INTRODUCTION

Welcome to the Sydney International Composers Concerts 2020! I am very glad that we can realise this event during these difficult times. I would like to thank the Hills Shire Council and Baulkham Hills High School for their great support physically and financially.

Due to COVID restrictions, we have postponed the Contemporary Chamber Music Concert and the Contemporary Orchestral Music Concert to 2021. This year, we will only host two concerts: Contemporary Piano Music 2020 and Contemporary String Quartets 2020.

Contemporary Piano Music 2020 will be performed by celebrated Sydney based pianist Benjamin Kopp. He will premiere 5 contemporary compositions contributed by composers from Italy, USA, Taiwan and Australia.

Contemporary String Quartets 2020 will feature 4 contemporary compositions by composers from China, Mexico, Italy and Australia. All of these dreamlike new works will be premiered by the wonderful musicians of the Sydney Contemporary Orchestra, featuring the fabulous soprano, Laura Wachsmann.

I continue to be inspired and encouraged by those composers and musicians who dedicate themselves to the creation of new music. You are welcome to join us at these concerts in a celebration of new musical ideas, new compositional techniques, and different cultural experiences.

 


Brian Chatpo Koo
Artistic Director
Sydney Contemporary Orchestra

 


WELCOME MESSAGE
from the Mayor of the Hills Shire - Dr Michelle Byrne

 

Welcome to the Sydney Contemporary Orchestra’s 2020 program.

I’m thrilled that we are now in a position where can once again come together and enjoy wonderful music, produced by our talented locals.

It’s been a tough year, but it’s been a year that has really made us stop, think and reconsider our actions.

It’s been a year, where we’ve reclaimed some of our time and really focused on reconnecting with others.

And it’s also been a year, where some of us have discovered new talents, learnt new skills or pursued new hobbies.

I want to thank the Sydney Contemporary Orchestra for their tenacity throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and for discovering new ways of sharing their music with others.

I also want to thank event organisers, the talented musicians and everyone else who has contributed to making tonight a very special evening.

Finally, I would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a very happy New Year.

Thank you.

Mayor of The Hills Shire
Dr Michelle Byrne

 



PROGRAM 

CONTEMPORARY PIANO MUSIC 2020
SDYENY INTERNATIONAL COMPOSERS CONCERTS

18 December 2020
TLC Theatre
Baulkham Hills High School
Sydney Australia

Pianist - Benjamin Kopp

PROGRAM*

  1. Mutazioni by Matteo Tundo (Italy)
  2. graspinginFINity by Zaq Latino (USA)

    I N T E R V A L

  3. Impromptu for Piano by Brian Chatpo Koo (Australia)
  4. Three Moods for Piano by Brian T Field (USA)
  5. Piano Sonata: Psychiatric Interview by Chen-Hsin Su (Taiwan)


PIANIST

Benjamin Kopp 

Pianist Benjamin Kopp has performed as soloist with many major Australian orchestras, including The Metropolitan Orchestra, Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Victoria and WASO. In 2007 he was the winner of the keyboard section of the Symphony Australia Young Performer’s Awards.

In 2009, Benjamin co-founded the Streeton Trio, an all-Australian piano trio. As part of this trio, he has released four CDs (Mendelssohn Complete Piano Trios, Brahms/Ravel, Haydn/ Beethoven/Smalley, Kats-Chernin) which received favourable reviews in Limelight Magazine. The trio also received positive reviews in The Strad magazine. In 2014 the trio performed in Wigmore Hall in London.

He has toured extensively throughout Europe, China, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Scandinavia, New Zealand and Australia.

While living in Europe, Benjamin performed with the Lemanic Modern Ensemble, Ensemble Contrechamps, and as part of the European Chamber Music Academy.

Recently, Benjamin has also been performing with Ensemble Offspring, Umberto Clerici, Daniel Herscovitch and the Sydney Chamber Opera.

Benjamin has studied with Daniel Herscovitch, Pascal Devoyon, Avedis Kouyoumdjian, Rita Reichman and Jennifer Hammond.

Benjamin moved back to Australia in 2013 to follow his dream of building a straw-bale home with a chamber music hall in the Blue Mountains. He now lives there with his young family.


COMPOSERS

Matteo Tundo (Italy)

Matteo Tundo is an Italian composer. His primary interest in composition is the perception and cognition of the sound event, the neural mechanisms that lead to the signification of sound. His work is focused on the application of the neuroaesthetic in music composition. After his early studies in classical guitar, he obtained a Bachelor's degree in Jazz guitar, studying with Umberto Fiorentino at the Conservatory “Luigi Cherubini” in Florence and then a Master's degree in Music and New Technologies. Later he specialized in the Master Sound Technologies and Music Composition at the Conservatory “Arrigo Boito” in Parma. He studied with Marco Ligabue, Alfonso Belfiore, Javier Torres Maldonado, Alvise Vidolin, Laura Zattra, Giorgio Colombo Taccani, Angelo Farina, Esther Lamneck, Emilio Ghezzi and many others. He attended master classes in composition with Yan Maresz, Achim Bornhoeft, Daniel D'Adamo, Iñaki Estrada, Karlheinz Essl, Gianvincenzo Cresta and others.

