajectory since, with funding of $24.3 million in 2017-18. Likewise, Government Initiatives funding was $28 million in 2013-14, but now sits at $24.4 million, with funding in intervening years recorded as low as $14 million in 2016-17. The simple fact is that government arts funding reforms since the 2014 federal budget have constituted vandalism, and not in the Banksy sense. Making changes to the MPA structure now would act as a tacit acceptance that the current state of arts funding represents an acceptable status quo. This will be good for Treasury and the philistines, but what of our artists who rely on MPA employment for much of their income? BACK TO CONTENTS

No-one would argue that cutting or recalibrating the health budget is a good thing due to the fact that more health funding goes to larger hospitals than smaller ones. To stretch the metaphor, what has been lost in the funding maelstrom has been the value, growth and needs of small and medium-sized hospitals and individual practitioners. Each performs a critical role but only one part of the system – the larger companies – has been shielded from debilitating cuts. Although it is true that MPA companies are not subject to a competitive funding process, their activities are transparently benchmarked. Organisations must satisfy state and federal government-agreed criteria, present work of a high artistic quality, demonstrate leadership in developing performing arts and development opportunities for young and emerging artists, engage with audiences in regional communities and be governed by a responsible board. The Australia Council closely monitors each MPA company against agreed outcomes and performance indicators, which are reviewed annually with all government partners and input from the MPA Panel. In terms of allegations of ‘largesse’ and ministerial protection rackets, MPA companies received $111 million in Commonwealth funding in 2017-18 compared to $106 million in 2014-15. This is small change in overall budgetary terms. MPA companies should not wear the odium of the sector because they were not overtly harmed by the current government’s reforms in the same way as others. It is against a backdrop of perceived privilege and a depleted pot of arts funding that the current review of the MPA framework is taking place. It is not wholly lacking in resemblance to the Lord of the Flies.


The fundamental and enduring problem with Australian arts funding has been the political class’ devaluation of arts as an enterprise that not only builds the spirit, but provides jobs for creative minds.

Ministers for arts and culture across Australia have a greater challenge before them than the reductive notion that better rules for MPA companies is the salvation for the whole sector. The fundamental and enduring problem with Australian arts funding has been the political class’ devaluation of arts as an enterprise that not only builds the spirit, but provides jobs for creative minds. MEAA believe that the core challenge to revaluing the arts rests not so much in refashioning the micro aspects of MPA governance, but in rebuilding a decisive compact between the Commonwealth and the States about how funding will grow over time and re-establishing reliable and enforceable funding divisions. By forcing an acknowledgement of the cultural and economic value of the arts and what it takes to sustainably fund the whole arts sector, we can look at durable reform without taking pot shots at one part of the system.




EARPLUG USE AMONGST MUSICIANS – A RECENT STUDY Elizabeth Francis Beach, PhD, and Ian O’Brien, PhD have recently published a research paper on the use of earplugs, summarised below. You can find a link to the paper online at: https://www.sciandmed.com/mppa/ journalviewer.aspx?issue=1217&article=2189 BACKGROUND: Musicians are at risk of hearing loss from sound exposure, and earplugs form part of many musicians’ hearing conservation practices. Although musicians typically report a range of difficulties when wearing earplugs, there are many who have managed to successfully incorporate earplugs into their practice of music. OBJECTIVE: The study aim was to provide a detailed account of earplug usage from the perspective of the musician, including motivating factors, practical strategies, and attitudes. METHODS: In-depth interviews with 23 musicians were transcribed and content analysis was performed. Responses were coded and classified into three main themes: advantages, disadvantages, and usage patterns and strategies, together with an overlapping fourth theme, youth perspectives.


RESULTS: Several positive aspects of wearing earplugs were identified, including long-term hearing protection and reduced levels of fatigue and pain. Musicians reported that earplugs present few problems for communication, improve sound clarity in ensembles, are discreet, and are easy to handle. However, earplugs also present challenges, including an overall dullness of sound, reduced immediacy, and an impaired ability to judge balance and intonation due to the occlusion effect, all of which influence usage habits and patterns. CONCLUSION: The experiences of the younger musicians and long-term users of earplugs indicate that practice, persistence, and a flexible approach are required for successful earplug usage. In time, there may be greater acceptance of earplugs, particularly amongst a new generation of musicians, some of whom regard the earplugs as a performance enhancement tool as well as a protective device. Med Probl Perform Art 2017; 32(2):101–110.




To be honest, I hadn’t really heard of Harbin until the name cropped up at a meeting. Fast forward a few months and I was on a plane there, one of the lucky ASO eight musicians who performed the Chinese Premiere of ‘The Bush Concert’, translated into Mandarin.

