“Last Wednesday night in a house at Sydney’s Point Piper, a new orchestra was launched,” writes Leta Keens in Thursday’s (8/19) Australian (Sydney). “A packed room heard conductor Alexander Briger speak about the talented Australian musicians in orchestras across the world—principal bass at the Berlin Philharmonic, solo trumpet at the Gewandhaus, and so on—and of his idea to bring at least 40 of them home for his Australian World Orchestra. … To make up a 90-piece symphony orchestra, they’d be joined by top orchestral players working here and gifted young musicians. It would involve Australian conductors Simone Young and Brett Dean (who would also play viola), and composers such as Peter Sculthorpe, James Ledger and Dean, whose music would be played alongside traditional repertoire. … Four days earlier, an audience of more than 300, some of whom had never seen an orchestra live, gathered at Paddington Town Hall in Sydney for the inaugural concert of Orchestra Romantique. This 45-piece orchestra—founded by trombonist Nick Byrne and conductor Nicholas Carter, both associated with the Sydney Symphony—intends to specialise in 19th-century romantic repertoire, eventually on instruments of the period.”

Posted August 20, 2010