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vertures SEPTEMBER 2016

CHINA HERE WE COME! PREPARATIONS are gathering apace for the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra’s tour of China this coming December–January. Conducted by Chief Conductor Marko Letonja, the orchestra will give nine concerts in seven cities over a two-week period. Four separate concert programs will be performed, encompassing music by Prokofiev, Stravinsky and Australian composers Elena Kats-Chernin, Julian Yu and Graeme Koehne. Stuart Thomson, TSO Principal Double Bass, will appear as soloist in Tan Dun’s The Wolf – Concerto for Double Bass, a work co-commissioned by the TSO and given its Australian première by Stuart and the TSO in Hobart last year. Ed Benyon, Director Development, has been extremely busy these past few months coordinating all aspects of the tour. He has been in close consultation with Barry Plews and Hu He of Hobart/ Shanghai based Reckless Moments, who are producing the tour. “The complexities of moving a full symphony orchestra for a lengthy stay across

Above: Shanghai, the last stop on the TSO tour.

many jurisdictions with multiple concert programs within China are enormous,” said Ed. “Fortunately, Barry and Hu He are experts in working in China, and the resulting tour will be incredible. We expect to reach a total concert audience of 8,000, and our planned Shanghai radio broadcast will reach an additional 240,000 listeners. 248,000 people introduced to the TSO…that’s exciting!” The TSO is grateful to the State Government for providing the initial grant to help make the tour possible. The TSO also thanks the Australian Government for its support for the tour through the Australia-China Council of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. A tour for supporters of the TSO is also being organised, so should you wish to travel with the orchestra, experience the concerts for yourself and take in the sights and sounds of China, please contact Jessica Armson, Philanthropy and Special Events Coordinator, on 03 6232 4405 or

Below: Xiamen, one of the seven cities on the itinerary.


STEFANIE FARRANDS, TSO Principal Viola, is the winner of this year’s Freedman Classical Fellowship, one of the nation’s most prestigious music awards. Freedman Fellowship applicants not only have to be highly skilled performers, but are required to outline how they intend to use the $20,000 award, should they be successful. Stefanie’s winning proposal was to use the fellowship to commission, perform and record new Australian works for viola. Along with the two other finalists, Stefanie was required to give a recital at the Eugene Goossens Hall in Sydney on 17 September that was broadcast live on ABC Classic FM. Her recital included the world première of a new Australian work, Talking Points, by Natalie Williams. The TSO is proud to count Stefanie among its musicians and congratulates her on this very significant win.

CLASSIC MUSIC IN CLASSIC FOOTWEAR IT’S NOT EVERY DAY that you see a chamber orchestra performing in Blundstone boots, but at the inaugural Live Sessions concert on Friday 12 August all 11 musicians from the TSO were decked out in the iconic Tassie footwear. Blundstone generously provided the performers

CONTRACT RENEWED FOR MANAGING DIRECTOR The Board of Directors is delighted to announce that it has renewed Nicholas Heyward’s contract as the TSO’s Managing Director, initially through 2017 and 2018. “We congratulate Nicholas on his many achievements. We look forward to his strong leadership of the TSO as we move into a period of exciting new projects, beginning with the orchestra’s China tour this coming December– January”, said Dr David Rich, Chair of the TSO Board.


in this concert and the follow-up one on 30 September with complimentary boots (to keep!). Held at the Hobart Brewing Company, Macquarie Point, the Live Sessions is a new initiative aimed at bringing orchestral music to a mostly young and diverse audience.

CHAIRMAN’S LUNCH 2016 CHAIRMAN’S LUNCH – SAVE THE DATE! David Rich, TSO Chair, is pleased to announce that Rupert Myer, Chair of The Australian Council for the Arts, will be guest speaker at the Chairman’s Lunch, to be held at the Jones & Co Room, Henry Jones Art Hotel, on Friday 11 November at 12 noon. The Chairman’s Lunch is a great opportunity to meet fellow TSO supporters along with business leaders while listening to an inspiring speaker. Full tables of ten or single seats are available. For more information or to book, please contact Ed Benyon, Director Development, on 03 6232 4430 or

In addition to Blundstone, the TSO would like to thank other corporate supporters of the Live Sessions: Clemenger Tasmania, Foot and Playsted and, of course, the Hobart Brewing Company. Photo: Tom Birchley.

