October 28, 2017

Australian Brandenburg Orchestra’s current production Bittersweet Obsessions: Monteverdi & Bach not only provides the featured music of Claudio Monteverdi and Johann Sebastian Bach played on their period instruments but brings to the stage soprano Natasha Wilson, tenors Karim Sulayman & Spencer Darby and baritone Jakob Bloch Jespersen plus Aikido performers Melanie Lindenthal and Andrew Sunter.

Paul Dyer AO, the Brandenburg’s Artistic Director, has truly put together an exciting programme with performances that range from a baroque pastoral to a modern day café. Billed as offering laughter, tears and vengeance the programme is sung in Italian and German, plus they even offer English surtitles.

Concert goers who like their classical music with a touch of fun will especially enjoy the finale performance of J.S. Bach’s Coffee Cantata. As well as beautiful music, the audience has the added pleasure of listening to performers singing the virtues of coffee and the benefits of drinking this ever popular beverage, amidst a stage set with baristas, bags of coffee beans and an espresso machine.

I always enjoy the Brandenburg concerts and this one rates as one of their best.

Sydney: City Recital Hall, 2 Angel Place on 25, 27, 28, 31 October & 1 November at 7pm, plus a matinee on 28 October at 2pm.

Melbourne: Recital Centre on 4 November at 7pm & 5 November at 5pm.

Sandra Tiltman



July 29, 2017


new-dmitry-header.jpgA magical evening of music which had the audience clamouring for more was performed at the City Recital Hall in Angel Place recently when The Australian Brandenburg Orchestra welcomed back Russian violinist, Dmitry Sinkovsky, one of the world’s most dynamic young baroque music stars, for a return season.

With a program that included Italian, German and French music by baroque masters Vivaldi, Locatelli, Telemann, Leclair and Aubert featuring violins and horns, I thought the evening could not get any better until Dmitry Sinkovsky wowed the audience with his singing.

A star student of the iconic Moscow Conservatory, where Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich once taught and Rachmaninoff studied, Dmitry was groomed for an international career on modern violin but changed focus in 2005 and pursued specialised early music training in Moscow, Montreal and Holland. He is now a highly regarded laureate in many European violin competitions, including first, audience and critic’s prizes in the coveted Music Antiqua Competition in Bruges and is in great demand as a soloist and director, not only for his musical prowess, but also his charisma on the concert stage.

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Dmitry performs on an exquisite Francesco Ruggeri violin that was made in Cremona in 1675 and made available to him by the Netherlands based Jumpstart Jr Foundation, which identifies the world’s leading young and gifted musicians and provides them with precious gut-string period instruments crafted by the old masters.

As guest director and soloist on baroque violin, Dmitry will be touring with the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra in Sydney and Melbourne, plus making his debut in Brisbane.

Sydney: City Recital Hall, 2 Angel Place on 2 & 4 August at 7pm.

Melbourne: Recital Centre on 5 August at 7pm & 6 August at 5pm.

Brisbane: QPAC on 8 August at 7.30pm.

Sandra Tiltman


October 17, 2016


Berlin based Israeli, Avi Avital, will be making a triumphant return to Australia where he will lead the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra in an adventurous exploration of the mandolin.

By overwhelming popular demand, Artistic Director Paul Dyer is proud to bring Avi Avital to Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane following his sellout 2014 Brandenburg debut. “Avi 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, then famously captures the moment in a selfie. He has catapulted the mandolin into a completely different stratosphere,” Paul Dyer said.

Born in Be’er Sheva, southern Israel in 1978, Avi began learning the mandolin at the age of eight. He later graduated from the Jerusalem Music Academy and the Conservatorio Cesare Pollini in Padua, Italy. Playing on a mandolin made by Israeli luthier Arik Kerman, Avi continues to forge new ground for the mandolin and open the world’s ears to its potential. “When I hold the mandolin, it is so much part of me, my voice. I don’t think of it as an instrument, but just an extension of myself,” Avi said.

