THE WORLD IS THE CON'S OYSTER
23 September 2010
The Con is firmly Sydney-based but over the past 12 months its students, Faculty and performance programs and initiatives have been on an unprecedented international trajectory.
The institution's new moniker of "Global Con" has been inferred off the back of concert tours to South-East Asia, the USA and Europe; the hosting of an inaugural Asian Music Symposium and the world's biggest contemporary music festival; visits from musicians representing both the Royal Academy of Music and Royal College of Music, Beijing Central Conservatorium, Yong Siew Toh Singapore and Indiana University; as well as world premieres of compositions by internationally acclaimed composers.
"From October last year to October this year represents an historical epoch for The Con in its reaching out to the world - and the world reaching out to us," comments Dean and Principal, Professor Kim Walker.
"Taking our music overseas and collaborating locally with some of the globe's finest musicians and scholars has introduced The Con to new students, new nationalities, new audiences and new music.
"It has reinforced The Con's mission to be a centre of global excellence in music, providing leading edge education, research and performance."
A snapshot of a year to remember includes:
- Six acclaimed performances by The Con Chamber Orchestra (made up of eight postgraduates and 26 undergraduates and led by Maestro Imre Pallo) in the UK, Switzerland, Italy and Austria.
- Con Open Day, which attracted 12,000 visitors, including music leaders from Scandinavia and Noumea and NSW Regional Conservatoria, as well as sponsorship from Yamaha for an international Distance Learning project.
- First performance of the final version of Estonian composer Arvo Pärt's Fourth Symphony, cocommissioned by The Con with the Los Angeles Symphony Orchestra and the Canberra Festival.
- Australian premiere of esteemed Finnish composer Aulis Sallinen's Chamber Music VIII Op. 94 The Trees, All their Green.
- Co-hosted the ISCM World New Music Days, an event involving 82 new works from composers from 52 countries in 24 concerts. It was the first time the festival has been staged in the Southern Hemisphere in its 88 year history. Concerts were broadcast to 38 nations by ABC FM and partners.
- Hosted the inaugural Symposium on Asian Musical and Visual Cultures - "Preserving Tradition, Facing the Future" - which included presentations by dozens of leading music scholars and performers from the USA, Germany, Italy, China, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Vietnam, New Zealand and Australia.
- Hosted an exhibition of priceless Chinese calligraphy from the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
- The Con Symphony Orchestra took 68 student musicians on tour in Germany, playing at Stuttgart's "Europe Day" and as resident orchestra at the Bronnbach festival, receiving standing ovations and positive media reviews.
Special visit to The Con by Professor Michael McRobbie AO, a world renowned educationalist and President of Indiana University, whose School of Music is a jewel in the crown of their main Bloomington campus.
The Con Jazz Big Band, Percussion Ensemble and Saxophone Quartet played 42 guest concerts at the World Expo in Shanghai.
The famous Project Trio, from the USA, pioneers of the "beatbox" flute classical/jazz/rock fusion (40 million hits on YouTube, was in residence at The Con for a week, playing to a sell-out concert and standing room-only masterclass.
Guest residencies by Professor Ray Holden and a string quartet from the Royal Academy of Music, London.
Guest visits by research scholars from the Beijing Conservatorium and Singapore's NUS Yong Siew Toh Conservatory and Indiana University to SCM.
Secured an historic benchmark in learning and teaching via a three way link-up between New York's Eastman School of Music, London's Royal College of Music and The Con for a lecture in Early Music.
Visit from Early Music group of Royal College of Music (RCM) for joint concerts with The Con's Early Music Ensemble. The Con will be hosted by the RCM in London next year (with stop-off concerts in Beijing, Milan and New York) along the way.
Internationally acclaimed Director, Professor Vincent Liotta, flew to Sydney from the US to oversee four performances of the Merry Wives of Windsor by The Con's Opera Unit, under the baton of Maestro Imre Pallo.
An historic concert collaboration between The Con's 34-member Chamber Orchestra with the Juilliard School in New York's Lincoln Center; with follow-up concerts with the San Francisco Conservatory and the College of Music of the University of Colorado.
Performance at a "Music and The Cosmos" event in Beijing of excerpts from Holst's The Planets by The Con's Brass Ensemble, under the Chair of Brass, Andrew Evans, as part of a collaboration with the Schools of Physics, University of Sydney.
World premiere in The Con's Verbrugghen Hall of Peter Sculthorpe's new work for string orchestra, commissioned for the national and international 101 Compositions for 100 Years project.
Contact: Mick Le Moignan
Phone: 02 9351 1385