MONTY WAIN RISING STAR This year’s Rising Star Competition attracted 11 talented young musicians. The winner was double bassist Monty Wain, who will perform the first movement of Koussevitzky’s Concerto for Double Bass at The Composer is Dead, a Family Classics concert in Federation Concert Hall on Thursday 6 October. Come along and hear why Monty truly is a Rising Star!



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MARKO LETONJA, Chief Conductor and Artistic Director, welcomed guests of honour, pianist THE Javier Perianes and composer Melody Eötvös, along with members of the Conductor’s Circle, to a fundraising dinner at the Boat House Restaurant, Hobart, on 3 August. Javier and Melody were in Hobart for the Master Series concert on 5 August, which included the Grieg Piano Concerto and the world première of a composition by Melody, The Saqqara Bird. Over the course of the evening, members of the Conductor’s Circle were able to become better acquainted with each other and TSO musicians, deepen their relationship with Marko and come to know the distinguished guests.

LUNCH WITH ISOLDE NINA STEMME, who was recently hailed by the New York Times as “the world’s reigning Isolde”, will be the special guest of honour at a lunch to be held at The Source Restaurant, MONA, on Sunday 20 November, the day following the performance of excerpts from Tristan and Isolde. Hosted by Marko Letonja, the lunch will be an opportunity for members of the Conductor’s Circle to enjoy the company of our Chief Conductor and the world’s No 1 Wagnerian soprano. If you are interested in becoming a member of the Conductor’s Circle and coming along to this gala lunch, please contact Jessica Armson, Philanthropy and Special Events Coordinator, on 03 6232 4405 or

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1 Marko Letonja with Don and Anne Challen.


2 Nikki Johnston, Alison Malcolm and Kathy Brown. 3 John and Chris Sandow, who recently became Principal Trumpet Chair Patrons. 4 Javier Perianes and Melody Eötvös. 5 Marilyn Canterford, Frances Underwood and Denise Chapman. 6 Alan Boulton and Pat Leary.

PACKED HOUSE FOR ST MATTHEW PASSION Richard Gill conducted a sold-out performance of JS Bach’s St Matthew Passion in Federation Concert Hall on 9 July that brought together the TSO, a distinguished group of soloists, the TSO Chorus, Festival of Voices Choir and Festival of Voices Youth Choir. With nearly 300 choristers taking part, the members of the Festival of Voices Choir had to be accommodated in the first six rows of the stalls. The St Matthew Passion was sung in a special bilingual version prepared by June Tyzack, TSO Chorusmaster, with the chorales sung in English and the remainder of the work in the original German. In a first for the TSO, surtitles were projected above the stage. The TSO is delighted to have contributed to this year’s Festival of Voices with this successful collaboration.


SUBSTANTIAL GIFT TO TSO FOUNDATION The TSO Foundation has taken receipt of a gift of $200,000 from Mike and Carole Ralston. Dick Shoobridge, Chair of the TSO Foundation, acknowledged the “extraordinary generosity” of Mike and Carole and said that “the very substantial gift will assist the TSO Foundation to continue to support the orchestra now and in the future.” Mike and Carole Ralston have been very generous donors to the orchestra over many years and Mike has been a director of the TSO Foundation since its formation in 2008. The TSO would like to echo Dick Shoobridge’s words and thank Mike and Carole for their exceptional generosity. Mike and Carole Ralston with Nicholas Heyward, TSO Managing Director.

COMINGS AND GOINGS Having served the maximum term allowed, JOHN UPCHER retired from the TSO Board in May. John was appointed to the Board in September 2007 and became Deputy Chair in May 2015. A former partner of the law firm Dobson, Mitchell & Allport and, until recently, a member of the Legal Profession Board of Tasmania, he has been on the board of a number of Tasmanian arts companies. He is a former Chairman of the Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts Management Committee. He is currently Chairman of the Property Agents Board, a Director of Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra Foundation Ltd, and Deputy Chairman of the Council of the Foundation of the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery. He says that it has been a huge privilege to be involved in the governance of such an excellent small orchestra. The TSO would like to thank John for his selfless and diligent work over the years and acknowledge his continuing role with the TSO Foundation.