His music has been played in several Countries: Italy, Germany, Spain, United States, Iran, Korea, Japan and He participated as composer at international music festivals: Mise-En Festival (2019), Labirinti Sonori (2018), Diffrazioni Festival (2014, 2016), Estate Fiesolana (2016), Cluster Music Festival (2018), MUSLAB (2018), OUA-EMF (2017), New Music Day (2017), Mise-En Festival (2019), IlSuono Contemporary Music Week (2019).

Matteo is a member of ESCOM (European Society for the Cognitive Sciences of Music).

He has released three albums: Acatalepsy (Music Republic 2014), Zero Brane (Aut Records 2015) and Equilibrio di Hardy-Weinberg (Antimateria Lab 2017).

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
address: Via Gavazo 65, Ricengo (CR), 26010, Italy site: https://matteotundo.wixsite.com/matteotundo tel. : +39 3404575273
facebook: https://www.facebook.com/matteo.tundo

MUTAZIONI, for piano

PROGRAM NOTES 


In these studies for piano the term “mutation" (mutazione) refers not so much to the musical material itself, but to the perception that this process activates in the listener. The possibilities of mutation are explored through the repetition of well recognizable figures, which undergo changes sometimes evident, sometimes hidden. The form of the studies arises from the activated mutation processes, with some external elements that momentarily interrupt the flow by varying its development.

 


Zaq Latino (USA)

Zaq is an artist of many mediums, originally from Philadelphia, who is making waves in the New York City music, art, and alternative-performance scenes. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Ithaca College in Composition and Voice and often jokes about having 'half a Masters' from Boston University.

As composer, Zaq has had pieces performed in New York City; Brunswick and Waterville, Maine; Saratoga Springs and Ithaca, New York; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and St. Petersburg, Russia. Zaq’s sound is genre-bending and unique, combining his love of metal, alternative rock, and Indian Hindustani music with his Western-Classical training. He makes music for the sake of music; for the excitement of discovering, exploring and organizing sound; and for the joy it brings audiences. Most recently, he collaborated with YouTube personality, “The Cello Doll” on a mutli-commision project entitled ​dollHauz: f​our non-piano trios for violin and cello​. T​he collection will be performed in its entirety and recorded in New York City summer of 2020.

Zaq will be completing his Master of Arts degree from Colorado State University this coming August.

grasping inFINity take sits name from the phenomenal Ada​ Limón​poem, T​he Noisiness of Sleep.​ The first stanza reads as follows...

Careful of what I carry
In my head and in my hollow
I’ve been a long time worried about ​grasping infinity
and coaxing some calm
out of the softest part
of the pins and needles
of me.

Even now as I cite this stanza I have tears in my eyes—​ ​this is my favorite poem I have ever heard. This idea of forever grasping for something just out of reach, or grasping for the everything that is all around us, clung to me and loosely inspired the composition of this piece, not in terms of programaticism but in ideal, in feeling. The repeating parts are never exactly the same upon their return; there is something always dynamic, shifting, and evolving within this music.

Originally written for the Sigma Alpha Iota Piano Composition Competition in 2018, this piece has remained in my performance repertoire and is one of the few pieces of my own I can [attempt to] play. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do, and thank you for listening.

 


Brian Chatpo Koo (Australia)

Brian Chatpo Koo is a Sydney-based musician. He has worked as a violinist, cellist and as a conductor in several professional symphony orchestras before settling down in Sydney in 1993.

He studied music at the University of Hong Kong (Bachelor of Arts in music and Master of Philosophy in music), the University of Sydney (Doctor of Philosophy in music) He was the first person in Australia to receive a PhD degree in music composition. He also studied music at International Summer Course for New Music in Darmstadt, Germany, and obtained his Licentiate, Fellowship Diplomas from Trinity College of Music London.

He has conducted many premieres of his own works, including both his operas. Other notable performances include those by Sendai Philharmonic Orchestra (Japan), Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, Taiwan National Symphony Orchestra, Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra, Tasmania Symphony Orchestra, Hong Kong Symphonic Winds, Hong Kong Sinfonietta, Zelanian Ensemble (New Zealand), Hong Kong New Music Ensemble, Ensemble Kochi (Tokyo Japan), Taiwan National Ensemble, Hamburg New Music Ensemble (Germany), Darmstadt Ensemble (Germany), Accordes Quartet (Toronto Canada) .

As a composer, he has been commissioned by a variety of organisations, including the Hong Kong Composers' Guild, the Hong Kong Arts Festival, and the Symphony Australia. His compositions have been performed and broadcasted over Asia, Europe, North America and Australia.

He won the Hong Kong Young Musicians' Award in 1985 and the Himalaya Cup Award in the First International Competition for Piano Composition in Beijing in 1995.

As an academic member, he has worked as a tutor/teaching assistant for the Music Department in the University of Hong Kong, a senior faculty member of the Australian Institute of Music, (where he established curricula for the Bachelor degree in Music Composition), and an external examiner for the University of Wollongong.

