Adelaidean - News from the University of Adelaide The University of Adelaide Australia
May 2007 Issue
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Evening concert casts a spell


Australian composer Robert Hughes will attend the first concert in the 2007 Elder Conservatorium of Music Evening Concert Series, which features one of his works - Sea Spell - composed in the 1970s.

Written in 1973 as a commission by the Australian Dental Association-International Conference for one of its subscription concerts, Sea Spell was originally performed by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra in the Opera House on 18 July 1973 - before the official opening of the Opera House.

Hughes, who recently celebrated his 95th birthday, will be at Elder Hall at 6.30pm on Saturday 26 May to see his piece conducted by Elder Conservatorium PhD student Joanna Drimatis.

Drimatis will share conducting honours with Keith Crellin for the first concert in the evening series, called Illuminations, which features the talents of the Elder Conservatorium Symphony Orchestra.

The name of the concert is derived from Benjamin Britten's Les Illuminations for high voice and strings. This work will feature Honours Performance tenor Robert Macfarlane with the strings of the Elder Conservatorium Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Crellin.

Britten's song cycle, written in 1939, is set to a poem by the young genius Arthur Rimbaud, and is quintessentially Brittenesque. It displays many of the young Britten's characteristics - fantasy, extravagance and high energy, which are the hallmarks of many of his works.

The final work in the program, the Suite from The Fairy's Kiss by Stravinsky, was written to commemorate the 35th anniversary of Tchaikovsky's death in November 1928.

Stravinsky adapted several of Tchaikovsky's songs and piano pieces for this work, which was written as a ballet commissioned by the wealthy dancer, Ida Rubinstein. In the words of Britten's biographer, Roman Vlad: "His fondness for Tchaikovsky led him to compose one of his most tenderly lyrical works, in which nostalgia for bygone days is expressed quite openly."

Tickets to the Evening Concert are $25 adult/$20 conc/$14 student, available from BASS or dial'n'charge 131 246. (There is still time to subscribe to save!) University of Adelaide staff at concession price.

For further information or to subscribe, please contact the Manager, Evening Concert Series on (08) 8303 5286 or email:

Illuminations is the first in the five-concert Evening series for 2007:

Elder Hall, Saturday 26 May 6.30pm

St Peter's Cathedral, Saturday 9 June 6.30pm

Elder Hall, Saturday 11 August 7.30pm

Star Wars
Elder Hall, Saturday 13 October 6.30pm

Elder Hall, Saturday 24 November 6.30pm

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Elder Conservatorium PhD student Joanna Drimatis and Honours Performance tenor Robert Macfarlane outside Elder Hall
Photo by David Ellis

Elder Conservatorium PhD student Joanna Drimatis and Honours Performance tenor Robert Macfarlane outside Elder Hall
Photo by David Ellis

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