Events

Next Concert

8th June 2020

Dear Friends and Supporters of the Australia House Ensemble,

We hope that you were able to join the many people who enjoyed our Anzac Day concert, ‘Hope and Remembrance’ presented in partnership with the Australian High Commission in London. The concert received over 4000 views on their Facebook page. The longer version on our website page which included readings and The Last Post received over 200 views, and is still available to view.  

We are now preparing for a concert titled ‘Night and Day’ to present for the Tait Tuesdays at Home which raises money for the Emergency Relief Fund set up by the Tait Memorial Trust to assist Australian and New Zealand musicians who are facing tough times during the current coronavirus lockdown and cancellation of performances. The concert will feature music by Australian composers Matthew Hindson (Little Chrissietina’s Magic Fantasy , a violin duo played by AHE lead Rebecca Chan and Naoko Keatley our newest member), and Percy Grainger (Irish Tune  performed by the AHE as a quintet). A violin solo composed by Prokofiev will be performed by Iona Allan, and music by Strauss, Bach and Beethoven will complete the programme presented by AHE. We welcome guest Jeremy Kleeman, baritone, who will join the AHE to sing Morgen and Die Nacht by Richard Strauss. Programme notes and performer biographies will be available on the AHE website for the concert.

Please book your tickets and encourage your friends to do so too, so that we can support these young talented Australian performers.

As always, please stay safe and well- follow all the Government guidelines- and together we can walk into a new and positive future.

With all good wishes

Dr Margaret Mayston AM, AHE Founder

James Hancock, AHE Operational Manager

Rebecca Chan, AHE Lead, and all the wonderful AHE musicians.

Night & Day

PROGRAMME

Download the Programme

Australia House Ensemble

present

in association with the Tait Memorial Trust

Tait Tuesdays at Home

with guest Jeremy Kleeman, baritone

Tuesday 23rd June – 9pm AEST | 8pm NZST | 7pm BST

In support of the Tait Emergency Relief Fund for Australian & New Zealand Artists

Morning to Night

PROGRAMME

‘Little Chrissietina’s Magic Fantasy’ (Matthew Hindson 1968- ): Rebecca Chan and Naoko Keatley (violin duo)

BWV 731: Liebster Jesu, wir sind hier (Johannes Bach 1685-1750): Rebecca Chan (Lead, violin), Iona Allan (violin), Sascha Bota, (viola), Daniel Pini (cello)

Die Nacht (The Night) (Richard Strauss 1864-1949): Rebecca Chan (violin), Iona Allan (violin), Sascha Bota, (viola), Daniel Pini (cello), Jeremy Watt (bass). Baritone: Jeremy Kleeman

Violin Sonata Op. 115 (Sergei Prokofiev 1891 -1953): Iona Allan, solo violin

Morgen (Morning) (Richard Strauss 1864- 1949): Rebecca Chan (Lead, violin), Sascha Bota, (viola), Daniel Pini (cello), Jeremy Watt (bass). Baritone: Jeremy Kleeman

Irish Tune from Country Derry. (Percy Grainger 1882 – 1961); Rebecca Chan, Naoko Keatley & Iona Allan (violins), Sascha Bota, (viola), Daniel Pini (cello), Jeremy Watt (bass)

Cavatina from String Quartet no. 13 in B flat Op 130 (L van Beethoven, 1770-1827): Rebecca Chan (Lead, violin), Naoko Keatley (violin), Sascha Bota, (viola), Daniel Pini (cello)

ARTISTS

Rebecca Chan, violin (leader)
Naoko Keatley, violin
Iona Allan, violin
Sascha Bota, viola
Daniel Pini, cello
Jeremy Watt, double bass
Jeremy Kleeman, baritone

To book click here

Previous Concerts

AUSTRALIA HOUSE ENSEMBLE AND FRIENDS

Hope and Remembrance

To be broadcast on the Australian High Commission UK Facebook page at 3pm BST on Anzac Day.

The AHE full concert will be available here on our Facebook page and YouTube here at 4pm BST

For this performance the AHE, who are currently located in both London and Australia, are joined by friends in Australia and New Zealand to bring you this concert on Anzac Day, thanks to the wonder of modern technology. Our web version will also include messages and readings. We are extremely grateful to Lt Gen Greg Bilton AO CSC, Chief of Joint Operations Australia for his message, who only recently headed up the Bushfire operations in Australia on behalf of the Australian Defence Force.  We are pleased to partner with the Australian High Commission to bring this concert of music for Anzac Day, to enable Remembrance of the struggles of the past, and to inspire Hope as we chart our way through this current crisis to the future.