Lachlan Bramble Associate Principal Second Violin Adelaide Symphony Orchestra

Right:Steve Peterka teaching percussion


Like Adelaide, Harbin is a UNESCO City of Music, a title which it takes very seriously. Only 500km from Vladivostok and uncomfortably close to North Korea, Harbin was home to a large community of diaspora Russian Jews in the first part of last century. Whilst the people are no longer there, the legacy remains, both in the tourist shops full of babushka dolls and in institutions like the Harbin Symphony Orchestra. The Bush Concert is an ASO production of which we are very proud. It is based on the children’s book of the same name by Helga Visser with an idiomatic score for mixed BACK TO CONTENTS



ensemble by Mark Ferguson. The story is great for cultural export – a group of bush animals form an orchestra and put on a concert in spite of an oppressive drought. Susan Ferguson sang and presented the show in Mandarin to the delight of the Chinese audiences who understood every word. A huge relief after months of preparation! Our touring party were guests of the local cultural bureau and we were treated like royalty. Energy levels were maintained with the requisite three banquets a day allowing


Photos clockwise from above: Steve Peterka with the big drum, Jackie Hansen (bassoon) boarding a plane, The cast of ‘The Bush Concert’, Simon Lord (Director of Artistic Planning) with the flags, and Dean Newcomb talking to Chinese media.

us to enjoy visits to the Tiger Park, ice sculptures, local temple and more. Whilst the footprint for this tour was undeniably small, it will hopefully serve as a successful pilot episode for many more adventures in China for ASO and The Bush Concert.








AN INTERVIEW WITH MARTIN BUTLER Martin Butler oam Viola Adelaide Symphony Orchestra

Interviewed by Tania Hardy Smith Hi Martin and welcome to Senza Sord! I might start at the nearest end with your recently conferred Medal of the Order of Australia – that’s a wonderful accolade for your work, congratulations! Despite being a violist with Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, it seems that conducting is a primary passion. Tell us how you became involved with the Burnside Symphony Orchestra.


I still don’t remember exactly how I got asked to take the BSO except that I remember Howard Parkinson (ASO Bass Trombone) asked me to go along and take some rehearsals. I really enjoyed it and ended up with them for over 15 years – I retired when they told me I was their longest serving conductor! It did make me try to take conducting a little more seriously, especially as I remember having to think about which direction the hand should go after the down beat! The wonderful thing about the BSO was that they allowed me to experiment on them. I remember coming back from a workshop with Jorma Panula. He showed me that you don’t always need to give every beat, as constant beating soon becomes


monotonous. You can imagine that the next week’s rehearsal was quite interesting! BTW conducting isn’t really a primary passion but it is certainly a means to an end. I’ve often heard it said that all orchestral musicians should be able to conduct. As the conductor of a community orchestra, you will have experienced at first hand how music and playing in an orchestra brings joy to people who aren’t professional musicians. The etymology of ‘amateur’ is from the Latin ‘amatore’ which means motivated by love, and when confronted by a group who shares this love of music, I found it easy to enjoy discovering music together. I could tell them stories about what happens in my professional life as well as stories about the music. At around this time I started doing pre-concert talks for the ASO which seemed to fit in nicely with this approach. I found that the rehearsal process for non-professional musicians (and students alike) could be challenging, mainly because of the speed of a rehearsal. I often tell student groups “I want you to work at my speed, I don’t want to work at yours!”. The rehearsal process should be intensive, but it also requires a different mindset. I always liked the story of Albert Einstein. Einstein, a keen amateur violinist, used to play Beethoven sonatas with the great pianist Artur Schnabel. At times Einstein would get horribly lost. Schnabel would grimace and stop playing. “Vot is the matter Albert? Can’t you count?!” And as part of the whole picture, your involvement with young musicians through your work with Adelaide Youth Strings, 22

music camp and Suzuki suggests that you are passionate about this aspect of a young person’s development. I went to a primary school in the UK which didn’t give its students the opportunity to learn a musical instrument. Neither of my parents were musicians. The only opportunity to do violin came when someone donated four violins to our school. So, yes, I relish the opportunity to help students get acquainted with musical instruments.

