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ASO Chamber Series

10 Feb 2022
  • Meet the Artists
by Nicola Cann
ASO Chamber Series

Hear from some of the ASO brass section on what makes Chamber Series so special, and what they’re most looking forward to at the upcoming Chamber Series 1 concert.

Emma Gregan – Tutti Horn

What makes chamber concerts so special both for the audience and for you as a player?

Chamber concerts are a very intimate forum for experiencing music – not just between us as players, but also in the way we interact with our audiences. If going to hear a full-scale symphony orchestra is like going to a big wedding dinner with 300 guests, a chamber music concert is like going to a restaurant that only seats 12. Both are wonderful experiences, but while a larger concert might offer you that ‘big impact’ factor, a chamber concert is a great way to explore a more personal connection with the musicians and what they want to share with you. For us, it’s a great opportunity to put more of our own characters and personalities into the music. We hope that this opens the audience up to hearing it as an expression and extension not just of the composer but also of the musicians on stage, and that connection in live performance can be a deeply rewarding experience.

What you are most looking forward to performing in the Chamber Concert?

I’ll be playing in two pieces and I’m looking forward equally to both! I’m excited about the horn quintet because I love playing with my section and we are all very excited to be back in full force again this year with the recent appointment of Tim to the Tutti Horn position. The composer of the horn quintet is a fine Australian composer, Cathy Likhuta, who I’ve had the great pleasure of collaborating with before, so I’m very pleased to be able to bring her music into the ASO’s program. The brass quintet will be a blast – this piece by Michael Tilson Thomas is so full of character and so are the players in our group! Both of these pieces offer something a bit different in flavour to what you might ordinarily expect from, say, the traditional hymns and chorales we often associate with brass ensembles, so I’m excited to have the opportunity to introduce our audience to a bit of high energy from the back row of the orchestra!

What do you love about performing in Elder Hall?

Elder Hall is one of the most enjoyable venues in Adelaide to perform in, especially for chamber music. There’s a lot of clarity, depth, and warmth to its acoustic, so in smaller brass ensembles like the ones that will be featured in this concert, there is never the sense that you have to over-exert or hold back to fill the space. The Elder Conservatorium is one of the longest-standing conservatoria in the country and I always feel that you get a sense of connection with that heritage just by being in the space, whether you’re there to play or to listen.

Adrian Uren – Principal Horn

What makes chamber concerts so special both for the audience and for you as a player?

As we generally play in the much larger ensemble of a symphony orchestra it is certainly special to play in a small group for these concerts. It gives us a chance to work together even more personally and express ourselves musically in a different way. The lack of conductor also means we are more in control of the interpretation of the piece which can also be rewarding.

What you are most looking forward to performing in the Chamber Concert?

I will be playing a quintet ‘Hard to Argue’ by Catherine Likhuta with my horn playing colleagues and a wind and string chamber arrangement of Ravel’s ‘Le Tombeau de Couperin’ by Paul Dean. Having last played the Ravel arranged for wind quintet about 15 years ago at university I’m very much looking forward to revisiting the piece in this new arrangement.

What do you love about performing in Elder Hall?

Elder Hall is excellent for chamber music as the acoustics and the size of the space suit smaller ensembles very well. I always enjoy how the horn sound resonates throughout the hall.

Martin Phillipson – Associate Principal Trumpet

What makes chamber concerts so special both for the audience and for you as a player?

For both the player and the audience there is the ability to connect threads of the music in a very transparent way. Great chamber music is like an intimate conversation where there is a clear channel of communication and listening through music.

What you are most looking forward to performing in the Chamber Concert?

I’m really looking forward to playing the Adelaide Premiere of a piece by the great American Conductor and composer Michael Tilson-Thomas called street song – its new for me and I’m excited by that.

What do you love about performing in Elder Hall?

Elder Hall has a beautiful acoustic for Chamber music – and steeped as it is in the history of knowledge in our city, it is the perfect venue for such a concert

Dont miss Chamber Series – Concert 1, Thu 17 Feb at Elder Hall.


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