The University of New South Wales’ Australia Ensemble turns 40 in 2019. The resident chamber group celebrates this significant milestone with six inventive programs, showcasing both its versatility and technique.

The Australia Ensemble and its Artistic Chair, Paul Stanhope. Photo © Keith Saunders 

The season begins in March with The Age of Steam, referencing both the Industrial Revolution and the art created in this period of great change. It sees Mozart’s less familiar ‘Kegelstatt’ Trio performed alongside Dvořák’s Sonatina in G, Saint-Saëns’ Piano Quartet in B and the Australian premiere of American composer David Bruce’s Steampunk. Bruce’s 2010 work is an octet inspired by the Beethoven Septet, and was described by one critic as “a polished, wry chamber work that should find a wide following.”

Then in April, the Ensemble explores the expressive powers of the wind instrument in the aptly titled No Strings Attached. Joined by pianist Ian Munro, the program pairs Mozart’s Quintet for Winds and Piano with Martin Wesley-Smith’s intense and witty Janet, written for flute, percussion and piano. These works are followed by sextets from Poulenc and Thuille, as...