Jorma Panula showed me that you don’t always need to give every beat, as constant beating soon becomes monotonous. You can imagine that the next week’s rehearsal was quite interesting! We use the slogan ‘Great Cities Have Great Orchestras’. I would like to add to that, ‘Great Schools Have Great Music Departments’. I have been following the ABC documentary Don’t Stop the Music. The amount of training given to music for classroom teachers is too little. My ideal primary school music program would be to have one that involves singing and recorder in the early years. In some ways, recorder can be used instead of singing because most teachers don’t feel confident enough to sing. I recently helped a non-musical classroom BACK TO CONTENTS

teacher start a recorder program with her class. She learnt recorder along with her beginner students in years one and two. Importantly, she did recorder with them every day. It soon became the most important part of the curriculum and by the end of the year they were very advanced and ready to begin a structured instrumental music program. Being able to play every day means that the school is fully supportive of music and that the students don’t necessarily have to practice. I think it was Suzuki who said, “You don’t have to practice every day – only on the days that you eat!” Take us back to Portugal and your earlier musical life. I believe you played with the orchestra of the Teatro Nacional de São Carlos and taught at the Tibor Varga Academy. Can you tell us a bit about being in the opera house orchestra in the 1980s? I imagine there are many comparisons you could make between those early years and the years you’ve spent in ASO, and perhaps observations about national opera houses and their schedules and programming.

end of their careers. Some of the audience could see quite well into the pit from their boxes, which at times was interesting. I heard that our orchestra once turned down Henryk Szeryng as our concertmaster! Tibor Varga, the great Hungarian violin pedagogue, used to come to Lisbon from his base in Detmold, Germany about four times a year as part of a cultural program instigated by the EU after Portugal joined back in 1986. All of his classes were open. I remember sending a student to him and I think that when he saw that I understood his ‘system’ he then invited me to participate, although this was on a very ad hoc basis.


Images courtesy of the ASO

Well, we worked at a slower rate so that we could spend a month on an opera with no other distractions instead of two weeks here. We did a Ring cycle, but over four years! We also played almost exclusively in an 18th century opera house – the Teatro Sao Carlos, with its beautiful horseshoe auditorium. It was built, apparently by prisoners, after the great Lisbon earthquake of 1755. I remember working with some great singers nearing the BACK TO CONTENTS

Watching a great teacher teach continues to inspire me to this day. Often, he would visibly stop listening closely after just a few minutes. That was because he only took that amount of time to work out not just the things he wanted to say to the student about his or her playing, but everything about the student as well! What attracted you to Australia? And to change your professional choice of instrument from violin to viola? My wife, Shirin Lim, attracted me to come and work in Australia! She also persuaded me to take up the viola more seriously. I was in a situation where I needed to do something about my violin playing and part of that was starting from scratch. It just seemed psychologically easier to manage this on a new instrument. I had gone to university in the UK and studied composition and orchestration rather than music performance, something I regretted at the time, but am now glad that I did. Besides, there was a position in the viola section that had opened up in Portugal and, as everyone knows, the violas don’t work as hard as the violins! There were 12 viola positions but only 10 places in the pit whereas the violins didn’t have that luxury. Besides, everyone knows that all of the great composers (including Jimi Hendrix) played the viola! It’s obvious that like many of us, music is your life and passion, but being involved in so many areas of music-making in our community you must have strong insights into why orchestras and orchestral music are such a crucial part of our wellbeing. I think we all know this, but often find it difficult to explain – please help us out! 24

I find it hard to imagine how orchestral music can’t be central to our lives as sentient human beings in the same way as I can’t tell you what it is like being a twin as I have never experienced anything different. Certainly, we orchestral musicians need a strong advocate. Ben Folds did this at a concert the ASO did with him a few years back. Having come from a youth orchestra background himself, he told the audience that when touring in the USA he could always tell the difference between cities that had a professional orchestra to cities that didn’t. It was an impassioned speech and was greeted with thunderous applause. In the past orchestras were an emblem of a well-functioning society. The word ‘organization’ is, in fact, a musical term. To paraphrase Robin Maconie in his brilliant book The Way of Music (2007) the word ‘symphony’ means ‘sounding together’ and sounding together is all about teamwork. “Teamwork on a large scale is a distinctive feature of classical music and its evolution and the organization of large numbers of people to work cooperatively and harmoniously to achieve a common goal is essential for the survival and prosperity of society.” Robin also points out that in all probability the Industrial Revolution began in England when Josiah Wedgwood, witnessing a performance of one of the London symphonies of Joseph Haydn, realized that he could apply the same organizational principles that a symphony orchestra displayed to the manufacture of quality goods. Thanks Martin BACK TO CONTENTS


Adelaide Symphony Orchestra Lachlan Bramble, Associate Principal 2nd Violin Some changes at the top as Colin Dunsford concludes his term as Chair of the ASO Board at the end of this year. Replacing him will be Kate Gould. Kate is an arts and management consultant and digital entrepreneur, with her key clients including Hobart’s MONA and Dark Mofo. Formerly she was CEO and Associate Artistic Director of the Adelaide Festival. Our current Managing Director Vincent Ciccarello has also signed on for another five years in the role. But the bigger news is that the ASO were advised by the South Australian state government in September that we would be required to meet a savings target across the next four years totalling $492,000. This is another way of saying ‘funding cut’. Even though this appears to be contrary to the spirit (and probably the content) of the tripartite funding arrangements we have with the federal government, the cuts seem

