30 August 2010

Young musicians from Australia will be reaching across the ocean divide in October for an historic collaboration with American counterparts as part of a three city concert tour of the USA.

In the first leg of the inaugural tour by the Sydney Conservatorium of Music's Chamber Orchestra, 34 outstanding students will fuse with the same number of musicians from the pre-eminent Juilliard School for a joint performance at the Lincoln Center in New York.

It will be the first time in the 95 year history of The Con that a collective of its musicians has been hosted by the Juilliard School and invited to play in America's most famous city.

Together, they will perform modern American music by William Schuman and modern Australian music by Richard Mills, under the batons of Australian Maestro Imre Pallo and American Maestro James DePreist.

The Juilliard School has only once joined forces with another music school in this way - with London's Royal Academy of Music at the 2005 BBC Proms.

Following the concert at the Lincoln Center on 18 October, the Con Orchestra will play collaborative concerts with the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (on 22 October) and the College of Music, University of Colorado, in Boulder (26 October).

"This unprecedented cultural and educational link provides a vivid illustration of the special relationship between the two nations," commented Dean and Principal of The Con, Professor Kim Walker.

"Juilliard's reputation is phenomenal! For our young Australian performers, playing alongside Juilliard's brilliant musicians will be a life-changing experience. It will broaden their horizons and open all sorts of doors for them in their future careers.

"They're so thrilled to have this opportunity to play in three American cities; it will do wonders for their self-belief and confidence."

Welcoming The Con's visit, the President of the Juilliard School, Joseph W. Polisi, said: "All the members of the Juilliard community are very pleased to realize a musical collaboration with the orchestra of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

"These types of collaborative artistic activities are essential for the growth of young artists around the world. We look forward to having the opportunity to get to know our colleagues from Sydney on a personal and artistic basis.

"We know that we will all produce a wonderful concert during our time together in New York."

Professor Walker said the tour was a hugely significant event in the history of The Con.

"It vindicates the belief of those pioneering Directors, notably Henri Verbrugghen and Sir Eugene Goossens who insisted in the face of considerable opposition, that Australian music and Australian musicians could be as good as any and would one day take their rightful place on the world stage as respected equals.

"The SCM students will be following in the footsteps of the late, much-loved Sir Charles Mackerras and others, who dared to dream.

"They aspired to play with classical musicians raised in the great European tradition and trained at the ancient academies and conservatoria.

"Many individual singers, musicians and composers have followed this path, achieving real respect and substantial professional careers; a few, like Mackerras, won well-deserved fame and fortune."

The invitation to perform in the USA follows on from the Chamber Orchestra's highly successful European tour in 2009, when concerts were well received at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, the Conservatorio Paganini in Genoa, the Conservatoire de Lausanne, the Mozarteum in Salzburg and the Vienna Konservatorium.

Contact: Mick Le Moignan

Phone: 02 9351 1385

Email: 5413250c591e2d22095e095f111609403c152422354852103e4c261e