Australian Art Music

This month’s playlist is an odd one. It started out with me looking at the sky, pondering the stars, and has expanded into contemplations of death, mourning, bird song, and distant landscapes. In many ways this is a playlist about distance, transition, and contemplation – very much pre-sunrise thoughts. Continue reading.

Explore the Australian Art Music Archive here on our website and on Spotify.

From our latest issue

In May we examine portraits of pianist Simon Tedeschi, how opera singer Anna Dowsley is building a career on two continents, the life of Arrigo Boito and our fascination with The Devil, the incredible life of pianist Ruth Slenczynska, and plenty more. Read now

Lucifer, Beelzebub, Baal, Mephistopheles – whatever name he goes by, the Devil is a source of endless fascination in Western culture, and certainly in opera. Here is a selection of classical pieces inspired by hell and damnation. Read the feature.

When Stefanie Farrands, Principal Viola with the Australian Chamber Orchestra, picked up the viola for the first time she felt like she’d found herself. Read the feature.

Featured Playlists

Curated by Limelight

Russian pianist Andrey Gugnin finesses Scriabin’s Mazurkas in a dazzling display of Russian pianism. Read the review by Lisa MacKinney and an interview with Gugnin by Clive Paget.

The big guns are out this month with box sets from Decca and DG, but other labels have plenty on offer, including an outstanding vocal recital from Nicky Spence. Read Clive Paget’s round-up of the best recent releases.

Rather than sanction Russian music, why don’t we focus on Ukrainian music – and learn more about it, asks Guy Noble. Read the feature.

Adapting works for alternate forces has been vital throughout history – and the practice has an equally important present, explains Hugh Robertson. Hear a selection of famous pieces re-worked for different-sized ensembles – it’s quite an experience! Read the feature.

Why has classical music been so slow to incorporate electric instruments? Listen to our playlist of some of the best classical works to incorporate electric instruments. Read the feature.

In 2015, Chi-chi Nwanoku established the Chineke! Foundation to provide career opportunities for Black and ethnically diverse classical musicians in the UK and Europe. Deborah Cheetham talks with Nwanoku about the similar challenges they have faced to change perceptions and increase diversity in classical music. Read the interview.

From spaghetti westerns to new Australian drama series, nearly every moment we experience on film and television is accompanied by music. Five composers talk to Angus McPherson about the pleasures and perils of writing for the screen. Read the feature.

Young Blood

In 2022, Simone Young steps onto the podium as the new Chief Conductor of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. Harriet Cunningham talks with Young and the SSO’s CEO Emma Dunch about what it means for the Orchestra to have lured Young back to Sydney. Read the feature.

In our August 2021 issue Shamistha de Soysa looks at  how plenty of new music is premiered, but after the first performance many pieces are never heard again. Listen to the playlist inspired by this feature

Considered by many to be the greatest composer of all time, Limelight looks at the life, times and music of the trail-blazing Ludwig van Beethoven.

On the 500th anniversary of his death, we pay tribute to Renaissance composer Josquin des Prez.

Henry Purcell came of age at a time of religious and social turmoil, when writing for the monarch got a composer noticed but could be perilous. Read Clive Paget’s story.

Meet 30 new classical superstars making their mark. Read the feature.

There is more to opera than La traviata and Turandot. In fact, some works of genius have escaped the attention of mainstream listeners. Sarah Noble lists opera’s hidden treasures.

Australia’s finest musical minds tell us what they think about these 10 composers.

Know the tune, but can’t think who composed it? Meet ten members of classical music’s one-hit club.

The first published works of Beethoven, Mozart and Mahler: mere trifles or immortal masterpieces? Hear where it all began…

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