Micheal Robertson (viola) and Gemma Phillips (cello)


to be going ahead. Belts are tightening at the ASO as we head towards Christmas. In addition to a little trip to China, ASO’s musicians have been out and about more than usual in the last few months. In September we bussed deep into Victoria to provide the backbone of the 2018 Bendigo International Festival of Exploratory Music. Aside from the challenging music making, other fun was had in the art gallery, on the tennis court and in the karaoke bar. The next month ASO invaded the Riverland with concerts in schools, nursing homes and community centres before the bulk of the ensemble arrived to give a symphonic concert in Renmark. The bed bugs were balanced by the stunning riverside atmosphere during evenings spent aboard the Murray River Queen. Over the course of the last six months the orchestra has welcomed Caleb Wright (Principal Viola) and Colin Prichard (Principal Trombone) who both successfully completed their trial periods. And in December we bid farewell to Celia Craig, our Principal Oboe who leaves the orchestra to pursue other performing and teaching projects. It was great to have Celia premiere a new concerto with the ASO by Judith Weir in October. Just as we go to press, Principal Horn Adrian Uren married Amy Baker. We wish them and their pet lizard Komodo a wonderful life together. BACK TO CONTENTS

Melbourne Symphony Orchestra Kirstin Kenny, Violin MSO has had a very busy year this year. I guess one of the most important things to happen is the safe journey of our EA through the Fair Work Commission. We are all very relieved and are looking towards starting on negotiations for the next agreement which will be due in May 2019. We have had a few appointments in the orchestra recently – Rachel Shaw on section Horn and Owen Morris as Section Principal Trumpet. Chris Lane has joined us for his trial as Principal Timpani and Tiffany Cheng has passed her trial as Tutti Second Violin. We have had some appointments to our administration team – Melissa King as Director of Artistic Planning and Guy Ross as Senior Manager, Human Resources. I’m writing this with three weeks to go of a long and tiring year for the musicians and staff of MSO bearing the burden of a notable deficit. Things are definitely improving financially and we are all very happy about the nearing holiday period when we can rest and recharge. Cheers, Kirstin Kenny



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PERFORMERS’ TRUST FOUNDATION Providing grants to promote and encourage music and the performing arts www.ppca.com.au


Opera Australia Orchestra Mark Bruwel, Oboe Things have been relatively quiet at the OAO since the last edition of Senza Sord but there is invariably something around the corner and for us – it is a proposal by OA to run the 2019 HOSH (West Side Story) as a stand alone event including separating itself from our orchestra and Agreement and them contemplating Award rates for the freelance musicians. Needless to say this has generated a lot of discussion.

rejig of scheduling, and next year we will perform Opera either side of the Musical season.

The Musical has now become an integral part of our season, Evita was a box office success and the plan is to run West Side Story again at the Opera House but with the OAO after HOSH. There has been a

Lastly, although we are on a job freeze for this year and next year, it is wonderful to welcome John Lewis to the Bass Clarinet position after successfully completing his trial period.


We ran a successful albeit short season of the chamber opera Metamorphosis in the dock area of the Opera Centre. The production was terrific and it was great to see this niche in the Opera canon being given a run.


Orchestra Victoria Josh de Graaf, Associate Principal Oboe Greetings from Orchestra Victoria. A busy few months (as I look back over it), which I’m sure is a sentiment shared by every orchestra this year. Since my last report, the orchestra has displayed its usual versatility, tackling everything from Mahler symphonic mash-ups for ballet, to Frozen orchestral suites in our education programs, to the virtuosic chamber opera Metamorphosis. A busy autumn season led into two seasons of The Merry Widow for The Australian Ballet – away and at home (in Canberra and Melbourne respectively). The bigger orchestras in this publication will talk a lot about flash international tours, but really... this is where you want to be! A further

ballet season of Verve in Melbourne, led into Victorian Opera’s William Tell. An icy Palais Theatre pit and a misbehaving exploding apple, did nothing to dampen the enthusiastic response to an opera not heard in Australia since 1876. I found this remarkable (the 1876 bit, not the enthusiastic response) given that its overture is probably heard in Australia everyday – anyone remember the ‘13 11 66 Pizza Hut delivery’ ad in the early 90s? Certainly worked, I still know the number!! A season of the aforementioned Mahler symphony mash followed for the Ballet Preljocaj production of Snow White conducted by Johannes Fritzsch. This led into the Bendigo Festival, where once again, the orchestra displayed its full suite of activities to the people of Bendigo and surrounds. Our mOVe program had record numbers and moved into the largest auditorium in the city to cope. Chamber performances took place throughout the entire week – in churches, libraries, art galleries and down a mine shaft. The week culminated in a full orchestral performance, featuring the astonishing ten year old Christian Li as soloist in the Mendelssohn violin concerto.

