Festival of Art Song

A Festival of Art Song at the Con

6 July 2022

Music harmonises with poetic imagery in Art Song performances

The Sydney Conservatorium of Music stages a four-day festival of performances and masterclasses highlighting the role of the pianist and how music can paint the words of poetry.

Festival of Art Song logo

The Collaborative Piano and Vocal Units of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music will curate four fulfilling days of Art Song recitals and lectures. This grand ode to voice and piano is sponsored by the Accompanists' Guild of NSWWirripang PTY. LTD and the Sydney Schubert Society, and spearheaded by Jeanell Carrigan, Associate Professor of Collaborative Piano at the Conservatorium.

“Art Song” originates from the term “lied” (plural: lieder) in the German musical tradition. This genre refers to classical compositions of “poetry set to music” meant to be performed by singers with a corresponding instrument (in this case, the piano).

Audiences will be lavished with musical performances showcasing the intricate relationship between poetry and music—from Korean Art Songs, renditions of works by canonical poets like Samuel Coleridge Taylor and Judith Wright, to a special appearance by world-renowned composer George Palmer and much more. The culturally diverse line-up features pianists and singers who are alumni, teaching staff and friends of the Con, including Barry Ryan, Anke Hὅppner-Ryan, David Greco, Simon Lobelson, Narelle Yeo, David Howie, and David Miller, all of whom are highly acclaimed musicians in both the local scene and abroad.

Lieder requires the piano to unfold the drama of song as an equal partner.
Stephen Hough: Rough Ideas. Reflections on Music and More. Faber and Faber, 2019

Two international field experts will conduct masterclasses on the significance of pianists in performing Art Songs, and how composers from various cultural backgrounds use music to express and enrich poetic imagery.

Professor Dr Graham Johnson is an esteemed British classical pianist and Lied accompanist who was awarded the Order of the British Empire in 1994 and the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany (Bundesverdienstkreuz) in 2021.

Professor Christian Wilm Müller is a veteran pianist and Lied accompanist from Germany who currently teaches piano and chamber music at the University of Music Franz Liszt in Weimar.

The festival will also host the prestigious 2022 David Miller Award and 2022 Elizabeth Todd Lieder Prize in Memory of Geoffrey Parsons during this unique musical gathering.

All performances will be held at the Recital Hall West from 29 September to 2 October 2022.

Tickets for the Festival of Art Song can be purchased online. Admission prices are $140 for a full festival pass, and $45 for a single-day pass. 

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