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Newsletter No 3: 2011 Season

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From the President: Allison Summers

As I said in our last Newsletter, our NEW BEGINNINGS season started with a bang! And it is continuing to be an outstanding season. Recent highlights include:

  • This September, we had a full-house with 500 people in the audience, the largest audience at a Zelman concert in living memory (except for the Centenary concert at the former Camberwell Civic Centre many long years ago). Our first international soloist ever, British pianist Julian Jacobson, wowed us and the audience with his charismatic playing. Read some of the accolades we received later in this newsletter. We look forward to seeing the many resulting new Friends of Zelman at future concerts.
  • In this Newsletter, we welcome our second new sponsor this year, Bendigo Bank’s Kew East Community Bank.
  • 3MBS has continued to broadcast our concerts.
  • We enjoyed playing a new work composed by Edward Fairlie specifically for our principal flautist, Carol Galea.

We thank you for your support and look forward to seeing you in 2012. We wish you a safe, musical and happy festive season with your family and friends.

Allison Summers

From our Artistic Director, Mark Shiell

I recently heard Sir Simon Rattle, Principal Conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic, say that ‘Whatever can be said about conducting – the opposite is also true’. I love that notion. He is absolutely right because the inter-communicative nature of conducting involves actual human beings all of whom respond individually.

At its essence, conducting is about ideas and communication. For me it is a fundamentally different idea to actually playing an instrument. Instruments, and the physical production of a sound, involve tension and release of some kind. Instrumentalists create sound from nothing which naturally involves energy and the overcoming of inertia. Conducting, however, is about gesturally painting a picture or creating an impression of what the sound/piece should be like before the sound emerges. This has nothing to do with the physical effort (tension and release) of producing the sound itself. This demands that the conductor:

  1. Has ideas about the sound and the piece itself.
  2. Uses movement that will interact with the imaginations of the players to create the desired world of sound.

Moving from playing an instrument to conducting is a difficult business. As players, we naturally transfer our instrumental playing approach to conducting. This will tend to centre around tension and release applied to conducting. The general look of conducting of this kind is forceful and the sound produced will lack warmth and flow. Moving beyond basic ‘beating’ into an approach that marries showing time, character, emotion and dynamics is a fascinating business. I always like to meet our audiences at interval and after our concerts. If you want to chat about the music or conducting with me please feel free to say hello!

Player Profiles: Spanning the Generations

Ed Jansen: 90

Born in Holland, I grew up in a Franco-Dutch family environment. At age five, I was given a violin, but formal training didn’t start until I was eight. I progressed well and after high-school started engineering studies at University and music at the Conservatorium where my conducting tutor was an associate of Willem Mengelberg of the Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra.

It was wartime. My father had an area set aside in one of his factories for people like me who had to avoid being sent to Nazi labour camps. Matters became too rough though and I joined a resistance group that looked after Jewish people in hiding and covered the assembly and launching of the V2 rockets from the suburbs of The Hague. Later, I managed to get to England and became a Royal Navy Officer. I saw service in the Far East and, upon returning to Holland, as an Air Force Officer in NATO and Indonesia, teaching and flying C47s.

Being married to a niece of Sir Eugene Goossens (Sydney Symphony Orchestra), I moved to Sydney where I completed my degrees and joined first QANTAS, then the Atomic Energy Commission as a mathematician. Still no chance to further my music, except on borrowed violins. I had to travel a lot, living in Boston and Paris, where I was a computer consultant on a French Government computer project. Returning to Australia, I worked as a computer consultant to various large companies and had the opportunity to recommence playing the violin. But I needed help and a local friend, John Ferwerda, who plays in Zelman today, arranged for me to meet some MSO players who put me back on track. I did three years of retraining with Nathan Gutman of Melbourne University and three years with the Monash Orchestra playing under Andre De Quadros, until I joined the Zelman Orchestra in 2001.

Holly Hayes: 14

I have been at Melbourne Girls Grammar School since I was three and started violin at five. I am in Year 9 and study violin with Zelman Concertmaster, Mary Johnston. When I was eight, I was encouraged by my then teacher, Stephanie Thom, to join Melbourne Youth Music. There, I have learnt ensemble skills and string repertoire with leading musicians including Shanthi Charrett, Hamish Paterson and Willem van der Vis.

I have performed with the Henry Touzeau Strings, Margaret Sutherland Strings, Melbourne Youth Strings and am currently a member of Melbourne Youth Chamber Strings directed by Mary Johnston. I have also performed regularly at Summer Music Camps and the VCA with Leonie Conolan and Ben Northey, and with Mark Shiell at the Peninsula Winter Music School in 2010. I also studied viola for a year in 2007.