Harpist and Beckmesser musical doppelganger, Delyth Stafford and the real Beckmesser, Warwick Fyfe, in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg


While this concert marked Christian’s solo concerto debut, it marked the end of the road for our long time Principal Oboe Stephen Robinson. Stephen was BACK TO CONTENTS

a phenomenal custodian of the chair for over three decades and his legacy lives on through the oboe section in OV, as well as through oboists around the country who have benefited from his knowledge as a teacher and tutor. Happy retirement Stephen!! While we’re saying goodbye, a sad farewell to Mark Lowrey – our amazing orchestra operations co-ordinator who is moving onto other opportunities. Mark is an absolute rock around OV, so we’ll miss him. Ballet seasons of Giselle, and an epic Spartacus and A Midsummer Night’s Dream with the Queensland Ballet, have led into an opera season of La Bohème and an equally epic production of Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg. All this around brass tours, chamber music concerts for winds and strings. Out of the pit, Lucy Warren and Tony Zhai both passed trials for tutti violin. Congratulations!! Meanwhile, Scott Evans (Principal Trombone) clocked up forty years of service which was acknowledged at a recent company meeting. Calls for a speech were met with a brief one-sentence quip, assuring us that forty years of service was just around the corner for all of us. For those of us fortunate enough to know him, this was possible the shortest speech Scott has ever given – coming in at around fifteen minutes shorter than his usual offering in chamber concerts around the state… Also notable was our EA finally getting through the Fair Work Commission! My sincere thanks to the EA team – President of the OV Musicians’ Committee Anthony Pope, Deputy Union Steward Ben Anderson, along with Lisa-Maree Amos, Rachel Gamer, Jason Bunn and Diane Froomes. Wishing you all a blessed Christmas and a happy, healthy 2019.  Josh de Graaf 29

SOMA Federal Executive meeting Melbourne, November 18-19, 2018 Agenda • Minutes of previous meeting and matters arising • SOMA Financials and Membership • Equity Health Database • ABC Broadcast arrangements • Dealing with interpretive disputes in reading EAs • General organising update: Paul Davies •S  enza Sord • SOMA Conference dates for 2019 • Orchestra Reports • MPA Submission • Music Director appointment processes If anyone would like any further information on the above, or if you have any questions regarding industrial issues in general (personal or otherwise), please see your SOMA representative.

OTHER INFORMATION If you are a member of SOMA, you should also be receiving fairly regular emails from MEAA specifically related to SOMA issues. If this is not the case, perhaps this is a good time to update your email address with MEAA! Contact MEAA Member Central Phone: 1300 656 513 Email: members@meaa.org And for your information the Pay Roll Deduction payment option for SOMA membership fees has been made available on the ‘Join MEAA’ online application form (meaa.org).


Queensland Symphony Orchestra Richard Madden, Trumpet QSO has been very busy post our midyear break. As always, the thought that our big holiday is just around the corner seemed to come a little early. Still four weeks to go but with the Christmas party coming up and a successful main stage finale of Mahler 3 with Alondra we can begin our happy holiday thoughts. After two auditions we welcome Imants Larsens as Principal Viola and Katie Betts

as Tutti Second Violin to continue to strengthen our full-time numbers. There’s still work to do in terms of orchestral strength but our numbers are creeping up. It is great news that Alex Miller, Associate Principal Horn, passed his trial. While on trial Alex was thrown a curve ball that involved a change of conductor due to illness. The conclusion was to change conductor and program due to the lack

Rehearsing movie music in Cairns



of back-up conductors that could sight read Walton’s Symphony No.1 without a rehearsal. Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 was the program change as QSO had performed it in another series a month beforehand, but with Johannes Fritsch as conductor to be our replacement jockey.

Opera and Ballet have been on the agenda with a special on stage appearance by Andre Duthoit and Lynn Cole running up from the pit. However Alex must get another mention due to his special ‘terrible’ Horn solo in Don Quixote. Luckily for all us listening in the pit, Alex had passed his trial, but the final show performance on hose horn will live in my memory for a long time. Bravo.

Alex had not performed the Beethoven, so with a 6:00am call, he was told QSO was to perform the Beethoven at 11:00! No time to think maybe, but to get the job done on trial needs a bit more than a golf clap, but golf clap it is.