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From the Australian High Commission UK website

Anzac Day 2020

As we stand together apart this ANZAC Day, we invite you to join us in honouring those who have served, and continue to serve, on 24 April 2020 and 25 April 2020.

On Friday evening at 8.30pm and repeated at dawn in the UK, join Australians in a service of national commemoration broadcast live from the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.

On Saturday morning at 11.00am, join us for a special commemoration service hosted by the High Commissioner for Australia and the Acting High Commissioner for New Zealand from our respective homes in the UK.

From 3.00pm on Saturday, we invite you to join us in a cultural program that honours our past and speaks to our nation’s future. The Australia House Ensemble and Friends will present ‘Hope and Remembrance’, a 30-minute virtual recital of well-known and new music from Waltzing Matilda to music by Australian composer Peter Sculthorpe to commemorate ANZAC Day 2020.

From 7.30pm on Saturday, join us for a special ANZAC Day reading of Alan Seymour’s iconic play ‘One Day of the Year’ with guest presenter Kathy Lette; delivered together with Trish Wadley Productions. Directed by Wayne Harrison, former Artistic Director of the Sydney Theatre Company, will star an all Australian and New Zealand cast, including Mark Little, Kerry Fox, Daniel Monk, Celeste Dodwell and Paul Haley.

To view our commemorations live, please click here.

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PATRON

His Excellency, the Hon George Brandis QC,

High Commissioner for Australia in the UK

Ensemble Lead: Rebecca Chan

Online Concert, Anzac Day, 25th April 2020

Music brings people together and has the capacity to unite them and lift their spirits. In these current challenging times we are finding different and new ways to stay connected and to support each other, and music has the capacity to support that process. Musicians who only a few weeks ago were donating their time and talent to raise much needed funds to support the victims of the devastating Australian bushfires are now without work and income of any kind. Musicians globally are struggling to survive. Despite this, they are finding new ways to keep their professional life alive and bringing music to inspire and support us all.

For this performance the AHE, who are currently located in both London and Australia, are joined by friends in Australia and New Zealand to bring you this concert on Anzac Day, thanks to the wonder of modern technology. Our web version will also include messages and readings. We are extremely grateful to Lt Gen Greg Bilton AO CSC, Chief of Joint Operations Australia for his message, who only recently headed up the Bushfire operations in Australia on behalf of the Australian Defence Force. 

We are pleased to partner with the Australian High Commission to bring this concert of music for Anzac Day, to enable Remembrance of the struggles of the past, and to inspire Hope as we chart our way through this current crisis to the future. We hope that you enjoy this online concert.  Future events of the Australia House Ensemble include Favourites of the AHE Musicians which we will present online on a monthly basis.             

Dr Margaret Mayston AM, Founder AHE

“We will see our friends again; we will see our families again.

We will meet again.” HM The Queen, 5th April 2020

Message from the High Commissioner.

“Welcome to an afternoon of music and theatre the Australian High Commission in London is hosting on our Facebook page and is especially dedicated to marking Anzac Day 2020. This afternoon I am delighted that we have the Australia House Ensemble to perform a pre-recorded recital entitled Hope and Remembrance. This programme is in remembrance of those who fought in the Great War, and we particularly remember the devastating loss of life at Gallipoli 105 years ago. Music has the power of lifting us up and bringing us together- it is a unifying force. The music performed in this recital very much does that and speaks to the themes of pathos, remembrance and hope for the future. All those are themes we are reflecting on in the crisis we are experiencing right now. The programme includes a work by the late, great Australian composer Peter Sculthorpe called Irkanda, which means a remote and lonely place, which no doubt that is how many of us are feeling right now. We will also enjoy the work of another Australian composer, Frederick Septimus Kelly who died in the Great War and was in his lifetime a prolific composer. And we will also be treated to a wonderfully uplifting arrangement for violin and viola of the beloved and best known Australian song of all- Waltzing Matilda.

