Familiar tones of Schubert’s Piano Quintet “The Trout” will ring out across Australia when Melbourne Digital Concert Hall launches a festival of six recitals over the May long weekend.
The chamber music festival is sponsored by Victorian arts patron Michael Aquilina, building on an initiative that has raised $200,000 for musicians living on JobKeeper wages or less since COVID-19 restrictions ended live performance.
The quintet is led by Dale Barltrop, principal of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and as first violin of the Australian String Quartet.
The Trout is at 7pm AEST, followed by Melbourne’s Fidelio Quartet with Beethoven’s String Quartet in A Minor Opus 132, a homage to the great composer’s 250th anniversary, at 8.30pm.
Then at 10pm, bass player Ben Hanlon and guitarist James Sherlock present Stravinsky meets Jazz, featuring their take on Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring and Petroushka suites, with cameos by Schubert, Massenet, Debussy and Gershwin.
On Sunday at 3pm, Low Brass Fantasy – trombonists Jessica Buzbee and Richard Shirley, with bass trombonist Mike Szabo and tuba player Tim Buzbee – will mellow out the afternoon with Meador’s Quartet No. 1, Forbes’ Day At Sea, Strauss’s An Alpine Fantasy, and Holsinger’s On A Hymnsong of Phillip Bliss.
The finale is a medley of familiar Stephen Foster songs from the Deep South – Old Folks at Home, Camptown Races, Beautiful Dreamer, and Oh! Susanna.
At 5pm, a Woodwind French Odyssey will present Francaix, Faure and Poulenc, and at 7pm PLEXUS trio with guests offer music by Schauble and Cawrse, culminating in Straus’s Four Last Songs sung by soprano Greta Bradman.
Each concert is an hour long, with individual tickets at $24 and a festival pass for $115.
Melbourne Digital Concert Hall is an initiative of Victorian duo Chris Howlett and Adele Schonhardt which raises and distributes funds for professional musicians.
The concerts are live at the advertised time, including satellite nights from Sydney and Perth.