Australian World Orchestra Announces Concert in Singapore to Celebrate 5th Anniversary, Oct. 1
The Australian World Orchestra (AWO) is thrilled to announce its second international tour and first visit to Singapore, performing one spectacular concert on Saturday 1 October at The Esplanade Concert Hall, as part of AWO's five-year anniversary celebrations in 2016. The concert will be led by AWO Chief Conductor and Artistic Director, Alexander Briger AO, and feature the international premiere of the AWO's first commissioned concerto, by acclaimed Australian composer Elena Kats-Chernin.
Since its inaugural concert series in 2011, the AWO has established itself as one of the world's leading orchestras, dazzling audiences in Australia and overseas and performing to over 31,000 music lovers. The AWO's purpose is simple: to bring together Australia's finest orchestral musicians from around the world in concert, while encouraging and developing young talent. United, the cream of Australia's national and international musicians present performances of soul-stirring musicianship. The 2016 ensemble includes 94 Australian musicians from the world's leading orchestras, including the Berlin, Vienna, Munich & H.K. Philharmonic Orchestras, Vienna Chamber and London Symphony Orchestras , as well as musicians from the Australian state orchestras and ensemble. Critics have described recent performances as "magnificent" (The Australian), "profoundly moving" (ABR), and "sublime" (Limelight).
Under the dedicated Artistic Direction of Alexander Briger AO, the Australian World Orchestra has notched up some extraordinary achievements over the last five years; guest conductors have included Sir Simon Rattle, Simone Young AM, and Maestro Zubin Mehta who, following the outstanding success of his 2013 season conducting AWO, invited the orchestra to tour his homeland of India for its inaugural international concert series, which was ecstatically received. Guest performers have included sopranos Greta Bradman and mezzo-soprano Magdalena Koená. Embracing its educational charter, the AWO has conducted workshops in Sydney, Melbourne, Chennai, Mumbai and New Delhi.
Following the highly successful inaugural international tour of India in 2015, the AWO is delighted to make Singapore its second international destination. In June 2015 Australia and Singapore signed the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. This initiative includes a commitment to continue to enhance the very strong people-to-people links between the two countries and to further strengthen ties through greater co-operation between arts institutions. The AWO is proud to be the first Australian orchestra to visit Singapore to take part in this initiative as a cultural ambassador. The tour includes an Education Programme of masterclasses and workshops with Education Partner Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music.
The Australian World Orchestra will launch the Singapore Tour with a recital at the residence of Mr Philip Green, Australia's High Commissioner to Singapore. Mr Green said:
"I am delighted to welcome the Australian World Orchestra for the launch of its first tour of Singapore. Music is a celebration of culture that joins people together and deepens our understanding of each other. The AWO's tour to Singapore is a historic event that will celebrate the Australian-Singapore Strategic Partnership signed by our Governments in 2015."
AWO Chief Conductor and Artistic Director Alexander Briger AO led the AWO for their inaugural performance in 2011 and he returns in 2016 for the five-year celebrations. Briger will conduct a triumphant programme on October 1, including Maurice Ravel's orchestral tour de force Boléro, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's powerful and romantic Symphony No.5, and the international premiere of leading Australian composer Elena Kats-Chernin's The Witching Hour, a work commissioned by the AWO, and the first concerto for eight double basses in orchestral history. Kats-Chernin has composed The Witching Hour to showcase the extraordinary AWO double bass section comprising Max McBride (formerly ACO, Vienna State Opera; Senior Lecturer ANU School of Music), Kirsty McCahon (Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, Orchestra of The Age of Enlightenment), Matthew McDonald (Principal, Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra), Ciro Vigilante (Vienna Chamber Orchestra), Robert Nairn (Professor of Double Bass Juilliard School and Penn State University), Kees Boersma (Principal, Sydney Symphony Orchestra), Tim Dunin (Professor of Double Bass, University of Music, Graz; formerly Vienna Philharmonic) and Alex Henery (Principal, Sydney Symphony Orchestra; formerly Philharmonia London).
Composer Elena Kats-Chernin said, "When I was asked to write this Concerto for the eight Double Basses I recalled how exciting and other-worldly it had seemed to me when I first heard the orchestra playing Mahler's First Symphony. The title The Witching Hour refers to that moment when time seems to stand still and very special things happen. I wanted to write something that would express the enchantment that I experienced from these very unique people and to showcase the bassists not only as representing the ground of the harmony in the orchestra, but as dazzling soloists as well!"
Over the past 25 years, Alexander Briger AO has conducted many of the world's leading orchestras, including the London Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Konzerthaus Orchester, Berlin, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Orchestre Philharmoniquede Radio France, BBC Symphony Orchestra and many more. He regularly performs in Europe and engagements in 2015 included conducting The London Symphony Orchestra's Discovery Concerts, the Teatro Dell'Opera di Roma, Toulon Opera, touring with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Pacific Opera and the Sydney Youth Orchestra, as their Conductor and Artistic Director. He was awarded the Order of Australia in 2016.
To celebrate the AWO's five-year anniversary, the Orchestra will also perform two stellar concerts over two nights at the Sydney Opera House in September 2016.