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Artistic Patron Graham Johnson

About Unique in the musical landscape of Australia, Songmakers Australia brings together some of the country’s leading singers and instrumentalists in a diverse repertoire comprising some of the pinnacles of chamber music. Under the artistic patronage of Graham Johnson, founding director of the acclaimed London-based Songmakers Almanac, pianist Andrea Katz teams with soprano Merlyn Quaife, mezzo-soprano Sally-Anne Russell and bassbaritone Nicholas Dinopoulos in inspired programs that feature a dynamic interplay of song and chamber music. The ensemble presents a yearly subscription series at the Melbourne Recital Centre, where they have been Local Heroes since their foundation in 2011. They enjoy numerous invitations to perform at leading festivals and recital series Australia-wide (Melbourne Festival, Art Gallery of NSW, Peninsula Summer Music Festival, Art Song Canberra and the Art Gallery of Ballarat) and they are regularly heard nationally in live-to-air broadcasts. Guest artists include Australia’s leading chamber musicians (among others, pianists Caroline Almonte and Amir Farid, tenor Andrew Goodwin, violist Brett Dean, cellist Howard Penny, and clarinettist David Griffiths). 2012 saw a collaboration with leading contemporary music exponents Syzygy Ensemble for three performances of Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire for the Melbourne Festival. A strong commitment to contemporary Australian composition has led to the world première performance of Gordon Kerry’s Five Cantos from John Kinsella’s Divine Comedy and the Australian première of Stephen Hough’s Other Love Songs. In 2014, they commission a new song cycle for vocal quartet and piano four-hands by Melbourne composer Roger Heagney to an original text by Graeme Ellis.

Media Artist Biographies:    

Andrea Katz piano / artistic director Merlyn Quaife soprano Sally-Anne Russell mezzo-soprano Nicholas Dinopoulos bass-baritone

Audio Samples:  

Youtube SoundCloud

Press and Critical Acclaim:      

Review: A Rhine Journey Review: Other Love Songs Review: Pierrot Lunaire Review: The Seasons Feature: Pierrot Lunaire Feature: Songmakers Australia

Sample Programs All programs listed are approximately 1 hour in duration, without interval.

He, Zigeuner! (four voices, piano four-hands) th

A 19 century romantic view of Gypsies' spontaneous love of music and singing. Song cycles by Brahms and Dvořák.

Other Love Songs (four voices, piano four-hands)

In an eclectic program, we celebrate the universal nature of love, featuring Stephen Hough's song cycle, Other Love Songs. Also including song cycles by Eisler and Brahms.

Sea Pictures (two voices, piano)

An exploration of man's fascination with the sea. Songs and duets by Fauré and Brahms and featuring the iconic Sea Pictures by Sir Edward Elgar.

L'isle Joyeuse (two voices, cello, piano)

Celebrating the extraordinary musical creation Claude Debussy. A selection of songs, the beautifully evocative Cello Sonata and L’isle Joyeuse, The Happy Island, inspired by Watteau’s painting L’embarquement pour Cythère.

The Seasons (voice, small instrumental ensemble or piano trio)

Sultry Tango nights. Travel to Buenos Aires and explore the music of one of its most revered and reviled composers, Astor Piazzolla.

Clarinet Romance (voice, clarinet, piano)

Heart-warming music for the rhapsodic combination of soprano and clarinet. Songs by Mozart, Spohr, Sutherland and Schubert’s breath-taking tour-de-force, The Shepherd on the Rock.

Schwanengesang (voice, piano)

A complete performance of the great Schubert song cycle.

A Rhine Journey (voice, piano)

A pilgrimage down the river Rhine deeply rooted in fantasy and legend. Including Wagner’s Wesendonck Lieder and songs by Schumann, Liszt and Mahler.

Contact Andrea Katz, artistic director 0414 015 705

Songmakers Australia press kit 2014  
Songmakers Australia press kit 2014