SHARON WINTERS joined the TSO in May as Senior Business Services Officer, a position she describes as her “dream job”. For the past 12 years Sharon has balanced part-time work with raising her three boys but now that they are mostly grown up, she’s relishing the opportunity to work full-time at the TSO. Sharon has lived in Tasmania for over 20 years – having relocated from Sydney – and enjoys camping, gardening and walking the dog. She is also a keen imbiber of Tasmanian wines but that particular guilty pleasure is offset by her enthusiasm for yoga. Although Sharon modestly describes herself as “not musical”, she is a long-time fan of the TSO and has fostered an appreciation of music among her children. Between them, the boys play piano, saxophone, classical guitar, percussion, cello, ukulele and bass guitar. “It’s a pleasure to join the TSO team,” she said, “and I would like to thank all those staff and musicians who have made me feel so welcome.”

NEW PROJECT FOR YOUNG COMPOSERS THE TSO, in partnership with the UTAS Conservatorium of Music and Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG), inaugurated the Composers’ Project, an exciting new training initiative for composition students in

grade 11/12. Nine Tasmanian high school students and six music teachers took part, guided by Dr Maria Grenfell, Co-ordinator of Composition and Classical Music at the Conservatorium of Music. Over a fourmonth period, each student composed an original piece of small-ensemble music inspired by an artwork in Tempest, a major exhibition at TMAG. These works were workshopped by musicians from the TSO and recorded professionally for student use in portfolio assessment. Additionally, participants were given the opportunity to attend two TSO concerts, one in Hobart and one in Launceston, and to sit among TSO musicians during an open rehearsal in the TSO Studio where the orchestra played two works by Maria Grenfell. Each student also had a composition lesson with


Dr Grenfell. All of the student compositions were performed before an enthusiastic audience at TMAG on 2 July. The artwork that inspired each work was projected on

a screen behind the performers. The TSO will be running the TSO Composers’ Project again next year. Monica Naselow, David Robins and Stuart Thomson perform one of the student works at TMAG.

JUNE TYZACK, TSO Chorusmaster, welcomed members of the Conductor’s Circle to a rehearsal by the TSO Chorus on 19 July. After chatting with choristers over a glass of wine, members of the Conductor’s Circle attended the first rehearsal of Haydn’s Creation and witnessed another act of creation – a major choral work gradually taking shape. The first rehearsal was seven weeks ahead of the performance on 10 September. Should you wish to become a member of the Conductor’s Circle and attend the next backstage event, please contact Jessica Armson, Philanthropy and Special Events Coordinator, on 03 6232 4405 or


UNICA WEALTH hosted a lively cocktail party on 19 May to launch formally its partnership with the TSO. In addition to clients and friends, Unica generously invited all TSO staff, musicians, Board members and other significant TSO stakeholders.

Above: Dominic Mulcahy, Managing Director, Unica Wealth. Below: Emma McGrath, TSO Concertmaster.

Held in the Jones & Co Room at the Henry Jones Art Hotel, the packed event featured a live music performance by Emma McGrath, TSO Concertmaster. It was a great opportunity not only for Unica Wealth and the TSO to become better acquainted, but for all those present to mix and mingle and enjoy the superb hospitality. As ever, the TSO is grateful for the financial support it receives from its corporate partners and would like to thank Unica Wealth for coming on board as a Major Partner. We look forward to Unica’s next sponsored event – the Chairman’s Lunch on 11 November. For more information on TSO partnership opportunities or to talk through any type of partnership or collaboration, please contact Ed Benyon, Director Development, on 03 6232 4430 or 5


CALENDAR Saturday 8 October, 2.30pm, Preview of TSO 2017 Season with Simon Rogers, TSO Studio. Sunday 13 November, 2.30pm, Meet Will Newbery and Friends, TSO Studio.

Ruby Austin-Lund and her proud mum, Christine.

