MEDIA RELEASE: Wednesday 18th February 2015
Sydney Youth Orchestra
"Legends of Past"
A commemorative orchestral tribute to the100th Anniversary of the birth of the ANZAC legend.
The Sydney Youth Orchestra (SYO) is pleased to present the Australian premiere performance of Adrian Sutton’s War Horse Suite in a special commemorative concert that pays tribute to Australia’s involvement in the First World War and the ANZAC legend.
The Sydney Youth Orchestra’s commemorative concert, Legends of Past will feature five extraordinary works. Opening with the world premiere of a new work by celebrated young Australian composer Andrew Howes, Cathedra depicts the powerful themes of loyalty, honour, loss, courage and mateship in a special tribute to mark the 100th Anniversary of the ANZAC landing at Gallipoli.
This will be followed by a world first, when the SYO presents an innovative combination of Adrian Sutton’s War Horse Suite, an orchestral work of epic proportions rooted in emotional 20th century symphonic language that includes evocative folk songs; preceded by a monologue of Loyal Creatures by Morris Gleitzman in a unique performance that promises the audience a heart-felt journey through time to feel the spirit of the ANZAC legend.
Mr Stephen Mould will conduct the Australian premiere performance of War Horse Suite which includes original folk songs from the War Horse production, The Year Turns Round Again and Only Remembered (Lyrics by John Tams, Music by Adrian Sutton) performed by Australian folk singer John Thompson. This will be a unique and powerful tribute to the First World War Australian Light Horse Regiment introduced through Morris Gleitzman’s Loyal Creatures monologue performed by Paul William Mawhinney. Both Mr Thompson and Mr Mawhinney are original cast members of Global Creatures and the National Theatre of Great Britain’s Australian production of War Horse that toured Australia in 2013.
“As the composer of the music score for the stage production War Horse, I'm especially thrilled that Sydney Youth Orchestra will give the first Australian performance of my War Horse Suite because young players are the lifeblood of tomorrow's orchestras,” composer Adrian Sutton said.
Carmen Pavlovic, CEO of Global Creatures said, “It is the aspiration of Global Creatures to nurture and give voice to new and creative live performance. We hope our support for the Sydney Youth Orchestra’s performance of War Horse Suite as part of this special tribute concert will provide these extremely talented young musicians with an invaluable learning and performance experience.”
Stephanie Hutchinson, general manager of Sydney Youth Orchestras said, “It’s an incredible honour for the Sydney Youth Orchestra to premiere War Horse Suite in Australia in Legends of Past which will be a very special performance to pay tribute to the Australian men and women who fought for our country one hundred years ago.
“Through this unique performance incorporating the Loyal Creatures’ monologue together with the use of vocal folk music, the SYO will create a new and exciting performance and acoustic landscape to provide a powerful artistic reference that links the internationally acclaimed War Horse themes to the Australian Light Horse Regiment in the hearts and minds of the audience,” Ms Hutchinson said.
While the performance of Cathedra and War Horse Suite depict the tragedy of war on man and nature, the second half of the concert provides a powerful and uplifting repertoire acknowledging the redemptive powers of music and nature to restore peace through the virtuosic brilliance of Dimity Hall (Violin) and Julian Smiles (cello) as they join the Sydney Youth Orchestra in a performance of Brahms's Double Concerto for Violin and Cello.
Debussy's La Mer concludes this inspiring concert paying tribute to the power of nature and its ability to transcend human conflict and erase the evidence of the destructive power of man to leave the artists and audience with a profound sense of hope and the promise of a peaceful world.
Sydney Youth Orchestras is a leader in the field of orchestral training providing education and professional development for some of Australia’s most talented and gifted young musicians enabling students to extend their musical experiences and professional development to the international stage.
“Having the opportunity to perform a repertoire that reflects the world in which our young musicians live and work with professional artists open to sharing experiences, knowledge and insights elevates the standard of performance as students aspire to achieve the highest level of artistic accomplishment,” Ms Hutchinson said.