Sydney Symphony Orchestra Emily Long, Violin I write this from wintery Wien, one of the first stops on SSO’s tour of Europe, while watching sleet streaking past the window. In the space of 15 days we will perform 12 concerts in Linz, Vienna, Munich, Berlin, Warsaw, Antwerp, Hamburg, Paris, Frankfurt, Luxembourg, Baden-Baden and Aalborg, Denmark. Our first concert was to a standing ovation in the Brucknerhaus Linz (where the backstage call is a brass fanfare from Bruckner Symphony No. 5), and tonight

we play in Vienna’s Konzerthaus. Aalborg will be a fitting place to conclude the tour, as it is famous as the birthplace of Jørn Utzon, architect of the Sydney Opera House. 2018 promises to finish with a bang, literally, with Chief Conductor David Robertson conducting Macmillan’s Percussion Concerto No 2 with star multi-percussionist Martin Grubinger, as well as featuring Renaud Capuçon in both the Berg and Korngold Violin Concertos. The major works of the tour

The SSO’s European tour fittingly concluded in Aalborg – the birthplace of Jørn Utzon



are Beethoven’s Symphony No.7, Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 5, and also Mahler’s Symphony No. 5. Touring the SSO with this repertoire is a massive logistical undertaking – there are 126 in the touring group (including musicians and staff), and six airfreight pallets of freight weighing 5.5 tonnes – too much to fit on one plane!! 2018 will see us bid farewell to muchloved Principal Piccolo Rosamund Plummer, who retires after 33 years in the orchestra. Rose is celebrated not just for her piccolo playing, but also for her Japanese Flute ability, her running adventures, her knitting, and her devotion to her family and her dogs. We welcome two new violinists to the SSO family – first violinist Anička Skálová grew up in the Czech Republic and has come to us from the San Diego Symphony, and Canadian Alice Bartsch has joined the second violin section after being in the Calgary Philharmonic. Australian Alex Morris of the Vancouver Symphony has begun his trial for Principal Bass Clarinet, and Josh Batty joins us from the UK on trial as Principal Flute.

We debuted a very successful new concert format A Night at The Speakeasy where the concert hall became a Prohibition era nightclub, with Guy Noble conducting the orchestra together with the ghost of Gershwin. Speakeasy was the first ever dress-up concert for the orchestra, who were encouraged into wearing 1920s and 30s outfits by a competition for best dressed section. The whole orchestra dressed to impressed, but the competition was narrowly won by the first violins. This season saw the popular return of conductors Ashkenazy, Simone Young and star Anne-Sophie Mutter playing Tchaikovsky, and of course more Star Wars and Harry Potter! We celebrated the orchestra’s eighty years of regional touring with Ben Northey leading us in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 in Nowra, Wollongong and Mittagong. In industrial news, negotiations have gone full-speed ahead on a new Enterprise Agreement, which we expect to vote on soon.

We will leave two of our 2nd violinists in Europe at the end of the tour, as they stay on to the further adventure of job swaps. Rebecca Gill will be swapping the stage for the pit in the Finnish National Opera, and Monique Irik will be joining the Bergen Philharmonic.

HIGHLIGHTS OF 2018 We had some fantastic soloists in Andrew Haveron and Umberto Clerici in Brahms’ Double Concerto, and Ben Jacks in a Mozart Horn Concerto No 3, and the Playlist Series featured the charismatic Katie Hewgill and Kees Boersma. The percussion section wowed audiences in their own concert. 33


Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra Matt Goddard, Principal Timpani Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet. Just in case that wasn’t enough, this was followed in quick succession with a concert performance of Gounod’s opera, Romeo and Juliet, for Marko’s final week. We’re very pleased that this won’t be the last we see of Marko. From 2019 he will take up the position of Conductor Laureate, the first time the TSO has had such a position. Still on the theme of conductors, the orchestra is extremely happy with the announcement of Norwegian conductor Eivind Aadland’s

Photo: Alistair Bett

Less than a handful of weeks away from holiday time we can look back on an eventful few months. The second half of the year saw Chief Conductor Marko Letonja’s final concerts as Chief Conductor and Artistic Director. His final period this year, in keeping with this year’s Shakespeare theme, was packed to the brim with many flavours of Romeo and Juliet. In a concert celebrating TSO’s 70th birthday we performed Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture, Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances from West Side Story and music from

TSO Brass and Percussion perform at St David’s Cathedral in Hobart



appointment as our next Chief Conductor and Artistic Director, commencing in 2020 and with the appointment of former Assistant Conductor, Elena Schwarz, to the position of Associate Conductor from next year. Nicholas Heyward, TSO’s CEO for the past seventeen years, retires at the end of the year and we look forward to welcoming Caroline Sharpen as our new CEO in the New Year. Outside of the regular subscription concerts, interesting projects have included performances of Benjamin Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia with Victorian Opera as part of the Dark MOFO Festival, the 2019 Australian Composer’s School and the second of two

concerts by the Brass and Percussion at St David’s Cathedral. In October we toured to Melbourne for a concert performance of Bellini’s Capulets and Montagues with Victorian Opera at Hamer Hall and a concert with Principal Guest Conductor Johannes Fritzsch which included Schubert’s ‘Great’ C major symphony and Richard Strauss’ Orchestral Songs with the wonderful Siobhan Stagg. On the industrial front, our new Enterprise Agreement is currently at Fair Work awaiting approval. We’re hoping to have the thumbs up before we go on holidays. We on the negotiating team are very much enjoying some time off before we need to start thinking about the next one!