Each year TSO Friends awards $450 to the student who achieves the highest TCE music score and goes on to study at the Conservatorium of Music at the University of Tasmania. We are pleased to announce this year’s winner: Ruby Austin-Lund from Somerset, in north-west Tasmania. A former student at Hellyer College, Ruby is currently enrolled in a Bachelor of Music degree, majoring as a singersongwriter. She has been writing and performing her own songs for a number of years, and also plays saxophone

and piano. Her ambition is to forge a professional career as a composer-performer. TSO Friends wishes Ruby every success for the future.

Sunday 27 November, 11am, Christmas Function, TSO Studio.


RSVP to the TSO Box Office 1800 001 190 or email for all of these events.

Over the past few months members of TSO Friends have been lending a hand to sell tickets in the Dubai Opera House Raffle, a key TSO fundraising initiative for the year. Generously donated by Emirates, the prize comprises return flights for two to Dubai, four nights’ accommodation at the JW Marriott Marquis, VIP tickets to a performance at the new Dubai Opera House, a desert safari and other Arabian adventures. The raffle was drawn during interval at the Matinee Series concert on 17 September and was won by David and Sue Wills (at left). Congratulations!

MEET THE MUSICIAN EVENTS TSO Friends have been treated to some marvellous Meet the Musician events in recent months. A gathering of TSO Friends in Hobart was delighted to spend an entertaining afternoon with flautist Katie Zagorski on 25 June. Katie, who is currently on contract with the TSO while Lloyd Hudson is on leave, spoke about her fluteplaying career and performed two works. The first, Scrivo in Vento by legendary American composer Elliott Carter, takes its title from a poem by 14th-century poet Petrarch. It is a demanding work involving extreme contrasts – from shrill, violent tones, to soft, legato passages. Katie’s performance demonstrated her stunning technique and keen sensitivity. Katie also captivated the audience with her performance of JS Bach’s Partita in A Minor for solo flute. Again, a technically challenging work that was performed brilliantly. Yoram Levy, TSO Principal Trumpet, very kindly volunteered to appear at two Meet the Musician events: in Launceston on 31 July and Hobart on 7 August. Accompanied on piano by Catherine Hamilton in Launceston and Karen Smithies in Hobart, Yoram performed the first movement of Telemann’s Concerto in D for Corno da caccia, the posthorn solo from Mahler’s Symphony No 3, an excerpt from Mozart’s Serenade No 9 (Posthorn) and Willow Echoes, a cornet solo by Frank Simon. Yoram also demonstrated a range of smaller brass instruments and drew on his considerable professional knowledge in speaking about the history and development of the trumpet. “Is there actually a physical difference between a trumpet and, say, a flugelhorn or a cornet?” asked a curious audience member. “Indeed there is”, answered Yoram. “A trumpet has cylindrical tubing with a constant diameter (before it


reaches the bell) and produces a brighter, penetrating tone. However, most members of the horn family, including the cornet, have a conical bore – that is, the tubing in these instruments has a constantly increasing diameter – producing a warmer, more mellow tone”. An interesting and possibly little-known difference. Heartfelt thanks to Yoram and Katie for so generously making themselves available for these popular events, which are so important in bringing the orchestra and its supporters closer together. More recently we’ve enjoyed Meet the Musician events with Emma McGrath (21 August) and Jennifer Marten-Smith (4 September), and a Double Bass Quartet concert (25 September). More about these in the December issue of Overtures!

Above right: Yoram Levy with John Hagan and Owen Mulcahy. Right: Katie Zagorski, Cynthia Johnson and Kevin Hogue.

Take me to Rio Take Me to Rio, a Family Classics concert on 10 August, was preceded by a colourful samba demonstration in Federation Concert Hall foyer given by Leila Ozรณrio who danced to the live sounds of a combo made up of TSO percussionists. As you can see from these photos, Leila looked amazing in her authentic Brazilian headdress and young concert-goers got a kick out of learning Latin dance moves.


