Today’s concerts brought the Musicathlon from the Australian outback to the streets of Vienna.
The Sydney Conservatorium of Music (picture) presented a concert for a variety of ensembles including strings, double reeds, voice, piano, harpsichord, and didgeridoo. A Mozart aria served as a classical island in an otherwise Australian sea of more recent works by Peter Sculthorpe, Carl Vine, Stephen Yates, Elena Kats-Chernin, and William Barton (the Conservatorium’s own didgeridoo player). There were two works for didgeridoo and string quartet, calling to mind the Shanghai Conservatory’s performance of a work for pipa and string quartet, as well as one for zheng and cello. The final piece, Yates’s rich Jubilate, featured the full ensemble of string quartet, oboe, bassoon, piano, harpsichord, didgeridoo, and voice.
From Austria, Antoinette van Zabner and Waltraud Wulz of the Beethoven Institute performed Stories from Vienna, a piano (four hands) recital at the Forbidden City Concert Hall. Three of Mozart’s sonatas for piano, four hands made up the first half of the concert. After intermission, they turned to Schubert and Ravel. In the lobby after the concert, dozens of people crowded around the performers to get their programs and newly-purchased CDs signed.