Balmain Sinfonia’s symphony for spring

Balmain Sinfonia Photo: Ron Irving

Balmain Sinfonia Photo: Ron Irving

Winter is drawing to a close and as you put away your scarves and coats the Balmain Sinfonia is reaching for their instruments as they invite you to join them in welcoming spring when they perform at the Macquarie University Jubilee Concert on September 14.

The Balmain Sinfonia concert will mark the change of seasons and celebrate the 50th jubilee at the university. In honour of this milestone the concert will feature popular classics from the time of Lachlan Macquarie, from whom the university takes its name. Of particular note are Beethoven’s 4th Piano Concerto and Saint-Saens Organ Symphony (no.3) which will be two of the central pieces of the performance.

Conductor Gary Stavrou Photo: Van Le

Conductor Gary Stavrou Photo: Van Le

Founded over 20 years ago by conductor Gary Stavrou, the Balmain Sinfonia is comprised of some of the most talented musicians in New South Wales and acts as Orchestra-in-residence at Macquarie University, specialising in music from the Romantic and Classical periods.

“Most of the decision making is concentrated in me, in one person unlike most other orchestras. It’s given me more flexibility.” Stavrou said, when asked what set his orchestra apart.

“The other big difference between our orchestra and most others is that players don’t have a regular and permanent position. With each concert I ask them whether they are available and from the pool that have answered I reconstitute the orchestra.”

Playing alongside the orchestra will be acclaimed pianist Clemens Leske. Described by Stavrou as “one of Sydney’s finest”, Leske has a long list of accolades to his name. Having studied at the famous Juiliard School in New York he has acted as concerto soloist for all of Australia’s symphony orchestras throughout his career.

Pianist Clemens Leske

Pianist Clemens Leske

Amongst his awards are the ABC Young Performer of the Year and the London-based Hattori Award. He currently lectures at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. Although Stavrou and Leske have known each other for years this is the first time they’ve ever collaborated on stage, promising a unique and breath-taking show.

One focus of the Balmain Sinfonia is to attract a younger generation of concertgoers to their performances. “It’s so important that we maintain a younger audience otherwise the older ones are just withering away,” said Stavrou.

Having held residence at Macquarie University for a number of years has allowed them to accomplish this and concessions are available on all ticket purchases.

This is a great opportunity to enjoy a unique Sunday afternoon of classical and Romantic compositions played by some of Australia’s best.

The concert begins at 2:30pm on September 14 at the Macquarie Theatre, Balaclava Road, North Ryde. Tickets: $25 ($20 concession) at the door, online or phone 9810 5080. More information on the Balmain Sinfonia is available on the website.


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