Sunday 8 September, 3.00pm
St Ives Uniting Church, St Ives
Douglas St, St. Ives Directions
Colin Piper: Conductor
Marina & Justine Marsden: Violin & Viola
Kats-Chernin: Heaven is Closed
Mozart: Sinfonia Concertante K364
Elgar: Enigma Variations
Come to a magnificent and inspiring concert to hear the KPO perform Elgar’s masterpiece “The Enigma Variations” partnered with Elena Kats-Chernin’s orchestral picture, ‘Heaven is Closed’, and Mozart’s engaging Sinfonia Concertante for solo violin and viola. We are delighted to welcome back Colin Piper to conduct this concert. Marina and Justine Marsden, sisters in the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, join together to be vibrant soloists in this remarkable work of Mozart’s. The work is richly scored with an added sumptuousness derived from a divided orchestral viola part. The work comprises three movements, the middle Andante movement being especially ravishing with an intimate dialogue between the two soloists.
Bringing a contemporary element to the programme, the concert will start with the orchestral picture ‘Heaven is Closed’ by Australian composer, Elena Kats-Chernin. This piece was commissioned in 2000 by the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra and has seen several performances since then throughout Australia. The KPO always strives to support Australian composers and is delighted to be performing this engaging work.
Elgar's outstanding 'Enigma Variations' form the second half of our concert. This work demonstrates Elgar’s rich and powerful orchestration and his clever writing in the Theme and Variations form. Begun as a tinkling on the piano, soon snippets of a theme developed into a set of variations portraying little idiosyncrasies of 13 of Elgar’s closest and most loved friends. Their characteristics shine through Elgar's innovative and colourful mastery of the orchestral palette with the famous 'Nimrod' variation at the heart of the work.
Marina Marsden studied violin at the Sydney Conservatorium with Alice Waten. She then studied for a Performer's Diploma in Vienna with Gerhard Schulz (Alban Berg Quartet) with the assistance of an Australia Council Grant, a Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee award and Austrian Government stipends. While in Europe she also had lessons with Josef Suk, Sándor Végh, Valery Klimov, and Valery Gradov. In 1990, Marina Marsden was appointed as a Concertmaster of the Bruckner Orchestra in Austria, and was Associate Concertmaster of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra from 1992 until 1994. As soloist, she has performed with the Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra symphony orchestras, and the Adelaide Chamber Orchestra.
In 1997, Marina Marsden travelled to Austria and the USA on a Churchill Fellowship, and in 1998 she toured Vietnam for Musica Viva as a member of Ku-ring-gai Virtuosi. She was also a founding member of Grevillea Ensemble.
Marina Marsden received a 1999 Australian Music Centre National Award for her CD of Margaret Sutherland's chamber music on the Tall Poppies label, and has also recorded for Move Records and ABC Classics. She also edited Margaret Sutherland's Violin Sonata for Currency Press (2000).
Marina Marsden is also active as a chamber musician. She performed at the 2008 Kowmung Music Festival in Oberon and at the 2009 Bowral Autumn Festival with members of the Australia Ensemble. She is a founding member of the Linden String Trio with violist Justine Marsden and cellist Timothy Nankervis. Engagements have included performances for the ABC Classic FM Sunday Live Series and Sydney Mozart Society.
Justine Marsden began piano studies at the Sydney Conservatorium with Nancy Salas, followed by violin studies with Alice Waten. She attended the Conservatorium High School, where she studied viola with Winifred Durie and Alex Todicescu, and completed her Bachelor's degree with Merit at the Sydney Conservatorium in 1984.
From 1985, she continued postgraduate studies in Berlin for four years with Wolfram Christ. During her time in Berlin, she played as a casual member of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra and was a member of Ensemble Oriol Berlin. She performed as soloist with the Baden-Badener Philharmonie and as principal guest violist of the Orchestra of the Berliner Kammeroper.
Justine Marsden returned to Australia in 1989 and joined the Australian Chamber Orchestra, with whom she occasionally acted as Principal Viola. She has also worked as both a soloist and orchestra member with the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra. From 1991 to 1993, she was a member of the Novalis Quartet and has performed as guest artist with the Ku-ring-gai Virtuosi and the Grevillea Ensemble. She has recorded music by Margaret Sutherland with her sister, violinist Marina Marsden, with whom she also performed Mozart's Sinfonia concertante with Orchestra 143 in 2004.
Justine has been a member of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra since 1990, acting as Associate and Assistant Principal Viola on occasion. In 2004, she was awarded a Sydney Symphony Friends and Michael and Mary Whelan Trust Scholarship to further her viola studies with Wolfram Christ in Germany and to research issues relating to musicians' health at the Kurt Singer Institute in Berlin.
Colin's first musical studies were piano lessons from the age of six. He completed the Diploma course studying piano and percussion at the NSW State Conservatorium of Music and joined the Sydney Symphony Orchestra in 1968, having graduated through the ABC's National Training Orchestra scheme.
Colin is a founding member of the Sydney based Percussion Ensemble SYNERGY, (synergypercussion.com.au) a group which has established an International reputation following appearances in Paris in 1989, at the prestigious Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival in 1990, New Zealand and Hong Kong in 1994 and at the second International Percussion Convention in Taipei in 1996. As a result of the Taipei concerts, SYNERGY received many invitations, and in the last 10 years, has regularly appeared in Europe and Asia.
The group has performed at several Adelaide Festivals, throughout Australia as part of Musica Viva's major Capital City Subscription Series, and with the Sydney Dance Company in seasons of "Synergy with Synergy" in Sydney, Brisbane, Taipei and Tokyo. In 2006, after 32 years, he stepped aside from SYNERGY and retired as the Chair of its Board, a position he had held for 10 years,
Colin participated in Internationally acclaimed performances of Hans Werner Henze's "El Cimarron" at the 1976 Adelaide Festival in the presence of the composer and also took part in performances with Luciano Berio in 1975, and Olivier Messiaen, during his tour to Australia in 1988
He has a great commitment to the development of young talent, and to this end he has worked extensively for the Sydney Youth Orchestra Association and tutored regularly for Australian Youth Orchestra. As part of the 1998 SYNERGY programme, Colin was coordinator of the Melbourne-based National Academy's first Percussion Programme.
As well as performing regularly as a percussionist and pianist, he has earned a reputation as a conductor. He was musical director of Lane Cove (now Mosman) Orchestra from 1985 until 1997, and in 1989 assisted in the establishment of an Orchestra at the University of New South Wales. At the end of 1991 he conducted a studio orchestra in a recording session with the Australian group INXS, and since 1992, regularly conducted the Sydney Symphony Orchestra in Metropolitan School's Concerts, Babies' Proms and Education kits recordings. Since 1995 he has conducted the "Playerlink" Orchestras, a regional initiative of the SSO's Education Programme and has conducted the Tasmanian, Adelaide, Canberra and Queensland Symphony Orchestras, the Sydney University Orchestra, and the Sydney Opera House Orchestra.
Colin was a member of the first National Score Reading Panel, set up as a result of Nathan Waks' 1992 Review of ABC Music Policy, was a member of the New South Wales Ministry for the Arts Music Committee in 1993-94 and from 1996 till 2002 he was a staff elected member of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra Board.