Sydney’s City Recital Hall celebrated its 20th birthday in style yesterday, with the party starting bright and early with a flash mob choir led by Anthony Pasquill and Jess Ciampa, including a live cross to Seven’s Sunriseprogram for a rendition of Kool & The Gang’s classic Celebration.

With celebrations stretching across the day, the morning saw the venue in Angel Place opened up for tours, while the afternoon featured a presentation by City Recital Hall architect Andrew Andersons.

Megan Washington. Photo © Asaf Luft

Lunchtime saw period instrument ensemble Bach Akademie Australia make their City Recital Hall debut (though Artistic Director Madeleine Easton recalled taking part in the building’s acoustic testing prior to its opening in 1999) with an all-Bach concert in the ground floor lobby. Joined by soprano Anna Sandstrom, tenor Richard Butler and baroque flautist Jessica Lee, the ensemble performed excerpts from cantatas, the B Minor Mass and the Brandenburg Concertos, with Neal Peres Da Costa unleashing a storm of notes from the harpsichord in the fiendish solo in the first movement of Concerto No 5. They rounded out the set with the first fugue from The Art of Fugue– played here...