Musica Viva Australia
Musica Viva Australia was founded in 1945 by Romanian born violinist Richard Goldner, with the aim of bringing chamber music to Australia. In 1945 Musica Viva was a string ensemble performing chamber music to small groups of European immigrants. In 2013, Musica Viva has become the largest chamber music presenter in the world.
Musica Viva also runs one of the largest music education programs in Australia, Musica Viva In Schools.
Musica Viva's heritage is grounded in the vision of one man - Richard Goldner - a Romanian-born violist who had trained in Vienna. Goldner arrived in Australia as a refugee in 1939 but maintained his strong connections with many of the most respected musicians in Europe.
Once asked what he expected when he arrived in Australia, his answer was simple. First he expected to save his life. Second, he soon realised that music was not a way of life in Australia in the way it was in Europe. Men generally did not attend concerts as it was considered 'sissy' - a perception that lasted until the GIs came from America.
Goldner persevered and soon after formed the Monomeeth String Quartet, which took its name from an Indigenous Australian word for peace and harmony.
Inspired by his life in Vienna and the enormous respect for his teacher Simon Pullman, he was determined to create a 'Pullman-like' ensemble in Sydney. Reading in 1944 of his great mentor's death in the Treblinka extermination camp in August 1942, Goldner's plans accelerated and he recruited 17 musicians and divided them into four string quartets (and piano). The quartets were trained individually before uniting as one group - Richard Goldner's Sydney Musica Viva.
The first concert of Sydney Musica Viva was presented at Verbrugghen Hall, Sydney Conservatorium of Music on 8 December 1945. Let down by Sydney's unreliable post-war power supply, the concert took place in darkness save the headlights of several cars parked in the doorway of the auditorium and some hurricane lamps in the foyers.
International Concert Season
Musica Viva's International Concert Season presents great chamber musicians from around the world.
- Concerts are staged in: Adelaide; Brisbane; Canberra; Melbourne; Sydney; Newcastle; Perth and Hobart.
- The 2017 Season will feature The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Eighth Blackbird, Pacifica Quartet, Sitkovetsky Trio, Takacs Quartet, Angela Hewitt, and piano-cell duo Nicolas Altstaedt and Aleksandar Madžar.
- The 2015 Season featured Tafelmusik, the Eggner Trio, the Modigliani String Quartet, the Goldner String Quartet, Steven Isserlis with Connie Shih, I Fagiolini, Paul Lewis, and Maxim Vengerov.
- The 2014 Season featured the Kelemen Quartet, the Sitkovetsky Trio, the American Brass Quintet, the Choir of King's College, Cambridge, Imogen Cooper, the Borodin Quartet, and Ray Chen with Timothy Young.
- The 2013 Season featured Karin Schaupp and Pavel Steidl, the Morgenstern Trio and Christopher Moore, the Tokyo String Quartet, Jian Wang and Bernadette Harvey, the Elias String Quartet, Angela Hewitt, and the Academy of Ancient Music and Sara Macliver. The featured composers for 2013 are Peter Sculthorpe, Ross Edwards, Carl Vine and Matthew Hindson.
- The 2012 Season featured Tafelmusik, Diana Doherty with the St. Lawrence String Quartet, Trio Dali, the Takács Quartet, Amarcord, the Kuss Quartet, Naoko Shimizu, Anthony Marwood and Aleksandar Madžar. Gordon Kerry was the featured composer.
- The 2011 series featured: Andreas Scholl, the Eggner Trio, the Brentano String Quartet, Concerto Copenhagen with Genevieve Lacey, the Goldner String Quartet with Ian Munro, Stephen Hough, and Sabine Meyer with the Modigliani String Quartet. Ian Munro was the 2011 Featured Composer.
Musica Viva In Schools
Since 1981 Musica Viva In Schools has been inspiring children to think about, actively listen to, and create music by bringing professional live music performances to primary and secondary schools all over Australia. Musica Viva In Schools provide teachers with up-to-date training and the latest digital technology so they can incorporate the live music experience into their everyday classroom teaching.
