Musica Viva’s Perth concert series for 2010

a preview by Neville Cohn

As a child growing up in Cape Town, I recall – as if it were yesterday – being taken by my revered music teacher to a chamber music concert at Temple Hall.

It was a thrilling and unforgettable experience. That performance was one of a series of chamber music concerts given under the auspices of the Concert Club which was run by Hans Kramer and his wife Greta.

Fleeing as refugees from Hitler’s Germany, they arrived on South African shores virtually penniless but they brought with them a deep and abiding love for music. And despite the difficulties inherent in founding and maintaining an annual chamber music series, they persevered until the Concert Club became a crucial part of Cape Town’s music life.

When I settled in Australia, I very soon discovered that the Musica Viva series of chamber music concerts had had much the same genesis as Cape Town’s Concert Club. And over more than a quarter century, I have had the good fortune to attend a plethora of ensemble performances brought here by this great organisation. It’s a priceless musical gift for music followers in Perth.


Among the delights coming Perth’s way this year is a program presented by the superb Choir of Trinity College, Cambridge. Founded more than 450 years ago – yes, in 1538! – this peerless vocal ensemble has enchanted listeners and worshippers all across the world not least through a miscellany of fine recordings. Its program for Perth includes music by Byrd and Tallis as well as music written centuries later – in our time, in fact – by John Tavener and Paul Stanhope.

Pavel Haas was a composer who, like so many other Jewish musicians in Czechoslovakia, was murdered by the Nazis. One of the finest ensembles on the international concert circuit has named itself the Pavel Haas Quartet in tribute to a remarkable composer. The program includes works by Dvorak and Haydn as well as by Stanhope, Musica Viva’s composer in residence.

Aficionados of the piano are in for a treat as British pianist par excellence Paul Lewis will give a recital which includes Beethoven’s Waldstein Sonata and works by Mozart, Schumann and Liszt.

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Another delight is The Harp Consort, an Ireland-based ensemble which brings to its concerts an irrepressible joie de vivre to match its sublime musical skills.

Many Perth concertgoers will relish the opportunity to hear pianist Cedric Tiberghien who has dazzled many listeners here, not least through his superb skill as an interpreter of Messiaen. For Musica Viva, he will team up with violinist Alina IBragimova in sonatas by Beethoven and Schumann.



For booking information, please telephone 1800 688 482.

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