I would like to pay tribute to the fine Australian and New Zealand artists who have contributed to this afternoon’s concert for their ingenuity and  dedication to creating music, and their quest to make a difference to people’s lives. This afternoon’s performance uses the wonders of technology to enable musicians to play together in the United Kingdom and Australia as the Ensembles’ musicians collaborate locally and with their colleagues in Australia to present this Anzac Day recital. This ingenuity reflects what a can-do resilient people we Australians are. To stand side by side in times of trials just as our forebears did, and indeed those who fell in Gallipoli did. And after you have enjoyed this afternoon’s concert, join us at 730pm for a reading of the iconic Anzac Day play – ‘The One Day of the Year’-  by Allan Seymour with a special introduction by Kathy Lette.”

HE the Hon George Brandis QC

Australian High Commissioner to the UK

The Programme

Hope and Remembrance

Welcome and introduction from the High Commissioner of Australia to the United Kingdom

His Excellency the Honourable George Brandis QC

Quartet for the End of Time, part VIII (Messiaen 1908-1992)

Rebecca Chan and Cameron Roberts

Quartet for horn [cello], violin, viola and piano (F. Septimus Kelly* 1889- 1916)

Rebecca Chan (Lead, violin), Cameron Roberts (piano), James Wannan, (viola), Thomas Rann (cello)

Pericles

Reading by Major James Swanston (ret.) Australian & British Army

Lachrimae (John Dowland 1562 -1626)

Rebecca Chan, Sascha Bota (viola), Daniel Pini (Cello)

Irkanda I (Peter Sculthorpe 1929-2014)

Iona Allan (solo violin)

Message of Hope and Remembrance

Lieutenant General Greg Bilton AO CSC, Chief of Joint Operations Australian Army

The Ode (Laurence Binyon) 

The Last Post

Jamie Lawson RAN (ret.), bugle

One minute’s silence

Rouse

Turkish Coffee and Oranges (Michael Bakrnčev 1989- )

Iona Allan (solo violin)

Waltzing Matilda (Macpherson 1864-1936; arr Rebecca Chan)

Rebecca Chan and Sascha Bota.

We’ll Meet Again (Parker & Charles)

Rebecca, Iona, Sascha & Daniel with New Zealand soprano Eliza Boom.

Programme Notes

Quartet for the End of Time, part VIII (Messiaen 1908-1992): Wainwright writes:“ Messiaen wrote the piece in a prisoner of war camp after being captured by the German army in 1940 and was premiered in the camp in front of German officers, with Messiaen himself and other prisoners playing. It’s remarkable music, sometimes fierce and angry, at other times almost hypnotic. What’s incredible is how positive it sounds: there’s sadness there, a huge amount of emotion, but it sounds optimistic. It doesn’t sound destroyed”.

Quartet for horn violin, viola and piano (F Septimus Kelly, 1881-1916 ):  Born in Sydney, he was an Oxford scholar, Olympic gold medallist, but was a casualty of WWI, and a huge loss to Australian musical composition. The Quartet in E flat major was completed in 1904, in Frankfurt-am-Main, where he was studying composition. For this lyrical piece, the horn part is played by the cello.

Irkanda I (Sculthorpe 1929-2014): Irkanda means a remote and lonely place, very apt for Anzac Day remembrance and the challenges of our current times. In the words of Peter Sculthorpe:” ‘Irkanda’ is an Australian Aboriginal word meaning a remote and lonely place, and this work is the first of a series of four pieces bearing this title. Irkanda I is in one movement, and in it, long, melodic lines and bird-sounds are contrasted with brittle, rhythmic sections.

Lachrimae, (Dowland 1562 -1626): Published as ‘Flow my Tears’ in 1596 (Lachrimae pavane) for lute and later remade as a song, Lachrimae was one of his most well-known compositions. The musical form is based on Elizabethan dance, but it has a sorrowful melody and as a song has been recorded by many, including Sting.

Turkish Coffee and Oranges (Michael Bakrnčev (1989- Australian composer of Macedonian origin). “My grandparent’s had a ritual where they would each have a cup of Turkish coffee & would share an orange together every morning. After my grandmother’s passing, my grandfather continued the morning ritual. Seated at the dining table in the morning alone, with two cups of Turkish coffee, and an orange, he drinks one coffee, eats his half of the orange, before getting on with his day, not without a comment to her like: ‘come on Helen, let’s go’. This work is dedicated to those moments. The musical has a Middle Eastern feeling to it in part. It was written for Iona Allan in 2012.

