8 October 2010

When he is not practicing or performing, Angus Lindsay likes to roast coffee beans with the same doting care and attention he devotes to his oboe.

The 22-year-old, who is in the last year of a degree in performance at The Con, believes the symmetry he has developed between music and coffee has helped him scale the heights of a hoped-for career as a professional musician.

"You have to perfect the technique for converting green beans and making the latte - same as with the oboe," he says. "It can't be rushed or taken for granted, and there is always a better result in the making."

Lindsay, who lives on the North Shore, is taking that same searching attitude to the USA this month as part of an historic concert tour by The Con's Chamber Orchestra.

As one of only 34 students selected for the tour, he will join with a similar number of young American musicians for collaborative performances of contemporary US and Australian compositions in New York, San Francisco and Boulder, Colorado.

It is the first time in The Con's 95 year history that the Orchestra has been invited to play with the prestigious Juilliard School, while the joint concert at the famed Lincoln Center on 19 October will be only the second time Juilliard has played side by side with a foreign orchestra.

Lindsay, who took up the oboe when he was 10 years old after first tinkering with the clarinet, is "jazzed" to be on such a "date with destiny" tour, but is far from awed by the impending experience.

"No, oboists are known for chilling, so I will be just going with the flow," he comments. "I will certainly be checking out their standards and using them as a yardstick for my ability and progression, but otherwise I will be just soaking up the atmosphere.

"With Maestro Imre Pallo as our conductor for the tour, as long as you put in thework out well. He is eccentric in the nicest possible way."

Lindsay hails from a family home that was a bastion of classical music. His older sister Heather is a renowned cellist, and is currently living and performing in Europe.

Performing, like roasting coffee beans, comes naturally.

For the past three years he has being playing gigs on a regular basis with the quintet "Sydney Wind Collective" - made up of fellow Con students. As a Year 11 student, he travelled to America and Europe with the school orchestra, playing in a range of major venues, including the Washington Cathedral, America's biggest.

"The thing about the oboe is that it is a very expressive instrument. It can be ugly and harsh as well as mellow. I bought my latest second hand. It cost $10,000, but it's a delight."

But back to coffee, and Lindsay freely admits he will be spending any spare time "doing my research on caffeine."


  • 18 October, Lincoln Center, New York
  • 22 October, San Francisco Conservatory of Music
  • 26 October, College of Music, University of Colorado, in Boulder

There will be a live stream of the Lincoln Center concert at The Con at 11am, 19 October. Booking enquiries to The Con on 9351 1222.

Contact: Mick Le Moignan

Phone: 02 9351 1385

Email: 593e295d1c16292c3907361d58272310135d1e30375e015326422011