A reasonably full audience was present witness to the West Australian Symphony Orchestra doing what it does best, with a program of Beethoven and Brahms under the banner of ‘The Emperor.’ Utilising the local talents of conductor Peter Moore OAM and soloist Shuan Hern Lee, WASO showed its prowess and unity as an orchestra despite a reasonably safe program. Whether it was as a conversation partner in Beethoven’s ‘Emperor’ concerto, or as the driving force in Brahms’ Symphony No 4, it makes one proud to have an orchestra of this aptitude in the most isolated capital city in the world, especially in a time where live orchestral performance is a thing of fantasy for most of the pandemic-afflicted world.

Pianist Shuan Hern Lee Pianist Shuan Hern Lee

The familiarity of the ‘Emperor’ concerto worked well to set a comfortable tone for the performance, allowing the audience to enjoy the sensation of live performance whilst providing relatively easy listening. 18-year-old Shuan Hern Lee contributed to this sense of ease, with a relaxed performance style, whilst still conveying the emotion and drama of the concerto. Particularly enjoyable were the quieter moments, where this was most...