Marko Letonja, soloists, orchestra and chorus after the performance of Gounod’s Romeo and Juliet



West Australian Symphony Orchestra Rachael Kirk, Violin This year WASO has been celebrating its 90th birthday with a number of special events throughout the year. The highlight of the year’s festivities was undoubtedly the concert performances of Tristan and Isolde with Asher Fisch and a stellar international cast lead by Stuart Skelton and Gun-Brit Barkmin in the title roles. These performances exceeded all the expectations of the orchestra, audience and critics alike and we look forward to similar projects in future years.

With the assistance of the WA State Government, we were able to take our 90th celebrations to two regional centres, with performances in Geraldton and Kalgoorlie for the first time in eighteen years and sixteen years respectively. Touring within our vast state is a very costly and it’s ironic interstate organisations can apply for federal funding and fly thousands of kilometres to tour WA but local groups are ineligible.

Other recent musical highlights include two ‘French’ weeks with Ludovic Morlot, Gautier Capucon and Jean-Yves Thibaudet, and a dramatic Shostakovich Symphony No. 8 with Karina Canellakis.

In September we performed the original Star Wars movie in a week that coincided with Grand Final fever in Perth. We got into the spirit of the week by filming the West Coast Eagles song with ex-Eagle Sam Butler

WASO cheering on the West Coast Eagles



Earlier this year our CEO, Craig Whitehead, announced his decision to defect to QSO next year after 10 years at the helm of WASO. Craig leaves WASO in a stable financial position and over the years he’s built up a collaborative and united spirit within the Company. We wish him well for his return ‘home’ and for all the challenges our colleagues in QSO will undoubtedly throw his way. The search has begun for our new CEO to fill the big shoes left by Craig.

Xiaole Wu and David Yeh at Geraldton Airport

conducting and we also performed the song (conducted by Richmond supporter, Ben Northey) before each of the Star Wars performances much to the delight of the audience and the Eagles fans amongst us. Our support clearly made all the difference on Grand Final Day.

COMINGS AND GOINGS In July we farewelled Associate Principal Trumpet Evan Cromie who has left WASO after seventeen years of music-making. We miss Evan and we send him our best wishes for his new ventures. We welcome two new members to our violin section, Kathryn Shinnick and Lucas O’Brien, who recently passed their trials. We’re also delighted that one of our tutti violinists, Kate Sullivan, successfully completed her trial for Assistant Principal Second Violin. It’s been a big year for Kate as she and her husband Paul became first-time parents in September with the birth of little Oscar. Our Operations Manager Jenna Costello and her husband David also added to the WASO family with the birth of baby Emilia in October. Congratulations to all.

Robyn Gray and Cerys Tooby get ready for Star Wars



New Zealand Symphony Orchestra Gregory Squire, Violin The NZSO is nearing the end of its busiest year in a long time, with well over one hundred appearances across the country. The variety of these concerts has meant we are reaching new audiences, regularly showcasing New Zealand composers and soloists alongside our international guests.

Manuel de Falla’s Three-Cornered Hat sparkled with Spanish fire and Jolivet’s Bassoon Concerto was superbly played by former NYO player Todd Gibson-Cornish, now Principal Bassoonist with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. Josiah Carr was the NYO composer in residence and his work, a reflection on the trees of Whakarewarewa

Photo: Bryson Rooney

Prime Minister Jacinda Adern, (who is also Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage) expressed delight at being able to play the recording we made with Simon O’Neill of the Brahms Lullaby to her newly born daughter, Neve Te Aroha.

More youthful exuberance was on display the following week with the NZSO National Youth Orchestra. Conductor Jaime Martin was an inspired choice to lead these young musicians through the challenging programme.

NZSO & Phoenix Foundation – Phoenix Foundation celebrates 20 years by touring with the NZSO



Photo: Laurence Reese

Bassonists in disguise – the Bassoon section adds to the Harry Potter spectacle

Forest, was described in the press review as ‘a most compelling piece of sound painting’. Our own Principal Bassoonist, Robert Weeks, was enjoying a well earned break, having the previous week performed Mozart’s Bassoon Concerto all over the North Island with us. Two bassoon concertos in one season! Who’d have thought it? Opportunities to dress up included our Comic-Con Tribute and then The Music of Harry Potter while the irrepressible Chris Lam Sam fronted our school concerts sporting suits that were even louder than the orchestra.

