Con tour brings centuries of music to regional NSW

21 October 2016

Up to 30 tertiary musicians from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music will head west on a three-day road tour of the Blue Mountains, Bathurst and Orange to bring the music of Handel, Vivaldi and Bach and other classical music greats to regional New South Wales next week.

Associate Professor Neal Peres Da Costa (centre) with part of the Early Music Ensemble of tertiary students from the Con heading on the regional NSW tour.

Associate Professor Neal Peres Da Costa (centre) with part of the Early Music Ensemble of tertiary students from the Con heading on the regional NSW tour.

Leading the special tour is Associate Professor Neal Peres Da Costa, who, arguably, has created the best place to study early music and historical performance in Australia today at the Con.

A graduate of the University of Sydney, the Guildhall School of Music and Drama (London), the City University (London), and the University of Leeds (UK), Peres Da Costa was also Chair of Historical Performance at the Con for 10 years (2006-2016).

“I am looking forward immensely to this tour as it will be the culmination of a year’s work with a dedicated group of students. Together we have journeyed through centuries of beautiful music with a focus on how it might have been played at the time of composition.

“It will be a pleasure to take our experiences of this special sound world beyond the Sydney Conservatorium of Music to audiences in regional NSW,” said Associate Professor Peres Da Costa.

One-off school, public and alumni performances will be held at Winmalee High School (28 October), St Michael and St John’s Cathedral in Bathurst (29 October) and Highland Heritage Estate in Orange (30 October).

The music students of the University of Sydney’s Conservatorium of Music will perform baroque works by Handel, Vivaldi, Geminiani and Bach, as well as a newly-discovered work for recorder consort by Portuguese Baroque composer Pedro de Arau'jo. Some less heard and seen instruments, including the harpsichord, theorbo and viola da gamba, with players on replica period instruments with gut strings, will form the unique Con ensemble.

The touring ensemble consists of Australia’s youngest and brightest period musicians. They are learning from musicians from leading national and international ensembles such as Ironwood, Australian Chamber Orchestra, Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, Orchestra of the Antipodes, Pinchgut Opera, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Salut! Baroque and English Baroque Soloists.

Dean of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Professor Anna Reid, says the tour is a really important way of forming strong music connections between city and regional conservatoriums and students across the state and country. “Many of the students heading on the tour came from regional areas and are truly an inspiration for future musicians,” said Professor Anna Reid.

The Bathurst public concert coincides with the 150th anniversary of the Bathurst Diocese, when the first Bishop, Matthew Quinn, and the first seven Mercy Sisters arrived in Australia from Ireland. It also marks the beginning of a new Diocesan Pastoral Council. The concert will take place in the beautiful and historic cathedral at 1pm on 29 October. Tickets are $10 (adults) and $5 (children/seniors/concession) and are available at the door. All proceeds will go towards the restoration of the cathedral.

For more event information and concert tickets visit the Sydney Conservatorium of Music website.

Mandy Campbell

Media & PR Adviser