Waltzing Matilda (Macpherson 1864-1936;arr Rebecca Chan): Peter Tregear writes: The words of ‘Waltzing Matilda’ were written by Andrew Barton ‘Banjo’ Patterson (1864–1941) while he was lodging at a family-owned sheep and cattle station near Winton in Central West Queensland and reputedly refer to an actual incident during the Great Shearers Strike of 1891. Patterson’s verses were quickly set to music by one of the farm’s owners, Christina Macpherson, who herself drew upon a pre-existing melody.

We’ll Meet Again (Parker & Charles):  Made famous in 1939 by Vera Lynn but relevant today as Her Majesty, The Queen in her speech to the Commonwealth on 5th April 2020 said: “We should take comfort that while we may have more still to endure, better days will return. We will be with our friends again. We will be with our families again. We will meet again.” We are all looking to the day when we can meet again, learn to live in a new reality and to present music  in person.

Ensemble Lead

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Rebecca Chan was born in Melbourne, Australia, and studied violin at the Australian National Academy of Music and Sydney Conservatorium and Melbourne University, where she also completed degrees in Medicine and Arts. She was winner and two time finalist in the string section of the ABC Young Performers awards, winner of the Australian Concerto and Vocal Competition and the ANAM concerto competition and a prize winner at the International Citta di Brescia Violin Competition. Rebecca was a member of the Australian Chamber Orchestra from 2010-2015; guest concertmaster with the Philharmonia Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, Western Australian Symphony Orchestra; guest principal second violin with the London Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Camerata Bern and Scottish Chamber Orchestra.   Also a member of the Australian World Orchestra, core member and guest director of the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra and currently Associate Leader of the Philharmonia Orchestra London. 

The Ensemble

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Iona Allan (Violin): Queensland born. Is a 2019 postgraduate of the RCM, where she graduated with a Master of Performance. Iona is currently pursuing a freelance career in both modern and historical performance in the UK and plays professionally with a variety of orchestras including the Ulster Orchestra and the London Contemporary Orchestra. She also plays regularly with historical ensembles and has worked with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Queensland Symphony Orchestra, and Melbourne Chamber Orchestra. Iona was winner of the 2016 Ena Williams Award for PG study Overseas in 2016 & the 2018 Boconnoc Chamber Music Award with The Kandour Quartet. She played for the premiere of This House (Chindamo) at the Centenary of Australia House 2018 and the subsequent recording.


Sascha Bota (Viola): Born in Timisoara Sascha has recently relocated to London after spending 5 years in Sydney as a member of the Australian Chamber Orchestra. As a soloist, Sascha has performed with the Australian Chamber Orchestra, the Zurich Chamber Orchestra and Philharmonia Banatul amongst others, around Europe and Australia including Auditorio Nacional in Madrid, Spain, the Tonhalle Zürich, the Kunst- und Kongresshaus Luzern, the Sydney Opera House and Melbourne Recital Centre. Sascha has been playing as guest principal with a number of orchestras, as well as chamber music with the principals of the LSO and St.Martin in the Fields orchestra. In addition to chamber music, Sascha is also dedicated to jazz and other forms of improvised music and regularly appears at jazz concerts and festivals.

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Daniel Pini (Cello): Recently arrived from Sydney, Daniel has performed internationally as a soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral player. He was born into a musical family and began cello at age 3. After Sydney Conservatorium he moved to Germany for his Master’s degree with Claudio Bohórquez.  Daniel has performed as a soloist with various orchestras in Australia and Germany and has played in music festivals in Australia, Germany, and Italy. In 2018, he won a Cello Fellowship with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, and moved to London as a member of Southbank Sinfonia. He regularly performs in Germany and Italy, as well as with the Philharmonia Orchestra and his quartets.

Friends of AHE



Thomas Rann (Cello): Since winning the prestigious 2004 Muriel Taylor Scholarship for Cellists in London, Adelaide-born Thomas Rann has performed as soloist with orchestras including the Melbourne, Adelaide and Queensland Symphony Orchestras and Camerata Menuhin. As soloist and chamber musician, Thomas has appeared to critical acclaim at venues including Wigmore Hall, Tonhalle Zurich, Victoria Hall (Geneva), Westminster Abbey, St. James’ Palace, Sydney Opera House, Moscow Conservatory, Melbourne Recital Centre and the Queensland Performing Arts Centre. His festival appearances have included the Verbier Festival Academy, the Schleswig-Holstein Festival, Israel International Cello Congress, Sydney Festival, and the Kronberg International Cello Festival. Thomas is founder and co-Artistic director of the Australia Piano Quartet.