Professor Dolores Jane Umbridge aka NZSO cellist Brigid O’Meeghan

Then it was the Classical Hits tour – eleven concerts where we travelled the length of the country, showcasing a new work by Gillian Whitehead alongside great music from previous generations. Entitled Turanga-nui it reflected on the first landing of Captain Cook and was enthusiastically received by our audiences.

Kiwi musicianship of a different kind was next. Our collaboration with Wellington band Phoenix Foundation was given rave reviews as it travelled around the country.

NZSO Principal Cellist Andrew Joyce then took centre stage for riveting performances of Tchaikovsky’s Variations on a Rococo Theme before joining us to explore the many craft breweries we found on our travels.

Phoenix have written some great songs and the four composers who provided the orchestral arrangements added both power and emotional depth to the music.

All of this was happening around our main subscription series where we continued to bring large-scale symphonic works to our New Zealand audiences.



Photo: Gregory Squire

NZSO 1st violinists led by Super Mario Concertmaster Yuka Eguchi (far left) at Comic-Con

Photo: Peter Barber

1 and 9. Next year is looking equally exciting, varied and busy so the summer break will give us all a chance to recover and relax with friends and family.

Violas@Comic.con – Violists Sam Burstin and Peter Barber obviously know the music well enough not to need to be able to see it

Jaime Martin inspired us with his compelling account of Shostakovich’s 10th Symphony. Peter Oundjian brought his own selection of Prokofieff’s ballet music to Romeo and Juliet, and paired up with cellist Johannes Moser in Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto No.1, while Lars Vogt was a persuasive advocate for Mozart, both as pianist and director.

In other news we resigned ourselves to losing the two longest standing members of the horn section, Gregory Hill and Heather Thompson, but made sure we gave them a rousing send-off. On the plus side, we have three new appointments. Violist Beatrix Francis, recently joined us from Sydney with her husband Adam and has already given birth to a beautiful baby called Bjorn. Early next year Wellingtonian Nicholas Hancox, currently Principal Viola of the Lübeck Philharmonic Orchestra, returns from Europe to join the section. Ignacio de Nicolas Gaya will also be moving from Europe with his family to take up the position of Principal Piccolo in 2019. With the weather rapidly improving we’d like to wish everyone a joyful and peaceful summer and a successful 2019.

Highlights from Music Director Edo de Wart included Rachmaninov’s Symphony No.2, Mahler’s Symphony No.7 and Brahms’ Symphony No.2, and we are about to end the year with Beethoven’s symphonies 40



Penultimate Bar Some of you may remember Bruce Ridge, the indefatigable and inspirational Chair of ICSOM for many years. Bruce has recently published a collection of essays and speeches from his ten-year tenure which are well-worth reading if you need an injection of optimism from an insider!

The Amazon Kindle link is: https://www.amazon.com/dp/ B07GBGBTN1/ref=sr_1_1?s=digitaltext&ie=UTF8&qid=1533864546&sr=11&keywords=bruce+ridge

Mark Bruwel has kindly passed on his message:

I hope everything is going well for SOMA. It remains my one regret that I was not able to visit the orchestral musicians of Australia during my tenure as ICSOM Chair.

Dear Mark, I hope this message finds you well!

Please stay in touch, and I send my very best wishes to you and all my friends in Australia!

I wanted to let you know that I have just published a book that is a collection of my essays and speeches from the ten years that I served as ICSOM Chair. It is called Last Year’s Words, and Next Year’s Voices: Essays and Speeches from a Decade as Chairman of the International Conference of Symphony and Opera Musicians.


I thought that it might be of interest to the members of SOMA.


Bruce Ridge 505 West Aycock Street Raleigh, North Carolina 27608 919-833-8720 (h) 919-971-1160 (c)

As of now, the paperback edition is available only from the publisher. Soon the paperback version will be available on Amazon and other large bookselling websites (in fact, the Kindle version was posted to Amazon today) but I hope that anyone interested might prefer buying it from the small publisher. The link for the book is: http://www.lulu.com/ shop/bruce-ridge/last-years-words-and-nextyears-voices-essays-and-speeches-froma-decade-as-chairman-of-the-internationalconference-of-symphony-and-opera-musicians/paperback/product-23736045.html and there is an e-version available there as well.



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Senza Sord December 2018  

December 2018 edition of Senza Sord, the official publication of the Symphony Orchestra Musician Association.

Senza Sord December 2018  

December 2018 edition of Senza Sord, the official publication of the Symphony Orchestra Musician Association.

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