The Musician In The Classroom residency program sends professional musicians and composers to work directly with students. This could be to teach a school band, to coach a choir, to help write a school song, or just to teach music in the classroom.
Through grants and special funding, Musica Viva also creates special music projects for remote, disadvantaged and special needs schools and their students. The major program for secondary students, Live Music Packages, is a live performance and a workshop, which is a great way for elective music students to challenge themselves and learn directly from professional musicians.
In 2014, The Guardian named Musica Viva In Schools' Interactive Whiteboards as one of the ten global R&D projects that are changing arts and culture.
Musica Viva Festival
The Musica Viva Festival is held biennially at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. The festival is a four-day celebration of chamber music featuring the best international and local artists on stage. During the festival mentorship is provided for the Australian Youth Orchestra Chamber Players.
- In 2017, the Festival will feature Pinchas Zuckerman, Lambert Orkis, and the Elias Quartet.
- In 2013, the Musica Viva Festival included Lambert Orkis, Benjamin Beilman, Alice Giles, Sharon Bezaly, Hector McDonald, Pieter Wispelwey, Pacifica Quartet, and Goldner String Quartet.
- In 2011 the second Musica Viva Festival was held in Sydney; musicians included Pekka Kuusisto, Takács Quartet, Eggner Trio, Khatia Buniatishvili, Goldner String Quartet, and the musicians from the Australian Youth Orchestra.
- The 2013 Musica Viva Festival was held from 3–7 April 2013.
Musica Viva’s Coffee Concerts are held in Sydney and Melbourne on five Tuesday mornings throughout the year. Here friends meet for cake and coffee in the foyer, then enjoy a short one-hour concert from a diverse selection of Australia’s finest chamber ensembles and soloists. The Sydney venue is the Independent Theatre, the Melbourne venue is the Elisabeth Murdoch Hall
- The 2014 Sydney season features Young Kwon Choi, the Piano Trio from Australia Ensemble @UNSW, Catrin Finch, the Brisbane Chamber Choir, and the Goldner String Quartet.
- The 2014 Melbourne season features Young Kwon Choi, Songmakers Australia, Nikki Chooii & Amid Farid, James Crabb & Genevieve Lacey, and the Goldner String Quartet.
- The 2013 Sydney season featured Karak, Lissa Moore, Enigma Quartet, Emma Sholl & Clemens Leske, and The Choir of Trinity College, Melbourne
- The 2013 Melbourne season featured SHE - Seven Harp Ensemble, Wilma & Friends, Li-Wei Qin & Kristian Chong, The Choir of Trinity College, Melbourne, and Steeton Trio.
- The 2012 Sydney season featured Goldner Quartet, Piers Lane, and James Crabb.
- The 2012 Melbourne season featured Benjamin Breen & Caroline Almonte, Tiffany Speight & David McNicol, Oliver She, La Compañia, and Adam Chalabi & Marshall McGuire.
- The 2011 Sydney season featured Synergy Percussion, Geoffrey Collins with Alice Giles, Australian Brass Quintet, Emma-Jane Murphy with Bernadette Harvey.
- The 2011 Melbourne season featured Howard Panny with Timothy Young, Tinalley String Quartet, Saguaro Trio, Melbourne Symphony Percussion & Friends and Australian Brass Quintet.
In 2012, Musica Viva ran a program called Rising Stars - an initiative that provides purposeful performance-based and practical training opportunities for three emerging Australian chamber ensembles each year. The Rising Stars of 2012 were the Enigma Quartet, Sydney Camerata Quartet, and Streeton Trio.
Country Wide is a regional touring program of public concerts, family concerts, workshops and residencies reaching more than 18,000 rural Australians each year.
Beethoven and the Zipper
In 2011, the Academy Award-winning former film producer Suzanne Baker published a book titled Beethoven and the Zipper: The Astonishing Story of Musica Viva, which detailed how Richard Goldner had invented and patented a zip fastener for the Australian Army, and used the proceeds to establish Musica Viva Australia.
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- This Is The Golden Age