In the first of four concerts of the SYO 2015 season, Legends of Past will be performed by some of Australia’s most gifted young musicians and promises to be a most significant performance as the Sydney Youth Orchestra joins Australia in commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the ANZAC legend.
“Legends of Past”
28 March 2015
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
City Recital Hall, Angel Place, Sydney
Tickets: Adults $50 - Concession & Seniors $40 - Child $15 (U16)
Bookings: Phone 02 8256 2222 or Online www.cityrecitalhall.com
For more information please visit: www.syo.com.au
For more information or to arrange an interview or photograph opportunity please contact:
Phone: 02 9518 4744
Email: [email protected]
Alice Collins 0414 686 091
Clare Collins 0414 821 957
LEGENDS OF PAST - JOURNALIST NOTES
CONDUCTOR - Mr Stephen Mould
Sydney Youth Orchestra
Dimity Hall Violin
Julian Smiles Cello
John Thompson Baritone
Paul William Mawhinney Actor
ORDER OF PERFORMANCE
Cathedra World Premiere - Composed by Andrew Howes.
Loyal Creatures Monologue written by Morris Gleitzman.
Performed by Paul William Mawhinney.
War Horse Suite Composed by Andrew Sutton for War Horse and includes the baritone vocals,
'The Year Turns Round Again’ and ‘Only Remembered’.
Lyrics by John Tams. Music by Adrian Sutton. Performed by John Thompson.
Double Concerto for Violin and Cello Brahms performed by Dimity Hall (Violin) and Julian Smiles (Cello).
La Mer Debussy.
CONDUCTOR STEPHEN MOULD
Sydney-born Stephen Mould is a graduate of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. In 1985, he moved to London to continue his studies at the Royal Academy of Music. During this time, he was active as an orchestral and choral conductor and as a freelance repetiteur. In 1988, he was appointed Head of Music at the Lyric Opera of Queensland in Brisbane and, in addition to conducting several productions for that company, was also engaged for concerts with the Queensland Philharmonic Orchestra; the Queensland Symphony Orchestra and conducted opera productions with the Queensland Conservatorium of Music.
Read moreIn 1990, Mr Mould returned to Europe and was engaged as a conductor and musical assistant by a number of opera houses and festivals in Germany, Belgium, Norway and Italy. In 1990, he was engaged as an assistant at the Théatre de la Monnaie, Brussels and in 1992 was appointed to the staff of Opera Frankfurt as assistant to the Music Director. During this time, he was also engaged as a teacher at the music conservatorium in Frankfurt. In 1996, he joined the music staff of Opera Australia.
Subsequently, Mr Mould has undertaken engagements for the Sydney Festival, the Melbourne Festival, Symphony Australia and the Sydney Philharmonic Choirs. He was also engaged for State Opera of South Australia’s productions of Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen (1998 and 2004) and Parsifal (2002). Stephen Mould was Head of Music at Opera Australia between 2004 and 2008 and, since 1998, has regularly appeared as conductor for the Company. His repertoire has included: La bohème, Simon Boccanegra, Die Zauberflöte, Le nozze di Figaro, La Voix Humaine, Rusalka, Carmen and The Makropulos Secret.
In addition, he has appeared with the Sydney and Queensland Symphony Orchestras, the SBS Youth Orchestra, and is a regular guest with Willoughby Symphony Orchestra. In 2006, he conducted Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci for the Macau International Music Festival and, in 2008, made his American debut for Baltimore Opera conducting Madama Butterfly. He also appeared in New Zealand with the Auckland Philharmonia.
Mr Mould is currently Chair of Opera Production and Senior Lecturer in Operatic Studies at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music while continuing his freelance activities as a conductor and accompanist. Recent engagements have included The Mikado and a new production of Le nozze di Figaro for Opera Australia and Così fan tutte for Opera Queensland. 2014 performances included concerts with the Queensland Symphony, Messiah for New Zealand Symphony and Assistant Conductor for Elektra with the Sydney Symphony.
