I’ve been invited to conduct a gala concert next month at St John’s Smith Square hosted by the Tait Memorial Trust, a charity which supports young Australian musicians studying in the UK. I will be joined by a barrage of soloists including some of my great friends, with special mention to pianist Jayson Gillham who finds time in a busy touring schedule to commandeer almost half the programme! The selection put together by the Trust will include the premiere of a new work by West Australian composer Kevin Penkin, alongside favourites by Puccini, Mozart, Vaughan Williams and Grainger. Tickets are on sale from the SJSS Box Office.
I will be conducting Ruthless Jabiru and countertenor Russell Harcourt at the inaugural Australia & New Zealand Festival of Literature & Arts this month in London. Our performance on 31 May will honour Australian poet and activist Oodgeroo Noonuccal through a programme of British and Australian music for string orchestra by Andrew Ford, Michael Tippett, Tansy Davies, Chris Williams and Egidija Medekšaité. Booking is now open through the festival website.
Here’s an interview I recorded a few months ago at Ruthless Jabiru’s first Portfolio composer workshop. I talk about my ideas in starting the orchestra and our partnership with Sound and Music, the national agency for new music and sound art. I’ll be posting more footage from the workshop at my Vimeo channel in anticipation of our next session later in the month.
I recently took part in a visual arts collaboration between painter Philip Groom and photographer Jason Ashwood. I was invited to sit for a series of portraits by both artists, and the painted and photographic images are now to be merged into a single artwork for an exhibition next month in West London. All are welcome to attend a private view at The Gallery, 54 Shepherd Market, Mayfair on Monday 4 November from 17:00-20:00. The exhibition will run for the remainder of the week.
I was invited to write a guest post for Sound and Music’s blog The Sampler to pique the interest of the New music community for my programme last week with Ruthless Jabiru and Lara St. John. I put together a playlist by composers Matthew Hindson, Paul Stanhope and Linda Buckley, and with some interjections by our soloist Lara, to set up some of the sounds listeners could expect to hear at our performance. It was reported by Sound and Music that my playlist was well received and well trafficked, and lots of composers were spotted in our audience so hopefully I’ve managed to draw a few more people into this fantastic repertoire.
Held alongside the Australia exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts, the next London performance by my orchestra Ruthless Jabiru at the Union Chapel on 14 October will also cite the Australian visual arts, with promotional artwork by Sarah Hickey and programme artwork by Jessie Boylan.