He is the Founding Conductor and Artistic Director of the Sydney Contemporary Orchestra. The SCO Youth Symphony - the Sydney Hills Youth Orchestra and the Sydney Hills Junior Orchestra, and the Western Sydney Symphony Orchestra.

IMPROMPTU
for piano

Written in 2997, this Impromptu consists of three movements. Based on the same material of a series of major triads, these three movements are linked, related to and contrasted with each other.

The 1ist movement, Prestissimo, is a running movement. After the thematic statement, a pouring sound erupts and runs throughout the entire movement in a very fast tempo.

The 2nd movement, Adagio moderato is a singing movement. contrasted with the first movement, it is slow in pace and soft in dynamic.

The 3rd movement, Allegro con brio is built upon a theme and six variations. It brings up a brilliant character and sororities of the instrument by constantly using large range changing and contrasting high and low registers combining.

 


 
Brian T. Field
 
Dr. Brian Field’s music is an eclectic fusion of lyricism and driving rhythm that brings together elements of post- romanticism, minimalism and jazz. He has received a host of awards, including the RMN Classical recording prize, the Benenti Foundation recording prize; First Prize, Briar Cliff Choral Music Competition; and First Prize, Victor Herbert ASCAP Young Composers’ Contest among many others.

Dr. Field began his musical endeavors at age eight with the study of piano, and began his first serious compositional efforts at sixteen, earning his undergraduate degree in music and English literature from Connecticut College, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa. At Connecticut, he studied composition with Noel Zahler, piano with the Polish pedagogue Zosia Jazinovich, organ with John Anthony, and harpsichord/figured-bass realization with Linda Skernick.

Devoting himself to composition, Dr. Field continued his musical studies at the Juilliard School in New York City where he was awarded his Master of Music degree. At Juilliard he was a student of Milton Babbitt. From Juilliard, Dr. Field attended Columbia University, earning his Doctorate. At Columbia, he was a President’s Fellow and studied composition with George Edwards and Mario Davidovsky.

Dr. Field’s musical works include music for television and stage; solo acoustic, chamber, ballet, choral, electroacoustic and orchestral works. His compositions have been performed throughout the United States and internationally and are recorded on RMN Classical, Parma Recordings and Ablaze Records.
 

Compositions by Dr Field have been performed by the Sydney Contemporary Orchestra:

From the Clash of Race and Creed in Sydney International Composers Concerts 2018 - Contemporary Orchestra Music
"A Letter from Camp" A Civil-War Tableau for Soprano and Orchestra in Sydney International Composers Concerts 2020 - Contemporary Orchestra Music
Three Moods for Piano in Sydney International Composers Concerts 2020 - Contemporary Piano Music

Three Moods for Piano are brief movements that explore unique rhythmic and melodic themes in sometime angular, sometime more sweeping and accessible manners.

The first movement, “Interior Dialogue,” alternates a principle rhythmic theme between right and left hands; the second movement “Upon Remembrance,” is a sentimental post-romantic tribute; while the last movement “Wind Dance,” is a rapid flurry of rhythmic motion.


Chen-Hsin Su (Taiwan)

SU, Chen-Hsin was born in Chiayi City, Taiwan in 1989, He graduated from the Department of Medicine at China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan, in 2015.

Dr. Su began to compose music during the university period. During 2016-2017, he has 2 musical publication("States of Mind" and "Wanders") available at Amazon.com, including 24 Concert Études in all 24 key. His Piano Suite ”Specific Psychopathology Studies” was awarded with an HONORABLE MENTION specially given by Maestro Artur Cimirro in the 4th Opus Dissonus Competition 2018.

Dr. Su has begun receiving psychiatry residency training programs at the Taoyuan Psychiatric Center, Taiwan since August 2017. As a holiday composer, he enjoyed composing piano pieces especially.

Piano Sonata: Psychiatric Interview

This Piano Sonata including 2 movements. Clinical psychiatric terms are incorporated to each piece in order to associate the audience with human emotions and behaviours.


<Explanation of the psychiatric term>


Paranoia:
A psychiatric syndrome marked by the gradual development of a highly elaborate and complex delusional system, generally involving persecutory or grandiose delusions, with few other signs of personality disorganization or thought disorder.
When the pianist plays this piece, he needs to imagine a picture: an eccentric and suspicious person who gradually produces a systematic delusional system.
Mood disorder, is a group of emotional disturbance that describe a serious change in mood. Special arrangements have also been made for the conversion between various emotional disorders.


Neuroticism:
a personality trait involving tendencies to respond with negative emotions to threat, frustration, or loss.


Dysthymia:
A mild, chronic form of depression that lasts at least 2 years, during which, on most days, the individual experiences depressed mood for most of the day and at least two other symptoms of depression.


Euthymia:
Normal range of mood, implying absence of depressed or elevated mood.
Hypomania:
Mood abnormality with the qualitative characteristics of mania but somewhat less intense.