The first mandolin player to be nominated for a classical Grammy Award, Avi has electrified audiences throughout Israel, Europe, Australia, Asia and the Americas. Memorable performances include Royal Albert Hall, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Berlin Philharmonie, Forbidden City in Beijing, the Paris Philharmonie and Zurich’s Tonhalle.

Avi is also a successful recording artist, recording exclusively with Deutsche Grammophon. “Between Worlds” introduced chamber music compositions from Ernest Bloch and De Falla to traditional Bulgarian Folk tunes and was released in 2014 to critical acclaim.  Other prominent recordings include “Bach” and “Vivaldi”.

Avi Avital will be appearing with The Australian Brandenburg Orchestra at the City Recital Hall in Angel Place, Sydney on October 26, 28, 29 and November 2 & 4 at 7pm with a Matinee on October 29 at 2pm.

Sandra Tiltman


August 26, 2016


Making his Australian debut, Japanese/American violin star, Shunske Sato, will lead the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra into the rarely visited territory of historically informed Romantic music, performed on gut strings. Together they’ll perform music of the Romantic giants Mendelssohn (a symphony written at the age of 12), Grieg (Romantic music inspired by the Baroque) and an epic and rarely heard violin concerto written by one of history’s greatest and most revered violinists, Paganini.

Australian Brandenburg Orchestra’s Artistic Director, Paul Dyer commented: “Shunske Sato is a brilliant international talent, one of the most dynamic and exciting violinists of his generation.  He’s performing the Paganini Violin Concerto No. 4 on gut strings. Who does that? It is something only the bravest of the brave would dare to tackle!” Shunske said: “The violin I will be using is made by Auguste Bernardel in Paris in 1846, in those days it was quite the fashion to copy Paganini’s Guarneri violin Il Cannone and my fiddle is one of those, so quite appropriate to play his Concerto on it.”

Born in Tokyo, Shunske immigrated to the USA at the age of four, but now lives in The Netherlands. At the age of 12 he won the Young Concert Artists award, the youngest ever to date. He studied at the Juilliard School (New York), Conservatoire National de Région (Paris) and Hochschule für Musik und Theater (Munich). Shunske is the concertmaster for Concerto Koln and the Netherlands Bach Society and in 2013 he was invited to join the faculty of the Amsterdam Conservatory, where he teaches violin in the context of historical performance practice.

Shunske is enthusiastic about his Australian debut, saying “This will be my very first time in Australia, and there’s simply too much to look forward to. There is the famously flawless coffee, and the odd encounter with an exotic animal of course and I have many dear and close Australian friends and am terribly excited to finally get to know their home country. I’m also incredibly honoured to work with such a world class ensemble as the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra on my very first trip. Starting at the very top and going upwards!”

Sato & The Romantics will be performing at City Recital Hall, 2 Angel Place Sydney on 7, 9, 14, 16 & 17 September at 7 pm
plus a Matinee on 17 September at 2 pm.

Sandra Tiltman


April 22, 2016


The Australian Brandenburg Orchestra is presenting one of classical music’s greatest and most famous works, the breathtaking Mozart’s Requiem, featuring the Brandenburg Choir, at concerts in Sydney and Melbourne.

The exciting programme prior to interval will include a wide selection featuring Williams Festive Alleluia, Palestrina Alma Redemptoris Mater
with the Brandenburg Choir and Handel Hallelujah Chorus from Messiah
with both the Brandenburg Choir and Brandenburg Young Voices. After interval the MOZART Requiem Mass in D minor, K. 626 
with the Brandenburg Choir & soloists will be performed.

This will be the Brandenburg’s first performance of Handel’s rousing Hallelujah Chorus from Messiah, with over 100 voices combined from the Brandenburg Choir and Brandenburg Young Voices. Four young emerging soloists will perform with the Brandenburg Choir, two of whom first performed in Brandenburg concerts as boy trebles, tenor Paul Sutton with the St Mary’s Cathedral Choir in Sydney in 2003 and Maximilian Riebl, the winner of the IFAC Australian Singing Competition in 2015, with the Melbourne Grammar School Chapel Choir in Melbourne in 2008.
 Hayden Barrington first performed with the Brandenburg as a boy treble with Trinity Grammar School in 2008 and returned as a baritone to the Brandenburg Choir in 2015.