James Wannan (Viola): James Wannan studied viola with Alice Waten in Melbourne and viola d’amore in Vienna with Marianne Rônez. He explores his passion for music from ancient to contemporary on a number of instruments. As a soloist James has worked with orchestras including the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra, the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. He has performed as a viola d’amore soloist in festivals in Austria and Germany, and has been invited to perform as guest principal viola with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra. He toured Europe as principal viola of the Asia Pacific United Orchestra. He is a member of the Australia Piano Quartet.

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Cameron Roberts (Piano): Australian pianist Cameron Roberts performs throughout the UK, Europe and Australia as a soloist and chamber player. He frequently plays with the world’s finest instrumentalists, including flautists Jacques Zoon, János Bálint, Francisco López and, recently, Emmanuel Pahud and András Adorján at La Côte Festival, Geneva. Recent performances have taken him to London’s Purcell Room, Royal Albert Hall, Madrid’s Teatro Real and to festivals in Geneva, Rome, Valencia, Amsterdam and Colombia. As chamber player, he collaborates regularly with Jacques Zoon (flute), Rebecca Chan (violin), Beate Altenburg (cello) and, previously, with Plural Ensemble. Currently based in London, he is also a specialist teacher of elite-performance piano technique, fine-motor skills learning & injury prevention (a topic in which he holds a PhD and a medical degree) and is about to publish a book titled, ‘The Clear-Thinking Pianist’.

Eliza Boom (Soprano): New Zealand soprano Eliza Boom is currently training at the National Opera Studio, supported by the Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation and the Drake Calleja Trust. Prior to this she studied post-graduate degrees with Mary Plazas at the Royal Northern College of Music. Eliza has won many awards and competitions, including the Richard Bonynge Award, Les Azuriales International Singing Competition, Frederic Cox Award, and runner-up in the Lexus Song Quest. In September 2020, Eliza will begin at the Bayerische Staatsoper Opera Studio. Eliza’s roles include Donna Anna (Don Giovanni, Clonter Opera), Thérèse/Tirésias (Les Mamelles de Tirésias, Les Azuriales Opera), Nella (Gianni Schicchi, RNCM), Suor Angelica (Suor Angelica, RNCM cover), Noémie (Cendrillon, RNCM), Gertrude (Hansel and Gretel, RNCM), Norina (Don Pasquale, NZ Opera in Schools Tour), Micäela (Carmen, NZ Opera cover), Countess (Le Nozze di Figaro, University of Waikato) and Laetitia (The Old Maid and the Thief, University of Waikato). Eliza is a Dame Malvina Major Scholar, and the John Frost/Frank & Viola Tait Awardee, Tait Memorial Trust.

With special thanks to: James Hancock Operational Manager, everything technical and more for the Australia House Ensemble without whom none of this would be possible. James’ energy, enthusiasm and expertise are invaluable. Thank you James!
Thank you Jamie Lawson for playing The Last Post, and Rouse.
Thanks to Paul Ghica for editing Kelly.                

Past Events

Thank you for coming to the inaugural concert of the Australia House Ensemble on 12th November at Australia House. Our next concert will be in April 2020 (date and venue TBC) and will feature Australian music from Australian/British composer Frederick Septimus Kelly (1881-1916) Elegy in Memoriam Rupert Brooke for strings (1915) and songs by Victorian born composer Calvin Bowman (1972-). 

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The inaugural concert on the 12th November will be in the Exhibition Hall at Australia House, 6.45-8pm (drinks 6-7pm). The concert will feature ‘This House’ (Chindamo) which was premiered at the Centenary of Australia House on 22nd November 2018. Many of the ensemble who will perform on the 12th November 2019 performed on that night, and subsequently recorded ‘This House’ at Abbey Rd in January 2019 in collaboration with Commonwealth Music. In addition to ‘This House’, the AHE will present a range of Australian and other music.

We are honoured that His Excellency the Hon George Brandis QC, The High Commissioner for Australia in the UK, has kindly agreed to be our founding Patron.

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