CONTEMPORARY STRING QUARTETS 2O20
Sydney International Composers Concerts 2020

22 December, 2020 (Sydney Time)
TLC Theatre, Baulkham Hills High School
Sydney Australia

PROGRAM

Sydney Contemporary Orchestra - String Quartet 2020

1st Violin Beata Stanowska
2nd Violin Paul Pokorny
Viola - Irina Andreeva
Cello - Michal Wieczorek

Conductor - Dr Brian Chatpo Koo
Soprano - Laura Wachsmann

Program*:

  1. The Seasons PARAPHRASES OF TCHAIKOVSKY by Xavier Shuang Xu (China/USA)
  2. Defragmentation by Alejandro Javier (Mexico)

    I N T E R V A L

  3. String Quartet No.2 by Frederick Paul Naftel (UK)
  4. String Quartet No.4 by Brian Chatpo Koo (Australia)

 


COMPOSERS

Shuang Xu (Taiwan/USA)

Shuang Xu is a Chinese composer, physicist and engineer. His portfolio consists of more than 30 works of a variety of genres, among which are three piano concertos, one violin concerto, several pieces for string quartet and a quintet for Asian instruments.

Born in Nanjing, China, Xu took an unusual path in musical education. Beginning with piano playing around the age of fourteen, he delved straight into the analysis of contemporary music and compositional theory before studying music history and composition by himself. For ten years in higher education institutions pursuing a degree in physical science. Xu was heavily engaged in musical activities at the same time. Asa pianist, he was a keen advocator of contemporary music and performed a lot of new music including his own in his undergraduate school in China. Little known as a composer, nonetheless he has received several private commissions, and his works have been performed in China, USA, France, and Austria.

Xu's music style spans over a broad spectrum, and his work often exhibits modern techniques applied to conventional sound materials. A notable aspect in his output is that many of his compositions are rooted in nature in a unique way owing to his specialty in physics. He has observed that many natural processes, viewed at a fundamental, physical level, bear remarkable resemblance to the composers' methods of organising, processing and developing musical materials, sometimes termed as "musical logic" in music theory (Taylor 1974; Ries, 2000). With such realizatdion, he has attempted at musicalising natural phenomena of nature-inspired music that is not, in the conventional sense, an emotional expression invoked by nature, but rather a musical organism following certain patterns originated in nature.

The highlights in his category include Schrodinger's Violin, Fractals, Silica, Basis Transformation and Phaes Transition, all of which are musical representations of the title. Xu has gone even further and borrowed concepts in subjects besides science. For example, in his string quartet Satin, the four instruments are orchestrated to knit a certain musical texture, and in Ballade, the music materials role-play as different social classes in a setting of ancient China.

In addition to music, Xu enjoys molecules and mountains. He holds a PhD in chemical physics from the University of Colorado at Boulder, USA. He is currently living in San Diego California.

SEASONS

The Seasons is a set of paraphrases of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s famous eponymous suite for piano. It consists of four movements and each represents a season characterized by its unique soundscape realized by the employment of certain instrument techniques. That is to say, the sounds and timbres and the atmosphere built by them become the theme of each movement, whereas the musical materials of Tchaikovsky are woven into the big picture primarily as symbolic and witty elements. A visual analog would be viewing multiple paintings with different prisms and lenses, which capture parts of each painting and present them through the unique distortion of that optical system. Tchaikovsky’s materials are quoted in an order that is consistent with the typical climate of the temperate zones in the north hemisphere, as tabulated below:

Spring – March, April, May
Summer – June, July, August
Autumn – September, October, November
Winter – December, January, February


To echo the original work of Tchaikovsky, I also composed a poem for each movement in both Chinese and English.

Spring:
The breeze sweeps my face, flipping my sleepy eyes,       风拂面,撩睡眼,惊睹一枝绿艳
      Suddenly I see, a full branch of green colors.
Summer:
The rain pounds the ground, wetting my shirt,                雨打地,湿衬衣,静赏万丈霹雳.
      Silently I watch, a long stretch of lightning bolt.
Autumn:
The sun sets on the field, plating the golden leaves,        日落野,镀金叶,独踏覆草石阶.
      Solely I tramp, the stone steps covered by grass.
Winter:
The snow swings in the heaven, irking the gods,            雪漫天,扰神仙,怒断冰封树尖.
      Grumpily I break, the treetops sealed by ice.

 


ALEJANDRO JAVIER PADILLA GALLEGOS (Mexico)