Artistic Director and Conductor, Paul Dyer AO commented “Children’s voices were part of the musical landscape in the Renaissance and Baroque. It is time to bring that glorious sound back to the Brandenburg stage and we are going to do it in a huge way.”  Paul with the assistance of Guest Conductors, Anna Sandström in Sydney and Philip Carmody in Melbourne, has formed a specially selected children’s choir, the Brandenburg Young Voices, to perform in the first half of the concert program. The Brandenburg Young Voices range in age from 8 to 17 years. Some are from Australia’s leading children’s choirs and some perform with their school.

Only time will tell how many of the Brandenburg Young Voices will return to the Brandenburg as adults, like Paul Sutton, Maximilian Riebl and Hayden Barrington, but there is no doubt that the opportunity to perform on the professional stage alongside the acclaimed Brandenburg Choir will be life changing.

Sydney: City Recital Hall, 2 Angel Place on 29 & 30 April plus 4, 6 & 11 May at 7 pm
 with a Matinee on 30 April at 2 pm.

Melbourne: Recital Centre on 7 May at 7pm and 8 May at 5 pm.

Sandra Tiltman


March 2, 2016

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Mention the recorder and immediately images of primary school orchestras come to mind. Mention Maurice Steger and the recorder in the same sentence and a whole different image appears.

To say that Zurich based Maurice rocks the recorder like no one else on the planet is an understatement as he has redefined the recorder, the most frequently played instrument in the early 18th century. Playing at breakneck speeds, while never sacrificing the phrasing and technical brilliance, Maurice pushes the recorder to the edge of its physical and expressive limits. He is in high demand across the globe, both as a recorder player and as a conductor, performing and recording alongside renowned artists including Cecilia Bartoli, Hilary Hahn and Andreas Scholl. With a string of prestigious awards including Diapason D’or, BBC Music Magazine Award and 2015 ECHO Klassik Instrumentalist of the Year, Maurice has taken the music world by storm.

With his revolutionary performance style, charismatic Maurice made his Australian debut with the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra at concerts in Sydney and Melbourne during February 2016. He tailors his choice of instruments to the specific acoustics of the venue and prior to arriving in Australia, Maurice said “I’m packing 18 recorders for this tour, because every piece needs a different colour. I’ll probably use one per piece, but to find the best possible recorder I’ll bring two recorders for every work and choose in the hall”.

Maurice_Steger_©MolinaVisuals_07_l (1)I thoroughly enjoyed Maurice’s vibrant performance on the evening I went to the City Recital Hall. Paul Dyer, Artistic Director of the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra introduced Maurice to the audience, along with members of the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra and immediately they started playing, I knew we were in for something special. The concert programme consisted of a selection of works including the most challenging, virtuosic piece Vivaldi ever wrote, the Concerto in G major for recorder, as well as Gallo, Telemann, Fiorenza, Handel, Rittler and Geminiani. The audience certainly approved of the music, judging by the loud applause and stamping of feet.

The Brandenburg Orchestra, whose name pays tribute to the Brandenburg Concertos of J.S. Bach, the musical genius central to the baroque era, celebrates the music of the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Using original edition scores and instruments of the period, such as the harpsichord and baroque violin, which is almost always fitted with gut strings, compared to metal or synthetic strings on a modern violin, resulting in a warm, rich and textured sound, talent from today supplies the energy needed for playing these baroque and classical masterpieces.

Prior to leaving Australia, Maurice will be performing additional concerts at the City Recital Hall, 2 Angel Place, Sydney on Friday 4 March at 7pm and Saturday 5 March at 2pm and 7pm. Don’t miss this exciting performer.

Sandra Tiltman