At school, I was primary school music captain and am currently the year 9 music representative. I play in the school orchestra, Senior Strings, Fiddle Fusion, Chamber Music and sing in the Mixed Choir.

As a violinist, the thing I enjoy most is playing in orchestras. Ever since I can remember, playing in orchestras has been my passion which is why I joined Zelman. It has provided me with a great opportunity where I can further my orchestral skills while being part of a friendly and nurturing environment. The amazing repertoire we have played and the soloists we have worked with have definitely been experiences I will never forget. Zelman is a great orchestra that has such a variety of standards and age groups. The more experienced, older members of Zelman inspire me, as their love of music is evident in the subtlety and depth of the performances. I really enjoy working with both Mark and Mary and have learnt so many valuable skills about orchestral playing from them. I am looking forward to continuing to play with Zelman.

Welcome to our New Sponsor

We welcome Bendigo Bank’s Kew East Community Bank as a new and generous Zelman sponsor. The Bank sponsors many community groups in sports, arts and other fields and we thank them for including us.

Should you have any unmet banking needs or wish to discuss your options, you are welcome to contact George Prodromidis, Bendigo Bank’s Manager, on 9859-7699. Mentioning that you are a supporter of Zelman Symphony will help you and the orchestra.

Julian Jacobson – International Pianist

Last September, we had the unique opportunity of playing with internationally renowned British pianist, Julian Jacobson. Audience and players alike thoroughly enjoyed the concert. We hope to play with Julian again soon, for your enjoyment and ours.

We received many accolades. This email was sent just 20 minutes after the concert ended!

"I have just returned home from tonight’s performance and wish to express my congratulations and thanks to the orchestra, conductor, pianist and organisers of this concert. It really was wonderful and my husband and I enjoyed it immensely. Julian was magic and of course conductor Mark has such a delightful manner that one couldn’t but enjoy the playing. It is the first Zelman concert we have been to – but hopefully it is the first of many to come. Warm regards."

"What a fabulous concert. An international artist, with an international standard orchestral performance. Well done all. Kindest regards, Councillor Brad Miles."

"Saturday night was a triumph. Your orchestra is so full of vivacity and gives such musical delight."

"Saturday's Zelman 'Rhapsody' lingers on in our minds. It was a tremendous concert and, of course, made all the more special by Julian Jacobson."

"Hello Zelman players - Congratulations on last night’s concert. A really terrific effort."

Announcing our 2012 Season

We are delighted to announce our 2012 season.

This series is a chance to hear three fabulous soloists, two of whom are coming back after having wowed our audiences at sell out concerts in the last two years!

We will confirm full details to Friends of Zelman members and on our website early in 2012.

Concert Program 1:

Sunday 25th March, Daylesford Town Hall, 2:00pm
Saturday 31st March, Xavier, 8:00pm

David Griffiths - clarinet

Rossini - William Tell Overture
Weber - Clarinet Concerto No. 2
Beethoven - Symphony No. 6

Concert Program 2:

The annual Boroondara Eisteddfod Piano Concerto Award Final – free concert. Enjoy the music as three passionate young pianists play with the orchestra and compete for this prestigious award.
Sunday 17th June, James Tatoulis Auditorium, MLC, 2:00pm

Concert Program 3:

Saturday 15th September, Xavier, 8:00pm
Sunday 16th September, West Gippsland Arts Centre, Warragul, 2.00pm

Julian Jacobson - piano

Wagner - Tristan and Isolde: Prelude & Liebestod
Rachmaninov - Piano Concerto No. 2
Prokofiev - Romeo & Juliet Suite No. 1

Concert Program 4:

Saturday 1st December, Xavier, 8.00pm

Program and Soloist yet to be confirmed.

Our New Venue - Eldon Hogan Performing Arts Centre

We have a new home at Xavier College in Kew.

Access is via either Barkers Rd Main Gates, Melway Map 45 C8, or Charles St (gate 2), Melway map 45 D8. There is no car access from Gellibrand St (one way spikes). Charles St gate will be closed to car traffic after 8.15 pm. Exit will be via Barkers Rd or Gellibrand St.

Concerts at Eldon Hogan PAC have numbered seats.

Purchase your reserved ticket on-line using Visa or MasterCard at or by phoning our volunteer, Klaus Buechler on 9853 1962. Or mail your cheque to ZMSO, PO Box 408, East Kew, 3102 (sorry – no credit card mail bookings). The box office will open at 7:15 pm on concert nights.

Within the auditorium, all seats will be good but the best seats will probably be those from about half way back from the stage to near the rear of the auditorium.

Friends of Zelman

Join free to stay in touch. Receive concert notices, flyers and newsletters. Email or write to Friends of Zelman, PO Box 408, Kew East, 3102.

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Page last modified on December 02, 2011, at 02:10 PM