 Alejandro Javier Padilla Gallegos (Monterrey, Nuevo León). Composer and guitarist. For 5 years (2003-2007) he was coordinator of the Composer Center of Nuevo León, the main agency dedicated to the dissemination of contemporary music in the north of the country. He is founder of the International Festival of Contemporary Music "New Music" of CONARTE. He was Coordinator of Music and Theater of the Arts of CONARTE from 2008 to July 2012. Winner of the Creators with Trajectory scholarship in 2013. Artistic Coordinator of the Composer Center of Nuevo León, generation 2014-2015. As a guitarist he has performed on the most important stages of Nuevo León, he has been a composer and guitarist of different plays and dance, in addition to recording a music record by composers from Nuevo León along with the Itinerant Ensemble, which he directed from 2003 to 2010. His work has been performed in more than 10 countries by the most recognized ensembles and soloists on the world stage such as ARDITTI, TAMBUCO, NEOPERCUSIÓN, HET TRÍO, Peter Sheppard and Aron Shord, Pierre Strauch, Nicolas Crosse, Álvaro Bitrán and Wilfrido Terrazas, among others. On November 8, 2019, his Concert for Guitar and Orchestra, dedicated to the virtuoso guitarist Marco Tamayo, was premiered by the Symphonic Orchestra od the Escuela Superior de Música y Danza de Monterrey, under the direction of Maestro Leo Brouwer. Alejandro Padilla is member of the World Timbres Mixture, a team of composers and players that use this technique created it by the recognized composer France-Argentinian José Luis Campana. Padilla is professor at the Monterrey School of Music and Dance of Composition, Analysis, Contemporary Music and Mexican Music. From 2013 to date, he is the Dean of the Superior School of Music and Dance of Monterrey. He has two degrees, one in Composition and another one in Guitar Player from the Superior School of Music and Dance of Monterrey.

Deframentation
for String Quartet

The String Quartet Defragmentation, was written after reading about the destruction and creation of the stars, the structure and relationships of the intervals are created from imagining how the particles of a star are concentrated and released and how the apparent destruction of the star arrives same, but that is a necessary process so that the universe is in full change.


Frederick Paul Naftel (UK)

Frederick's interest in composing began when he was fourteen and developed at University, where he specialised in this area. Although largely self-taught, he considers himself to be an "eclectic" composer, able to write in many styles and formats, as befits the occasion.

Compositions to date include 2 Concerti for Orchestra, 2 Symphonies, a ballet suite “The Legend of Pandora”(premiered by BSO in July 2017), chamber and vocal music. “Three Sacred Songs” was composed for and premiered by La Nova Singers directed by Michelle Nova in May 2017.

In September 2018, his “Double Concerto for Bass Tuba and Contrabass Tuba” was premiered by Andy Wyatt, Mike Johnson and Bolton Symphony Orchestra and the Bass Clarinet Concerto was premiered in March 2019 by its dedicatee, Gerry Green.

“Aubade Pastorale” was performed by The Amaretti Chamber Orchestra in May 2019, while Bolton Chamber Orchestra will give the first performance of “Renaissance Dance Suite” during 2021.

A Violin Concerto is being specially composed for the leader of Bolton Symphony, Anita Levy. This will be premiered in 2021, as will a “Requiem” for women’s voices and chamber orchestra, dedicated to Michelle Nova and La Nova Singers. A ballet based on the Mexican Day of the Dead Festival is also in the works.

In May 2020, Freddy received an award from the prestigious Paul Hamlyn Foundation, having been nominated for a prize by Sir James MacMillan. In October of the same year, Freddy was runner-up in the King Lear Arts Competition, his entry being the best in the Chairman’s Prize music field of the competition.

He is also working on a 3rd Symphony and on a proposed ballet based on the legend of Pandora, having been in discussions with the choreographer Wayne McGregor.


String Quartet No.2

My 2nd String Quartet was composed during the current Coronavirus pandemic and its style is definitely affected by this period. I would describe the music as a strong statement of mind.

In complete contrast to my relatively straightforward 1st Quartet, which is in 4 movements, the present work is in one uninterrupted movement, divided into five parts, with an epilogue.

The intervals of the major 7th and minor 2nd are a strong feature of the music, which contrasts intensely static passages, which are nevertheless uneasily tranquil, with furious and violent sections, often marked triple forte in certain passages.

The opening “Lento” flows serenely but mysteriously as if awaiting some kind of resolution, using motifs rather than fully-fledged themes(of which there are very few). The viola makes an urgent and violent protest, later to be imitated by cello, as if to disrupt the serenity, until the second section bursts in with barely-controlled energy and fury.

This “Allegro feroce” is strongly accented and relentless in its forward momentum, the tension maintained almost throughout until the music suddenly quietens down, pizzicato passages leading to the next section.

The “Adagio Sostenuto” initially resembles plainsong, all four instruments in unison(muted) playing a smooth line which rises and falls, the dynamics remaining “pp” and “senza vibrato”. The line breaks into harmony based on the interval of a perfect 5 th , eventually leading to a passage reminiscent of the very opening of the work. A brief crescendo leads to another quiet unison passage which becomes more fragmented and unsettled, first and second violins announcing an aggressive idea which becomes the initial impetus for the fourth section.

This “Presto Furioso” is even more violently energetic than the second section and at one point, alternates between 3/8 and 4/8, making the music sound even more unsettled. This is music with a strong sense of purpose as well as absolute fury. After a very short scalic passage, the final section begins “Grave” and “pp” with a sustained unison “C”, growing in power with exaggerated vibrato to a series of crunching discords and a wildly disconcerting episode featuring swirling upper strings and impassioned cello solo. The music dies away to the Epilogue.

