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Asia Pacific Music Competition 2013

July 9, 2013

The Asia Pacific Chamber Music Competition has just begun here in Melbourne, and I’m looking forward to listening to the first session in just under an hour’s time. Last night, after the hubbub of drinks, nibbles, introductions, shoulder-rubbing, speeches and gossip, we were treated to a performance by the energetic T’ang Quartet from Singapore, playing music by Bright Sheng, Peter Sculthorpe, Hu Xiao-Ou and Frangiz Ale Zadeh. Of these, I knew only the 8th string quartet by Sculthorpe, a powerful and fascinating work. I’d certainly be interested to delve into more of Sheng’s chamber music on the strength of his 3rd quartet, whose most appealing aspects were its capacity expansively to mould time and its elegaic and rather haunting conclusion, despite the torso of the work being a bit long and meandering, to my ears.

My felow jurors, chaired by the exquisite Wilma Smith, are an accomplished and pleasant bunch of fine human beings, representing our cousins over the water (Euan Murdoch, New Zealand), our Adelaide friends (Natsuko Yoshimoto), our brilliant expats (Li-Wei Qin) and a new friend from Shanghai, Professor Jensen Horn-Sin Lam. 

Better get my tie straightened and head for where the action is. May the show commence!

All session details here

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One Comment leave one →
  1. July 9, 2013 8:05 am

    The T’ang Quartet were indeed a fine opening event for the APCMC13. The three Asian works on the program were a fascinating insight into that other world of art music. We see and hear more of Asia’s visual arts than we do its music. More is the pity. My favourite work of the evening was that of Azerbeijani Franghiz Ali-Zadeh’s “Mugam Sayagi”. It’s structure, with players entering the stage one by one after off stage interventions, then introducing gong, triangle and tabla, before departing again leaving the lone cellist and a suspicion of triangle from offstage was quite mesmerising. It will be interesting to hear the three Asian works in the competition proper, played, you guessed it, by the Japanese and Chinese competitors. Good on them.

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