CATHEDRA – WORLD PREMIERE
Composed by Andrew Howes
Cathedra is a new work by Andrew Howes commissioned for SYO in 2013 by Father Arthur Bridge OAM to commemorate the ANZAC’s landing at Gallipoli reflecting an integral part of SYO’s creative ambitions to both commission and programme repertoire that reflects the world we are a part of.
Andrew Howes is a young Australian composer born in Sydney in 1992 and an SYO Alumnus. Howes completed his studies in 2009 at the Conservatorium High School, Sydney and is currently studying for a BMus in composition as an Audio Network Scholar at the Royal College of Music, London.
LOYAL CREATURES – MONOLOGUE
Written by Morris Gleitzman performed by Paul William Mawhinney
In incorporating an innovative use of a bespoke performance monologue, Loyal Creatures, commissioned for War Horse Australia in 2012-13 and written by Australian writer Morris Gleitzman, the integration of a short, theatrical performance piece within this concert will provide a powerful artistic reference for the music.
Performed by Australian actor Paul William Mawhinney who appeared in the Australian War Horse production, Loyal Creatures provides a powerful introduction to War Horse Suite to further engage audiences with the music.
“One thing I do know. Us blokes, we did our best over there. But it was never in our hands. Not completely. Never is in war. We were just loyal creatures too, our heads turned this way and that by politicians and generals and the dark waters in our own souls. That’s what we were, all of us, just loyal creatures.
’I’m delighted for Loyal Creatures to be part of this special SYO performance.’ Morris Gleitzman
WAR HORSE SUITE
Composed by Andrew Sutton for War Horse
The stage production of War Horse was first performed at the National Theatre of Great Britain in 2007, when it was hailed by the times as ‘the theatrical event of the decade’. It has since been seen by 5 million people world-wide.
Trusting the artistic integrity of SYO to perform War Horse Suite with the ethos of the original production’s values, the SYO was granted special permission from Adrian Sutton and the National Theatre of Great Britain to perform the Australian Premiere of War Horse Suite.
Composer Adrian Sutton’s Laurence Olivier Award-nominated score for the stage production is an orchestral work of epic proportions, rooted in emotional 20th century symphonic language and drawing on the evocative use of folk music. The work doesn’t glorify war. Rather, it tells the story of war and suffering through the impartial eyes of a horse and explores the enormous bond between man and animal.
War Horse Suite is a symphonic work given its world premiere at London’s Cadogan Hall by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in 2010, and featured as the centrepiece of the 'War Horse Prom' in the 2014 BBC Proms season.
The suite is a logical product of the stage show's orchestral score; however, it would be a mistake merely to present an unstructured catalogue of the show's music out of context. Instead, Sutton has rebuilt the score from the ground up as a one-movement symphonic poem that loosely retells the story of the play in its own musical space; maintaining dramatic tension, without being bound strictly by the play's narrative.
It charts a progression, beginning with pastoral tranquillity in the opening scenes in Devon, Albert's bonding and growing with his horse Joey, the excitement of preparation for war and Joey's sequestering, going to war and the experience of its mechanistic and inhuman horrors, leading to despair, then Joey's escape and the ultimate return home.
The work's musical language is drawn primarily from the palette of twentieth-century British symphonic literature: Vaughan Williams, Holst, Walton, Britten, Tippett so spanning the period of both World War I and World War II England. Yet at the heart of Michael Morpurgo's book is a vision of a war affecting all nationalities in the conflict, and the score acknowledges French and German influences too, again from both First and Second World War composers.
The piece lasts ca. 23 minutes and is divided into seven sections, heard without a break:
- Devon at Peace - Setting the scene.. calm, tranquil rural Devon in the years just before World War I.