The concluding part of the work calls for a recorded cello playing a pizzicato pedal, over which violins and viola play a series of overlapping (tonal) triads, giving the music a slightly warmer but still mysterious sound. The recorded cello’s pedal notes slow down until a final powerful discord from the 4 instruments dies away, leaving the “sighing” motif of the very opening of the work to have the last word.

© 2020 Freddy Naftel


Brian Chatpo Koo

Brian Chatpo Koo is a Sydney-based musician. He has worked as a violinist, cellist and as a conductor in several professional symphony orchestras before settling down in Sydney in 1993.

He studied music at the University of Hong Kong (Bachelor of Arts in music and Master of Philosophy in music), the University of Sydney (Doctor of Philosophy in music) He was the first person in Australia to receive a PhD degree in music composition. He also studied music at International Summer Course for New Music in Darmstadt, Germany, and obtained his Licentiate, Fellowship Diplomas from Trinity College of Music London.

He has conducted many premieres of his own works, including both his operas. Other notable performances include those by Sendai Philharmonic Orchestra (Japan), Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, Taiwan National Symphony Orchestra, Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra, Tasmania Symphony Orchestra, Hong Kong Symphonic Winds, Hong Kong Sinfonietta, Zelanian Ensemble (New Zealand), Hong Kong New Music Ensemble, Ensemble Kochi (Tokyo Japan), Taiwan National Ensemble, Hamburg New Music Ensemble (Germany), Darmstadt Ensemble (Germany), Accordes Quartet (Toronto Canada) .

As a composer, he has been commissioned by a variety of organisations, including the Hong Kong Composers' Guild, the Hong Kong Arts Festival, and the Symphony Australia. His compositions have been performed and broadcasted over Asia, Europe, North America and Australia.

He won the Hong Kong Young Musicians' Award in 1985 and the Himalaya Cup Award in the First International Competition for Piano Composition in Beijing in 1995.

As an academic member, he has worked as a tutor/teaching assistant for the Music Department in the University of Hong Kong, a senior faculty member of the Australian Institute of Music, (where he established curricula for the Bachelor degree in Music Composition), and an external examiner for the University of Wollongong.

He is the Founding Conductor and Artistic Director of the Sydney Contemporary Orchestra. The SCO Youth Symphony - the Sydney Hills Youth Orchestra and the Sydney Hills Junior Orchestra, and the Western Sydney Symphony Orchestra.

STRING QUARTET NO.4
The Music in Edvard Munch's Three Paintings

Inspired by three of Edvard Munch's the pictures, this string quartet consists of three movements in the following order:

  1. The Dance of Life
  2. Melancholy
  3. Scream

The order of these three pictures seemingly represent the artist's cataclysmic experiences of his life and his philosophy - longing for love, sadness for lost family and friends, and expounding the merciless reality of life - a fearful, infinite scream.


The first movement, The Dance of Life is dominated by cheerful music throughout depicting Munch's stages of womanhood: youth and innocence; love and passion, and inexorable coming of old age.


The second movement 'Melancholy' is a slow, quiet and pensive movement, expressing one's feeling of gloom.
The last movement 'Scream' is full of fear and uneasiness. In this movement, a soprano recites the text written by Munch.

Composed in 1999. Presented by Arditti Quartet in 'Composer Workshop' Wednesday 18 February 2009, Elisabeth Murdoch Hall, Melbourne Recital Centre, Melbourne, Vic. Reported by Mark Viggiani:

".... Brian Koo’s String Quartet No. 4 featured flowing textures and chromatic bands of sound - an evocative work, in which much use was also made of slow upward glissandi and microtonal slides. After much discussion and many suggestions, the sight-reading Quartet then proceeded to do exactly what the composer had requested, revealing the awesome chemistry and empathy that can evolve in an experienced ensemble."

 



MUSICIANS 

Beata Stanowska
Master of Arts (Violin – Poland)

Concertmaster of the Sydney Contemporary Orchestra.
1st Violin, Ensemble Modern 2013 - Sydney Contemporary Orchestra
1st Violin, String Quartet 2016 - Sydney Contemporary Orchestra
1st Violin, String Quartet 2020 - Sydney Contemporary Orchestra


Teacher of Violin Beata has extensive experience as a performer and music teacher. She gained her qualifications in the Lyceum of
Music in Warsaw, Poland and completed her Master of Arts study in the class of Professor T. Kochanski, in the Academy of Music in Gdansk Faculty of Instrumental Studies, where she held a concertmaster position with the Symphony Orchestra.

She was awarded a distinction in the National Children's Violin Competition in Lancut (Poland). Beata became a principal violinist with both the State Opera and Philharmonic Orchestra and Baltic Chamber Orchestra, with which she toured extensively throughout Europe, including France, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium and
Spain. She has performed at such famous venues as The Munich Philharmonic, Alte Oper in Frankfurt and Concertgebouw in Amsterdam.

