Rose Niland was in raptures as she reviewed Willoughby Symphony’s Rhapsody In Blue, An Evening with George Gershwin at The Concourse Theatre Chatswood Sydney
The magic of George Gershwin’s best known orchestral compositions including Rhapsody in Blue , An American in Paris  and Porgy and Bess  were performed with passion and delivered with verve under the guidance of the vibrant Conductor Dr Nicholas Milton.
The classical pop Soprano Trisha Crow charmed the audience with her modern diva appearance, warmth, technique and tone.
She certainly touched my heart with her romantic and graceful performances.
Melbourne pianist Hoang Pham who won the prestigious 2013 ABC Symphony Australia Young Performer of the Year Award was extraordinary. His performance was gratifying at every level because he demonstrated a flawless finesse and an impeccable style that enchanted the audience.
The concert began with Strike Up the Band: Overture and I immediately responded with an unexpected emotional outpouring.
I remembered first hearing Gershwin in my youth and being moved by music that was so innovative.
The dynamic and energizing style of the Conductor Dr Nicholas Milton was evident immediately.
He invited both players and audience to share in his passion for the music and savour the interpretation he so wondrously evolved.
The beautiful light and shade of the music of the Orchestra punctuated with the tinkle of the triangle and accompanying sounds of the percussion transported the audience to a reverie of imagined places and images.
The Conductor steered every note with gestures that communicated his love of Gershwin’s music.
At the end of the Overture Dr Nicholas invited the audience to experience the extraordinary and unique melodies of George Gershwin’s music and to celebrate the incredible legacy of his compositions.
He spoke with pride about the Orchestra’s commitment to serve the Willoughby community. He sprinkled humour in his opening remarks when he articulated that the performance started with the encore.
He threaded humour throughout the performance demonstrating his infectious style of showmanship and his capacity for comedy.
Strike up the Band began gently with the sound of drumbeats building and instruments echoing the theme. I found the beautiful music aesthetically pleasing to the ear, romantic to the heart and a wistful tone touched the memory.
The Epic of Gilgamesh, perhaps the oldest written story on earth written between 2750 and 2500 BCE details the mother of Gilgamesh, hero and historical King of Uruk saying
Queen Ninsun went into her living quarters.
She washed herself with the purity plant,
she donned a robe worthy of her body,
she donned jewels worthy of her chest,
she donned her sash, and put on her crown.
The evolution of society as reflected in its jewellery (jewelry) is closely linked to our ‘identity’. The stunning ‘Cullinan 2 necklace the curator reports, is asking us to ‘recognise the value of jewellery beyond material value’.
It is set with ‘two diamonds, which are copies out of crystal of the world’s most famous cut diamonds.
The jewellery from antiquity to the contemporary age is arranged thematically and to say the pieces are all eye catching, thought provoking, quite interesting and in many cases dazzling doesn’t really begin to give you a hint how wonderful this display really is.
This is a show sure to improve the more you visit it over the year ahead and is one to be experienced in person, because photographs online or in books never really replace just how wonderful an object is to look at personally.
The show has been beautifully curated by the very talented Eva Czernis-Ryl, assisted by author and antique jewellery dealer and collector Anne Schofield, plus a very ‘driven’ team of people.
This show is an experience deserving of the glowing accolades, which were delivered in fine style by Paul Keating at the official opening.
The exhibition is all about identity and the evolution of our culture and its fashionable concerns, political, philosophical and personal; always a fascinating subject.
Thankfully it is also importantly about ‘a shared vision of fostering artistic excellence, facilitating community engagement and commercial opportunities’.
These are all clearly identified key factors in maintaining a creative Australia.
This is central to modernizing funding so that museums such as the Powerhouse at Sydney can obtain and maintain both key philanthropy and support.
I was recently asked “why choose these four in the designer files?”.
As I said last week, I wanted to showcase a few of the lesser known creatives, but it made me think a little deeper into my choices.
My decision to wax lyrical about Lanvin this week definitely has history for me. As an adult I have always admired images of the fabulous clothes she designed, many of which are now in the fabulous costume collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. This stunning evening coat is cotton and wool, made for the spring summer collection of 1927.
We all have favourite childhood memories, some resonate …
Spring has sprung at the National Trust Australia (Victoria) where a great Spring Garden Festival means lots of garden tours are available, integral to raising awareness of their great properties held in trust for the nation. They have over 30 spectacular events lined up for the garden festival at Rippon Lea House & Gardens where from garden tours to swing dances to opera, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
Rippon Lea 2014 garden tours are running: 8, 15, 22 October, 5, 12, 19, 26 November, 3, 10, 17 December, 2014. The tours will take in behind the scenes areas and you will learn about some of the challenges and highlights in looking after one of Australia’s great gardens. The professional garden teams will be happy to answer questions about your own garden and share some knowledge that can be applied to your own backyard too.
Have ever wanted to learn the art of Japanese flower arranging? You can when Yukako Braun from the Melbourne chapter of Ikenobo is running a workshop Sunday 12 Oct at Rippon Lea as part of our Garden Festival festivities. Yukako will give a demo, explain the techniques and then you get the chance to make your own arrangement. Space is limited, so book early to avoid disappointment
You can also hear from experts like Jane Edmanson (ABC Gardening Show) about propagating, Max Allen on a cider master class, Richard Aitken on the gardens of Portugal and an edible garden tour with chef Ben Shewry to name a few.
Of particular interest will be URBAN BEEKEEPING with Melbourne City Roof Top Honey experts, telling you what you can do to attract bees, endangered in our world today. Guests will also have the opportunity to sample some delicious honey from some high profile hives from within Melbourne.
Rippon Lea house and garden is one of Australia’s greatest architectural treasures and is listed on the National Heritage Register. Admission General: $15 and National Trust Members are Free – Be sure to make it this the year you become a Member.
A Fine Possession a show about Jewellery and Identity at the Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences in Sydney documents our fashionable evolution past to the present
Grand Design: Pieter Coecke van Aelst and Renaissance Tapestry will provide a reassessment of the artist's contribution to an ever evolving Northern Renaissance
The last of the famous six Mitford ladies of the 1930’s and 40's Deborah Cavendish Duchess of Devonshire DCVO born in 1920 departed this life September 24, 2014
Vale Christopher Hogwood (1941- 2014) conductor harpsichordist musicologist and genius of early music you kept everyone playing and appreciating beautiful music
The case of a George III regulator clock at Martyn Cook Antiques made Carolyn McDowall reflect on timbers used in the Georgian era of English furniture history