Among the brighter rays of hope for new music in Sydney announced last year was the Sydney Symphony Orchestra’s appointment of Brett Dean as its very first Artist in Residence. It’s also rather a brilliant idea to take contemporary classical music out of the confines of the baggage-trailing concert hall and plonk it somewhere altogether more conducive, in this case one of the atmospheric larger bays at Carriageworks. Add to that the fact that this inaugural concert, which included demanding microtonal and spectral works, had sold out well in advance with a last-minute clamour from people desperate to get in, and someone is clearly doing something right.

The intriguingly-curated programme set-off with a tribute to the late, lamented Pierre Boulez, a close colleague of SSO Artistic Director David Robertson. Dérive 1is a short work for six players that riffs on the surname of the great musical philanthropist Paul Sacher over a relatively action-packed eight minutes or so. Robertson is an expert in this field and his five hand-picked SSO soloists were joined by the great French pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard in a perfectly crafted reading, that combined some masterly hushed playing with a great deal of (perhaps surprisingly) sensual fluttering...