CODETTA As Overtures goes to print, Nina Stemme and Stuart Skelton are wowing New York audiences in performances of Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde, conducted by Sir Simon Rattle, at the Metropolitan Opera. The Met’s 2016-17 season opened with Tristan on 26 September, the first of six performances. Both Nina Stemme and Stuart Skelton will be appearing in Hobart fresh from their New York triumphs when they perform excerpts

from Tristan und Isolde in concert under Marko Letonja in Federation Concert Hall on Saturday 19 November. Joining them, in the role of Brangäne, will be acclaimed Slovenian mezzo-soprano Monika Bohinec. If you haven’t yet purchased tickets to this very special event, go to or phone the TSO Box Office on 1800 001 190. The TSO congratulates Mike Ralston on being admitted as a Member of the Order of Australia in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours List. Mike was recognised “For significant service to medical practice, research and governance, particularly in the

TSO PARTNERS CORE PUBLIC SUPPORT The Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra is assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body, and the Tasmanian Government through the Minister for the Arts, and the Tasmanian Icon Program.


Ciara Nicholls, TSO Marketing Executive, spent a week in Scotland in July visiting various performing arts organisations including the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and the Scottish Ballet. Ciara was able to go on her fact-finding mission courtesy of funds secured through the Symphony Services International Arts Administration Professional Development Fund. In addition to picking up marketing tips from performing arts organisations, Ciara attended the annual Arts Marketing Association Conference, the largest gathering of its kind in the UK, with over 600 delegates. Ciara arrived back at the TSO brimming with fresh ideas. Stay tuned! Felicitations to Rohana O’Malley, TSO Tutti Violin, and her husband Ryan on the birth of their first child, Kentia Caelyn O’Malley, who came into the world on 14 August. Now you know why you haven’t seen Rohana in the orchestra of late! Mother, father and daughter are all doing well. Speaking of TSO string players, Douglas Coghill is currently trialling in the position of Tutti Viola. Congratulations to Douglas on successfully passing his audition.


The TSO’s concert with Kate Miller-Heidke, which formed part of MOFO 2016, won “Best Australian Contemporary Concert” at this year’s Helpmann Awards. This follows up the TSO’s 2014 Helpmann win for the Hobart Baroque concert with Julia Lezhneva.


If you’re wondering what the TSO has in store for 2017, the wait is nearly over! Subscription brochures for next year’s season should be posted on Thursday 13 October. Full concert information will be available at the TSO website on Friday 14 October. Subscriptions will open at 10am on that date.


The TSO was delighted to take receipt of new orchestral folders for Outreach concerts donated by Jonathan Eadie of Print Tasmania. Our orchestral parts have never looked so smart as in their new, sturdy, beautifully embossed folders. Thank you Jonathan!




For information on TSO Partner opportunities, please contact Ed Benyon on 03 6232 4430 or

We also wish to thank Foot & Playsted In Graphic Detail

Federation Concert Hall ALSO WISH TOTasmania THANK7000 Australia 1WE Davey Street, Hobart GPO Box 1450 Hobart TAS 7001 Australia BOX OFFICE Telephone: 03 6232 4450 Facsimile: 03 6232 4455 Email: Freecall: 1800 001 190

field of pathology and laboratory services.” You can read more about Mike and his wife Carole on page 4 of Overtures.

ADMINISTRATION Telephone: 03 6232 4444 Facsimile: 03 6232 4455 Email:


And on the subject of Outreach, Stuart Thomson, TSO Principal Double Bass, and Jo St Leon, viola, gave a lively presentation to about 50 audience members at Mathers House, Hobart, on 17 May. The TSO and TSO Chorus were delighted to play their part in celebrations marking the 150th anniversary of Hobart Town Hall. The key event was a performance of Haydn’s The Creation on 10 September, the same work that formed part of festivities when Hobart Town Hall was opened in 1866. Musicians from the TSO also gave free chamber music concerts in Town Hall the following week.

© 2016 Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra Pty Ltd ABN 81 088 230 184

Photo credits front page: SHANGHAI By dawvon – Pudong, CC BY 2.0, https://commons. php?curid=7135607 XIAMEN By Rolfmueller – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://

Profile for Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra

Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra Overtures Magazine September 2016  

Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra Overtures Magazine September 2016  


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