Happy Anniversary to The Con!

4 May 2010

Thursday 6 May is an auspicious day in The Con's history.

It was on Thursday 6 May 1915 that an orchestra of 53 performed "with fervour" under the baton of Alfred Hill in the Inaugural Concert of the NSW Conservatorium of Music. The Great War was raging on the other side of the world and courageous Australian soldiers were giving their lives at Gallipoli but the opening program included both German and English music: Beethoven's Overture in C, Dedication to the House (composed for the opening of the Josephstadt Theatre in Vienna in 1822) and Elgar's Symphony in A Flat. According to Diana Collins' excellent book, Sounds from the Stables, Arundel Orchard conducted the Meistersinger Overture and Ella Caspers sang Giordano's Caro Mio Ben and Massenet's Air de Salome with a "surprising" high note in the final bars!

On The Con's 95th anniversary this Thursday, The SCM Chamber Orchestra will be flying to Germany, with no hostile intent, but to be the resident orchestra at the Bronnbach Festival. The founding fathers of The Con would be delighted to know that their fledgling Conservatorium has survived so long (five years short of a century) and that it has reached the stage in its development of taking the great European music back to European concert halls to delight European audiences.

Back home in Sydney, The Con plays host this week to the celebrated ISCM World New Music Days, said to be the most important festival of new music in the world. The festival, held in the southern hemisphere for the first time in its 88 year history, will see 188 works from 52 countries performed in 24 concerts in venues from the CBD to Campbelltown. Later this year, the SCM's Modern Music Ensemble under the Chair of Percussion, Daryl Pratt and the Jazz ensemble led by Bill Motzing will perform at the Shanghai World Expo and the SCM Chamber Orchestra will join the pre-eminent Juilliard School of Music in a concert at the Lincoln Centre in New York City at the start of a major US tour.

The SCM's aim to be "a global centre of excellence in music" is rapidly becoming a reality.

Contact: Mick Le Moignan

Phone: 02 9351 3382

Email: 2f212c2f773b003a5d013d1c0520750421071f2f13465006124d035e