“European fascination with the culture of the Ottoman Empire during the 17th and 18th centuries transformed the classical music of the day,” writes Murray Black in Monday’s (6/24) Australian (Sydney; subscription required). “Australian oud virtuoso and composer Joseph Tawadros’s … genre-hopping musical explorations over the past decade and a half are novel and far-reaching. The remarkable fruits of his collaborations and experimentations were the basis for this fascinating [Sydney Symphony Orchestra June 20] concert. At its heart was Tawadros’s new concerto for oud and orchestra … influenced by such different musical traditions as baroque, jazz, blues and Indian…. Tawadros and orchestrator Jessica Wells ensured oud and orchestra were equal partners in the venture. [Tawadros’s] Point of Departure was a waltz dedicated to the memory of Tawadros’s parents [featuring] sotto voce string and harp passages… Constantinople was a fast and furious wild ride where Tawadros’s guitar-hero, rock music-inspired solos thrilled and astounded…. In his solo piece Constellation, techniques learnt from slide guitar, koto, kora and banjo were cleverly interwoven into his own unique style…. Rounding out the program was the first movement of Mozart’s Symphony No. 25 [led by] conductor Benjamin Northey.”

Posted June 24, 2019