24 March 2010

Doing some lunchtime business at the bank in the City this week will come complete with free musical accompaniment.

At the Westpac Royal Exchange branch at 50 Pitt Street, buskers will be providing mini-concert performances each day in support of the Sydney Conservatorium's annual Open Day festival.

Actually, the buskers are members of two of Sydney's acclaimed music groups - the Orava String Quarter and the Liero guitar duo.

Customers entering the branches between 12 noon and 2pm will be treated to the beguiling sounds of both sets of musicians.

The Orava Quartet, founded in 2007, is made up of three siblings from the Kowalik family - violinists Daniel and Sylwia and cellist Karol - together with violist Thomas Chawner.

The quartet has appeared at leading Sydney venues and performed internationally in Canada, Shanghai, Hong Kong, United Arab Emirates and Rome. It was accepted as one of six quartets from Asia-Pacific to compete in last year's Asia-Pacific Chamber Music Competition.

The Liero guitar duo of Tim Harries and Morgan Haselden is renowned for playing Mozart's Rondo alla Turka on one guitar, very fast (three strings each).

On Friday there may be an added performance on the 1814 cello that belonged to Mrs Elizabeth Macquarie, the wife of Governor Lachlan Macquarie. The cello, which is owned by the Historic Houses Trust of NSW, as part of the collection at the Museum of Sydney on the site of first Government House, has been restored with the assistance of Neil and Hamish Balnaves of the Balnaves Foundation.

The Con's Open Day festival this Sunday will feature the biggest array of free concerts, lectures, displays and performances on record, involving faculty, students and guest artists from around Australia and overseas.

Contact: Mick Le Moignan

Phone: 02 9351 1385

Email: 093b301b78435d3d40061f2b07396b0a0016182d0b5f23311719352f