Since arriving in Australia in 1992, Beata has performed with Willoughby Symphonic Orchestra (leader), East-West Symphonic Orchestra, Amadeus Players (co-leader), Macquarie Symphony Orchestra and Choir at the Macquarie University (leader) and a variety of string ensembles. In 1995 she gave her solo performance during the Gala Concert with WSO, receiving an excellent review.
In 2015 Beata performed at The Flute Tree Studio and Utzon Hall at the Opera House with Hourglass Ensemble. Currently, she holds a concertmaster position in Sydney Contemporary Orchestra, leads a string quartet (Strings Attached), works as a recording musician (soundtrack for Water Diviner and movies by Pixar) while continuing teaching from her private studio in Castle Hill and providing tuition in Tara Anglican School for Girls and Marist College.


Paul Pokorny (Violinist)

Paul is Associate Principal of the Sydney Contemporary Orchestra, Western Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Concertmaster of the Strathfield Symphony Orchestra and Balmain Sinfonia, having also appeared as soloist with Strathfield on several occasions. He has worked with many of Sydney’s most prominent musicians, having been the Concertmaster of the Ku-ring-gai Philharmonic Orchestra, Encore Kammer orchestra Warringah Symphony, Sydney Serenade, The Sydney Occasional Orchestra, Lane Cove Symphony and North Shore Youth Orchestra, and played with the Ryde Hunters Hull Symphony, Solar Chamber Orchestra, Northern Chamber Orchestra and Orchestra 143. Paul also plays with the Bourbaki Ensemble,
occasionally as Concertmaster.

Paul is a keen chamber musician and 1st violin of the Strathfield String Quartet.

In addition to performing freelance work, for many years Paul has been a active orchestral leader and player for many of Sydney’s musical societies, playing regularly for the musical societies of Chatswood, Willoughby, Zenith Theatre, various G&amp;S societies, Encore Theatre, Pacific Opera and Rockdale Opera. Paul also enjoys singing and playing piano.

 


Irina Andreeva (Violist)

Dr Irina Andreeva began her studies in Novosibirsk Russia. She studied with M.Liberman and G.Turchaninova - tutors of renowned Russian violinists Vadim Repin and Maxim Vengerov. At the age of
11 Irina performed Lalo’s ‘Symphony Espagnole ‘ with Novosibirsk Academic Symphony Orchestra and later became the youngest member of this orchestra at the age of 18.

As an orchestral and chamber musician, she toured extensively throughout; Russia, Asia, Europe, New Zealand and the Kingdom of Tonga performing alongside great musicians such as Mstislav Rostropovich, Vladimir Spivakov and Martha Argerich. Her teaching carrier began over 25 years ago in Russia. Since then she has taught and worked with youth orchestras in Europe, New Zealand, the Kingdom of Tonga and Australia. She has led many ensembles winning prestigious competitions in Australia and New Zealand.

In 2010 Dr Andreeva was awarded the Order of the Member of the Royal Household of the Kingdom of Tonga for her services to Music; Irina considers this as one of the highlights of her career alongside her performance of the Australasian premier of Darius Milhaud&#39;s Second Concerto for viola and orchestra with NZSM orchestra in Wellington New Zealand in 2013, this work being the subject of her doctorate.

Dr Andreeva holds various degrees in violin and viola including Postgraduate Diploma in Performance and Music Pedagogy from Russia, MMus First Class Honours in Performance from Auckland University and Doctor of Musical Arts from Victoria University of Wellington New Zealand.

 


Michal Wieczorek (Cellist)

Master of Arts - Major Cello (Tertiary Diploma), Academy of Music (Katowice, Poland).

Principal cello of the Sydney Contemporary Orchestra
Principal cello of the Western Sydney Symphony Orchestra

A winer of many competitions in Poland and Czechoslovakia, Michal gained his Master of Arts degree in cello performance in Poland. Studied Master Classes with Kurt Lewin (Lancut , Poland), Uzi Wiesel (Bayreuth, Germany) and Catherine Hewgill (Sydney, Australia).

Teacher of cello, Michal has extensive experience in teaching and performing. As a cello teacher, he has taught cello in many schools both in Poland and in Australia. As a performer, Michal has host principal cello positions in many orchestras including Polish Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Sydney Opera House Orchestra, Willoughby Symphony Orchestra, Gosford City Orchestra, Newcastle University Choir Orchestra, Central Coast Conservatorium Orchestra, Australian National Opera to name a few.

 


Laura Wachsmann (Soprano)

 

Laura is in her third year at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, where she is completing a BMus Performance (Classical Voice) under the tutelage of Narelle Yeo. Laura was introduced to her love of singing as a chorister, and had opportunities to sing with Sydney Chamber Choir, Sydney Philharmonia Choirs and The Australian Voices. In 2018 she was one of six off-stage soprano soloists for the Sydney Symphony Orchestra's performance of The Last Days of Socrates by Brett Dean (2018). 2019 marked Laura's operatic debut. She played 'Second Woman' in Purcell's Dido and Aeneas (The Other Theatre Co.) and 'Coridon' in Handel's Acis and Galatea (Ensemble Polyphème), as well as 'Principal Burton' in Seven Little Australians (Opera Carnivale). She was also a chorus member for the Sydney Symphony Orchestra's semi-staged production of Britten's Peter Grimes, as well as Ravel's opera L’enfant et les sortilèges (Sydney Conservatorium of Music). This year, she played 'John Sorel' in a re-imagined production of Menotti's The Consul (The Cooperative), and 'Cousin Hebe' in Gilbert and Sullivan's H.M.S Pinafore (Rockdale Opera).



