Australian Brandenburg Orchestra Season 2016 – Bill of Fare


Paul Dyer at the Harpsichord, courtesy Australian Brandenburg Orchestra

Likening his program to a delectable menu, Paul Dyer, Artistic Director of the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra (ABO) is catering to all tastes with his delicious bill of fare for their Season 2016.

The ABO is renowned for the beauty of its Baroque repertoire played by world-class musicians on original instruments, who annually deliver an elegant and always tempting repast.

Some will be naturally drawn to particular ‘dishes’ but I believe that I can tempt them all with my 2016 treats.” noted their talented artistic director and harpsichordist Paul Dyer.

2015 has been a good year for the orchestra, which has now been established for over 25 years. Its players are renowned for their innovation, passion and dedication to their art.

On the program mid next year is one concert solely aimed at all early music enthusiasts of which I have to admit to being one.

ABO Three SoloistsDyer says: “Sometimes ABO audiences just want the Brandenburg. They are devoted to the players and they love pure baroque music with a passion…this is the perfect program for our loyal and cherished fans.”

He said as he acknowledged that “some people like instrumental programs, others want to hear choir and orchestra together and some like the beautiful sound of the voice, solo or en masse,” says Paul.

The ABO for their Season 2016 will also welcome a trio of renowned international soloists. Maurice Stegar on recorder, Shunske Sato on violin and Avi Avital on mandolin.

Avi Avital, who took me on a Mandolin driven rocket ride to heaven on his triumphant visit in 2014, is returning.

Paul Dyer says: “By overwhelming popular demand, I’m bringing Avi Avital back. “He has charisma, sparkle, sensitivity and a disarming musical depth. He holds the audience and those he shares the stage with in the palm of his hand… And then some…

For their 25th celebration in 2014 Avital provided so many spine-tingling moments of such sheer virtuosity that the only other way to describe his performance was to say it was pure art and poetry in motion.

The first soloist on the 2016 menu will be Maurice Steger. who internationally has singlehandedly started a recorder revolution. Paul Dyer warns we will have to… fasten our seat belts for him as well, because “…Maurice Steger’s like a stratospheric Speedy Gonzales”.

Then there is the man The New York Times notes has ‘… an astonishing level of poise and musicality’. Bravura American violinist Sato Shunske will be playing on guts strings… …“he’s performing the Paganini Violin Concerto No. 4 ON GUT STRINGS. Who does that?” says Paul Dyer…”It is something only the bravest of the brave would dare to tackle!”

Studying at the renowned Julliard School and Curtis Institute in Philadelphia is indeed a pinnacle experience for any young musician, but only works if it helps the student to not only take command of the instrument of their choice, but also have the courage and resilience to take it to the world stage.

Sato Shunske has become one of the most acclaimed young musicians of his generation. He has embraced the divine music of the Baroque and will present works by Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy (1809-1847), Edvard Grieg (1843-1907) and Niccoló Paganini (1782-1840). Mendelssohn’s youthful String Symphony No. 2 in D major is the perfect choice for us to meet this highly acclaimed virtuoso violinist.


Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy (1809-1847) painting by Theodor Hildebrand

It’s considered one of the best things he composed in his all too short life; his natural gifts nurtured in a loving family environment, which is revealed in his music of contentment.


American violinist Sato Shunske photo by Gilles Marie Zimmermann

Proficient in music, linguistics and painting, Mendelssohn created musical works of insight, maturity and genius.

He combined classical construction with just the right touch of romantic sentiment giving us music that fills us with ‘quiet enjoyment and admiration’ as Mr Sato is sure to do.

Sato will also perform Greig’s delightful suite of ‘country dances’ the so-called Holberg suite, which is both delicate and appealing.

It was composed to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Danish-Norwegian humanist playwright Ludvig Holberg (1684-1754) considered the founder of modern Danish and Norwegian literature.

Then comes the Paganini, composed by the most celebrated violin virtuosos of his day. He gave all musicians who embrace the violin a challenge when he revolutionised violin technique.

His music is filled with the passion that was showcased in his own temperament, a man who lived the high life; gambling and love affairs.

Violin on Hallelujah Chorus

He famously had to pawn his violin to pay off his debts and a French merchant lent him a Guarneri violin to play and as the story goes, upon hearing him gave it to him.

Believed to be in league with the ‘devil’, his works also reflect that in the new pizzicato effects showcased by new methods of fingering he developed so well that in performance he was able to flamboyantly improvise brilliantly, becoming perhaps the ‘Liberace’ showman of his age

‘In the beginning was the voice. Voice is sounding breath, the audible sign of life’*

…. The voice is undoubtedly the original musical instrument and in every human culture, no matter how remote or isolated, everyone sings!

ABO Choir

Australian Brandenburg Choir, courtesy ABO photo Steven Godbee

In the autumn beginning in the Renaissance period of music and ending in the classical period the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra will accompany an outstanding choir of 100 Voices of Children + Brandenburg Choir, who will together perform a selection of wonderful works, including Mozart’s Requiem Mass in D minor K.626.


Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) left his Requiem incomplete at his death on December 5, 1791.

It had been commissioned by Count Franz von Walsegg-Stuppach and is one of the most controversial pieces of music in that speculation about who completed it afterwards still continues today.

Mozart had finished the Introit, the Kyrie, Sequence and Offertorium while the last three movements, the Benedictus, Angus Dei and Communio remained.

Austrian composer Franz Xaver Süssmayr’s handwriting on the manuscript of Mozart’s Requiem makes it clear he completed a number of passages after Mozart’s death.

What is unknown is the degree to which Süssmayr followed detailed sketches and drafts by Mozart himself and this remains a moot point of academic dispute. What we do know is that he was acquainted with Mozart 1790-1791 and collaborated with him.

Noel Noel is always a special treat concert to look forward to at Xmas, a tradition the ABO has established, one that while it touches on the religious, is firmly grounded in the spiritual.

The choir and orchestra perform a selection of Folk melodies, carols, hymns and rare musical delights from all around the world.

If you haven’t enjoyed the ABO up until this point then 2016 is a great year to start.

Stegar Recorder

Maurice Stegar, recorder soloist, courtesy artist and Australian Brandenburg Orchestra

Maurice Stegar, billed as ‘a man who fears nothing’, will play up a storm.

He will be ‘unleashing an impossible torrent of notes as he launches the series with a challenging piece by Italian composer Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741)

All your senses will be assaulted with the magical sounds of great masterpieces from giants such as Georg Phillip Telemann (1681-1767) and George Frederic Handel (1685-1759) – pieces championed by Steger in concerts across the world and for which he has won many prestigious awards.

Steger and Paul Dyer will co-direct the ABO as they provide a rich cuisine for newcomers and seasoned subscribers and followers to imbibe.


Australian Brandenburg Orchestra photo by Steven Godbee

Fasten your seatbelts… the ABO in its Season 2016 will provide a bounty of rich desserts and taste sensations to sweeten your love of music and to enrich your life.

Carolyn McDowall, The Culture Concept Circle, 2015

Australian Brandenburg Orchestra Season 2016



* Otto Jespersen: Language, Its Nature, Development and Origin

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.