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2012 Event Media Release - Utzon Music Series 2012



In 2012, Sunday afternoons will be transformed as the House hosts some of the world’s finest classical musicians in the Utzon Room as part of the 2012 Utzon Music Series.

Sydney Opera House Classical Music Producer Yarmila Alfonzetti, who has programmed the 2012 Utzon Music Series, said that she wanted to “shine a light on the cannon of classical chamber music and create unique intimate moments in an acoustically vibrant setting, by pairing some of the very best music with the most intelligent performers”.

The season features 12 concerts, including four Australian premieres with artists from Italy, UK, USA, Czech Republic, China, Finland and Australia. For the first time in 2012, the concerts will start at the earlier time of 3pm to allow people to enjoy the recitals with the sparkling harbour views. All patrons will receive a complimentary drink from Chandon.

Legendary baroque string ensemble, I Musici will officially open the Series on Sunday 26 February with An Italian Summer. For this special performance the Utzon Music Series will be held on the Bennelong Lawn of the Royal Botanical Gardens, and features a stunning repertoire that includes Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, made famous by this group in the 1952 recording.

Also from Italy, the young tenor Gianluca Terranova will perform a selection of French and Italian opera arias and Neapolitan love songs. English classical pianist, Paul Lewis will share a selection of pieces by Franz Schubert in this three-year quest to discover the intricacies of this composer’s oeuvre.

From the UK, and making his Australian debut, is tenor Ian Bostridge. His performance in the Utzon Music Series will be his only Sydney appearance. Also making their Australian debuts from the UK is the prodigiously talented pianist, Benjamin Grosvenor, and young soprano Sophie Bevan.

Leading dramatic soprano, Deborah Voigt, who is internationally regarded for her performances in the operas of Wagner and Strauss, has a secret that she wants to share with Sydney – she loves to sing show tunes. Deborah will perform a selection of American songs by greats such as Stephen Sondheim, Oscar Hammerstein II and Cole Porter in American Songbook.

Also from the USA, Cameron Carpenter, virtuoso organist and showman who performed with the YouTube Symphony Orchestra earlier this year, will give a rare solo recital on the Grand Organ in the Concert Hall. From China, cellist Jian Wang, a regular soloist with great orchestras around the world, will delight fans with Bach solos.

Afflatus Quintet, the wind quintet of the legendary Czech Philharmonic, will make their only appearance in Sydney as part of the Utzon Music Series and from Finland, Olli Mustonen, will be exploring Bach’s Goldberg Variations in its continuous format.

Another special treat will be Satu Vänskä has chosen three works which encapsulate the glorious range of expression which can be achieved in an intimate setting among friends. She will be performing trios with cellist Timo-Veikko Valve and pianist Ben Martin.

Tickets for the 2012 Utzon Music Series go on sale 24 October (subscriptions) and 15 November (single tickets).

26 February – 2 December 2012 
Time: 3pm (with the exception of I Musici)
Venue: Utzon Room (with the exception of I Musici and Cameron Carpenter)
Tickets: $85 (or subscription price $60) Youth (U18) $35
Bookings: (02) 9250 7777 or

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MEDIA CONTACT: Helene Fox / / 02 9250 7822 / 0401 718 230


I Musici An Italian Summer
Sunday 26 February 6pm, Bennelong Lawn, Royal Botanical Gardens
ROSSINI Sonata a quattro No.1 in G major
ROSSINI Une Larme - Theme and variations for cello and strings
DONIZETTI Allegro for Strings in C Major
PAGANINI The Carnival of Venice -Theme and Variations for Violin and Strings
VIVALDI The Four Seasons

In 1952, I Musici’s historic first recording of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons introduced Italian 18th Century music to the world. Sixty years and 25 million copies of The Four Seasons later, their tradition of vibrant
and virtuosic music-making continues. This is an Australian premiere.

Gianluca Terranova The Lyric Tenor
Sunday 8 April 3pm Utzon Room
A young Italian tenor who is taking Europe by storm. For the Utzon Music Series, he will be celebrating his legendary voice in a selection of French and Italian opera arias and Neapolitan love songs. He will also be starring in Opera Australia’s Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour in March 2012.