SYDNEY CONTEMPORARY ORCHESTRA

Founded in 2013 and led by its Founding Conductor, Artistic and Executive Director Dr Brian Chatpo Koo, the Sydney Contemporary Orchestra (SCO) is dedicated to exploring and promoting new music of contemporary composers.

Based in Sydney Australia and comprised of about 100 of Sydney finest professional musicians, the SCO offers high standard professional video recording service for contemporary orchestral music providing significant incentives for composers to pursue creative endeavours in new music and to enrich the music culture of our times. 

Since 2013, the SCO has hosted 12 concerts - Music Contemporary 2013, 2014, 2015, Contemporary Piano Music 2014, Chamber Music 2014, and the Sydney New Music Festival 2016 which consists of six open rehearsals and 3 public concerts (Contemporary Piano Music 2016, Contemporary String Quartets 2016 and Contemporary Chamber Music 2016), Sydney International Composers Concerts 2017, Sydney International Composers Concerts 2018, ,and has performed and promoted 56 new works of the composers from 40 countries and regions around the world.  The SCO also hosted and video recorded a Chinese New Year Concert for the celebration of the Chinese Spring Festival in 2015 which was highly acclaimed. 

The vision of the SCO is to enrich the cultural life of Sydney, and to establish Sydney's reputation as a leading centre for the performance of contemporary music. The SCO promotes the music of today’s composers from Australia and around the world. It is the only Australian orchestra dedicated to the performance of new music by today’s contemporary composers.



MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE

President - Dr Brian Chatpo Koo
Vice President -Rawah Dorranian
Secretary - Rajishwar Datt
Treasurer - Lalesh Chand
Linda Haworth
Rita Lee
Eva Lau


THE SCO EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

Executive Director - Dr Brian Chatpo Koo
Office Manager - Rajishwar Datt
Finance Manager - Lalesh Chand
Publicity Manager - Rawah Dorranian
Concert Manager - Rita Lee

 

THE SCO YOUTH SYMPHONY

Conductor - Dr Brian Chatpo Koo
Orchestra Manager - Rebecca Caffyn
Membership Manager - Eva Lau
Concert Manager - Rita Lee

THE SCO FOUNDATION COMMITTEE
Chair - Dr Brian Chatpo Koo
Deputy Chair - Marilyn Koo
Treasurer - Lalesh Chand
Secretary - Rajishwar Datt



 ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

We are proudly supported by 

 

THE HILLS SHIRE COUNCIL

 

BAULKHAM HILLS HIGH SCHOOL

 

 

THE SCO FOUNDATION

 

Special thanks to our Management Committee.
Without this wonderful volunteer team, nothing would get done!

SUPPORT NEW MUSIC

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Patron Program

Be inspired, be challenged and enjoy the privileges of being an SCO patron. Gain access to the best seats, composer meet and greet, and a host of other offerings. Join today to enjoy the music of our times.

Patron Levels: 

  • Orchestra - $40,000 AUD+
  • Chamber - $20,000 AUD - $39,999 AUD
  • Quartet - $10,000 AUD - $19,000 AUD
  • Solo - $5,000 AUD - 9,999 AUD

All donations and gifts are tax deductible in Australia.  

For more information about Patron Program please contact us:

office@sydneycontemporaryorchestra.org.au

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CORPORATE SPONSORSHIPS

Be aligned with one of the most modern, progressive, innovative and contemporary orchestras in Australia. Our corporate sponsorship program allows companies to shine, market to a niche audience and reap many extensive benefits of such a partnership.

The more generous the level of support, the more exclusive the benefits, and may include:

  • access to dress rehearsals
  • client entertaining opportunities through meet and greet (composers and orchestra)
  • product display and marketing handouts
  • VIP tickets
  • recognition opportunities - social media, advertising programs at the concert
  • private event sponsorship opportunities
  • employee discount ticket program

Corporate Sponsorship Levels:

  1. $2500 Corporate Strings
  2. $5000 Corporate Woodwind
  3. $10,000 Corporate Brass
  4. $20,000 Corporate Percussion
  5. $40,000+ Corporate Orchestra

These are generally corporate sponsorships and tax deductible to the business as a business expense.

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Our Sponsors

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No one else in Sydney is doing this, and you are providing a great contribution to our musical scene.

Steven Machamer - Timpanist 

 

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....an amazing energy, funding and collecting works is needed to organize and realize an orchestra such as SCO and all these wonderful concerts, you make the quality of music rise in every musical work and there are not a lot of you out there.

Trimor Dhomi - Composer (Kosovo)

 

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The SCO has been doing very interesting work indeed and certainly worthy of support.

Prof  Stuart Geoffrey Andrew Greenbaum - Composer (Australia)