Beethoven Recital

Balcony View LandscapeThe bright spring sunshine on 14 September didn’t deter a full house for our Beethoven recital in the Mortlock Library. The beautiful surrounds and mellow acoustic lent themselves perfectly to a lovely afternoon of chamber music.

Liz Vince

The music was preceded by an introduction from FASO President Liz Bowen, who welcomed the audience and performers, and outlined some of the ways in which the Friends have supported the Orchestra over the past year. This was followed by some words of greeting and support from ASO CEO Vincent Ciccarello, and then we settled into our seats for an afternoon of fine music.

Quartet 1Janet Anderson’s quartet, with Emma Perkins, Linda Garrett and Gemma Phillips, performed the String Quartet op 18 no 3. This lyrical composition was Beethoven’s first foray into the genre of string quartets, and a delightful start to the concert.

Quartet 2Minas and Erna Berberyan then joined Imants Larsens and Cameron Waters in Quartet no 11 in F Minor, op 95, Serioso. This quartet from Beethoven’s late middle period was at times intense, at others lyrical, and finished with a bright, joyful ending that left people relaxed and smiling for the interval refreshments of riesling, orange juice, sachertorte and german apple cake in the light, airy gallery with the Ernabella Rugs underfoot.

Septet BowsFor the second half, Natsuko Yoshimoto led Imants Larsens, Dean Newcomb, Mark Gaydon, Ewen Bramble, Harley Gray and Anna Axelsson in the Septet op 20 in E♭major. This work, dedicated to the Empress Maria Theresa and first performed in 1800, featured innovative scoring of the wind instruments in the form of a serenade, and the violin cadenza in the sixth and final movement was a perfect showcase for our talented Concertmaster.

AudienceMany people worked together to make this a wonderful afternoon of music. Our thanks go to the ASO staff who helped with the set-up, and particularly to Annika for staying to help with the refreshments and pack-up; to the wonderful musicians who gave so generously of their time and talents; and to the members of the FASO Management Committee who made all the practical things happen.

And, of course, thanks to our members for supporting this sell-out concert. We hope you enjoyed the afternoon as much as we did!


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AGM 2014

Doesn’t the year go fast? The 2014 Annual General Meeting of the Friends of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra will take place in the Grainger Studio on Monday 20 October at 5:30 pm for 6 pm.

As with most FASO functions, refreshments will be served; and you will have an opportunity to meet your Committee members, and hear about our achievements over the past year and plans for the year to come.

We look forward to seeing you there.

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Functions-at-Kooyonga-Landing-PageThis year’s Serenade luncheon will take place at the wonderful Kooyonga Golf Club on Sunday 19 October at 12 noon for 12:30 pm.

This ever-popular event gives Friends a chance to mingle with others, accompanied by good food and wine, and serenaded by the superb Bacchanalia Quartet.

Booking and price details will be available shortly.

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Beethoven Festival

Beethovens_Chamber_Music_AdelaideThe ASO’s Beethoven Festival kicked off on Friday 15 August with the Conduct Your Orchestra event at the Adelaide Railway Station, which was a resounding success.

Now the countdown is on for the Friends of the ASO’s chamber music concert on Sunday 14 September at 2pm in the Mortlock wing of the State Library.

Several of our wonderful ASO players will be presenting an exciting Beethoven programme:

  • Septet op 20 in E flat major (Natsuko Yoshimoto, Dean Newcomb, Mark Gaydon, Imants Larsens, Ewen Bramble, Harley Gray, Anna Axelsson)
  • String Quartet no 11 in F minor, op 95, Serioso (Minas Berberyan, Erna Berberyan, Imants Larsens, Cameron Waters)
  • String Quartet op 18 no 3 (Janet Anderson, Emma Perkins, Michael Robertson, Gemma Phillips)

The concert will take about 2 hours with interval, and the ticket price of $40 for FASO members and $45 for non-members includes refreshments.

Numbers are limited and tickets are going fast – there are only a few places left – so make sure you call the Friends office on 08 8233 6211 (or e-mail if you haven’t booked yet!

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First FASO Function for 2012

The first Friends’ event for 2012 will be a concert presented by the Adelaide Youth Strings ensemble conducted by Martin Butler, on Sunday 1 April at 2:30 pm in the Grainger Studio.

The concert will take the form of a semi-open rehearsal and performance, in which Martin will comment on the pieces and the ensemble’s approach to performing them, and demonstrate the process.

Afternoon tea will be served.

FASO is delighted to support AdYO, a very talented group of young musicans – and the next generation of professional musicians and concertgoers for the Adelaide concert scene and beyond.  You can find out more about them at

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Well, I blinked, and now…

The year is just racing away – especially now that Mad March is upon us – and the ASO is off to a flying start.

First up was Inspired by the Sea, the alfresco concert at Mt Lofty Botanic Garden on Saturday 28 January.  After a superb first half, the heavens opened, but the audience stayed on until safety issues dictated an early end to the concert.  Says a lot about both the quality of the ASO and the stoicism of the Orchestra’s supporters…

While there was no chance of the Season Opening Concert being rained off in the Town Hall on Friday 3 and Saturday 4 February, the rain certainly did its best to make its presence known on the Saturday night.  Nowhere near enough to spoil a great start to the Town Hall concerts, though.  After the majestic opening of Wagner’s Meistersinger Overture (which always leaves me wanting to hear the hymn that follows), Natsuko was in fine form with Sibelius’ Violin Concerto; then after the interval came Berlioz’ Symphonie Fantastique – a piece that I enjoy listening to well enough in broadcasts or recordings, but which has so much more to offer in live performance.  I always love the off-key bells in the final movement’s Dies Irae motif, and it was quite something to watch the augmented tympani in the penultimate movement.

The following week brought The King’s Singers, a highly polished performance by a seasoned and versatile group, and the week after that For the Love of Scotland, replacing the cancelled Symphony at the Movies with Michael Parkinson.  February was then rounded off with Symphony Under the Stars in Elder Park, which went ahead despite the heat and offered the thousands in Elder Park a free treat of popular classics.

And then it was March, and the Orchestra and Adelaide Festival Chorus, under the baton of Italian composer of movie and classical music Maestro Ennio Morricone, competed with (and ultimately prevailed over) the cars of the Clipsal twilight race and the somewhat noisy disposal of bottles during the encores, on the opening night of this year’s Adelaide International Arts Festival.

Still to come this month are Leonard Bernstein’s Mass, the residency at Goolwa and then, on the final weekend of the month, Master Series 1 (Nielsen’s Helios, Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto #1 and Beethoven’s Eroica) at the Town Hall.

And that’s only the first quarter of the year…

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Nothing to do with a Hills Hoist…

The Friends started the year on a strong note by donating two new rotary trumpets to the ASO.  Those of you who were at the AGM last October will remember Matt Dempsey, Principal Trumpet, demonstrating the difference in sound between the traditional trumpet and the rotary trumpet, and explaining why he hoped the Orchestra would be able to use them for (amongst other works) the performance of Bruckner 3 in May.

The trumpets were ordered before the Christmas break, and arrived well in time to complement the existing instrument for their informal first use in the Season Opening concert in February.   Their first formal use will be in Beethoven’s Eroica during the first Master Series concert at the end of March.

Later in the year, there will be a Friends function with an explanation of the trumpets and the opportunity to hear them in recital – more details will be available in due course, so watch this space…

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