Olli Mustonen A Bach Reinvention
Sunday 15 April, 3pm Utzon Room
Repertoire: BACH Goldberg Variations BWV 988
Olli Mustonen is a composer, conductor, performer and thinker extraordinaire. He performs Bach’s exquisite Goldberg Variations.

Deborah Voigt An American Songbook
Sunday 24 June 3pm Utzon Room
Deborah Voigt is widely acknowledged as the world’s pre-eminent dramatic soprano and she loves to sing show tunes! Deborah will be performing a selection of American songs by Stephen Sondheim, Oscar Hammerstein II, Cole Porter and Noel Coward

Cameron Carpenter The Grand Organ
Sunday 30 June 3pm Concert Hall
Repertoire: A selection of organ favourites including music by JS BACH and WIDOR
The world’s largest mechanical tracker-action pipe organ will be on show tonight and played by one of the finest organists, Cameron Carpenter. Cameron performed with the YouTube Symphony Orchestra earlier this year.

Satu & Friends A Musical Soiree
Sunday, 29 July 3pm Utzon Room
Three friends and three brilliant musicians -  Satu Vänskä (violin), Timo-Veikko Valve (cello) and Ben Martin (piano) come together to play music close to their hearts. Satu Vänskä has chosen three works which encapsulate the glorious range of expression which can be achieved in an intimate setting among friends.
Repertoire: BEETHOVEN Piano Trio in B Flat Major Gassenhauer, RAVEL Sonata for Violin and Cello, FRANCK Sonata for Violin and Piano

Benjamin Grosvenor The British Prodigy
Sunday, 5 August 3pm Utzon Room
Repertoire: Music by CHOPIN, LISZT and RAVEL
Grosvenor has just made history as the youngest soloist ever to open the BBC Proms Concert Series. He has an exclusive recording deal with Decca Classics and invitations to perform all over the world. This performance marks his Australian debut.

Afflatus Quintet Soloists from the Czech Philharmonic
Sunday 2 September 3pm, Utzon Room
Repertoire: MOZART The Marriage of Figaro Overture, REICHA Quintet in E flat major, HAAS Quintet Op. 10, DVOR?ÁK Quintet Op. 96 American (arr. David Walter)
Afflatus is the wind quintet of the legendary Czech Philharmonic. This is their only Sydney performance.

Paul Lewis A Schubert Odyssey
Sunday 9 September 3pm Utzon Room
Repertoire: German Dances D783, Sonata for Piano No.14 in A minor D784, Allegretto in C minor D915, Sonata for Piano No.16 in A minor D845
Paul Lewis is recording and performing the complete piano works of Franz Schubert. It will take him three years. For this performance, he will be performing two sonatas written at the peak of Schubert’s creative powers, alongside the mercurial German Dances and the stormy Allegretto in C minor.

Jian Wang Alone With Bach
Sunday 7 October 3pm Utzon Room
Repertoire: Suite No.2 in C Major BWV 1008, Suite No.3 in D Minor BWV 1009
At age 10, Jian Wang a child prodigy caught the eye of violin virtuoso Isaac Stern. Jian Wang is now a star and a regular soloist with great orchestras around the world.

Sophie Bevan The Golden Girl
Sunday, 11 November 3pm Utzon Room
Repertoire: A selection of French songs and Mozart arias
This is the Australian premiere for young English soprano, Sophie Bevan.

Ian Bostridge The Poetry of Heinrich Heine
Sunda 2 December 3pm Utzon Room
Repertoire: A selection of songs by ROBERT SCHUMANN and BRAHMS
This is Ian Bostridge’s Australian debut and his only performance in Sydney.
Ian Bostridge is a Renaissance man. His made his operatic debut in Edinburgh in 1994, at the age of 29. His role? Lysander in Baz Luhrmann’s legendary production of Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream for Opera Australia. Not so unusual, until you realise he was also a university academic at the time, juggling post-doctoral studies in history and philosophy at Oxford University with a runaway singing career. Happily for us, music won out, although he still writes and lectures.


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