- Albert and Joey - The young excitable Albert and his foal Joey grow and bond together. This movement contains a rendition of The Year Turns Round Again.
- First Gallop (Muybridge) - Joey takes Albert on his back for their first gallop through the countryside
- To War - War has just been declared, and the army with its marching band travels around villages, sequestering horses and gathering naively-excited villager recruits. The rhythms of the recruiting march transform into the engine of war itself, and excitement turns to bravery and fear. A charge led by the British against German machine guns is unsuccessful, and the harsh reality of war's horrific nature is laid bare.
- Remembrance - A desolate battle field in the aftermath of the charge. We move forward in time through the years that Joey spends being looked after by Friedrich, the German officer who longs for the war to be over and to see his daughter again.
- Joey's Night - Friedrich's regiment is attacked by tanks and Joey flees the mechanistic terror unleashed
- Return Home - Albert and Joey are reunited once more; they return home and the story closes as it began – in rural Devon, with the world finally at peace.
WAR HORSE SUITE BARITONE VOCALS
‘The Year Turns Round Again’ and ‘Only Remembered’.
Lyrics by John Tams, Music by Adrian Sutton, Performed by John Thompson
This baritone folk song part was added by Adrian Sutton to War Horse Suite in 2014. ‘The Year Turns Round Again’ and ‘Only Remembered’ will be performed by acclaimed Australian folk singer John Thompson. An artist from Queensland, John Thomson is an outstanding performer of Australian folk music. John performed the role of the Song Man in the Australian production of War Horse Australia in 2012-13. John is a member of the group, Cloud Street. With this addition of vocal folk music, we introduce SYO musicians to a new acoustic landscape and enable players to work alongside one of Australia’s most successful folk artists.
DOUBLE CONCERTO FOR VIOLIN AND CELLO - BRAHMS
Performed by Dimity Hall (Violin) and Julian Smiles (Cello)
Brahms’s Double Concerto for Violin and Cello was written in 1887 for violinist Joseph Joachim and cellist Robert Hausmann. This work was composed by Brahms for Joachim, in an effort to restore the friendship they shared before it was shattered by bitterness and betrayal. Brahms was 54. Aware of his own mortality, the desire to make peace with his oldest friend was paramount. Joachim accepted Brahms’s offer to join in the premiere of the Double Concerto as the peace offering it was meant to be.
The work is characterised by the dialogue between the soloists, who trade phrases, each elaborating on the other’s ideas and borrowing gestures from the orchestra.
Brahms’s Double Concerto for Violin and Cello will be performed by two of Australia’s most prodigiously gifted musicians – violinist, Dimity Hall and cellist, Julian Smiles. Both are well-known to audiences through solo performances and recordings and their dual membership of the Australia Ensemble and the Goldner Quartet which celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2015.
LA MER - DEBUSSY
Debussy’s parents wanted him to join the Navy, exposing him to a world of conflict and war. He died on 25 March 1918, not living to see the end of World War I on 11 November. Debussy was capable of writing music of exquisite beauty. The performance of Debussy’s La Mer provides the orchestra and audience the opportunity to contemplate the healing powers of nature.
La Mer has been programmed to conclude the concert through the inspirational healing and redemptive qualities music and nature and create a moment of reflection on this power transcend man’s preoccupations that destroy countries, lives and friendships to leave artists and audience with a profound sense of hope for a future full of promise and peace.
Sydney Youth Orchestra
The Sydney Youth Orchestra was founded as a single orchestra in 1973 by the visionary music educator and conductor, Peter Seymour. Since then it has grown to become a community of over 400 young musicians, aged 7-25, from all over Sydney and beyond. We gather weekly for rehearsal in the city, in eleven different ensembles carefully constructed to match skill, age and experience. Together we inspire excellence, presenting public concerts and performing in major community events such as Carols in the Domain, energetic Toddlers’ Proms for very young children, and outreach programs including concerts and workshops in regional NSW.
P: +61 9518 4744