From 25 September to 1 October 2017, the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music welcomes the return of the biennial Melbourne Cello Festival.
The Melbourne Cello Festival returns
Founded in 2015 by Artistic Director Alvin Wong, the Melbourne Cello Festival brings together cellists from around the globe to celebrate the music written for this beautiful instrument. Its goal is to provide and promote cello at the highest level, to bring communities together through the love of cello and music, and to nurture younger generations through music and art. This trinity of values, artistry, community and engagement, are the core of the Festival.
Join us as distinguished cellists from around Australia and overseas present the highest calibre of classical music in a variety of concerts, including solo cello performances, duos, recitals, chamber music, new music and large ensemble concerts.Meet the artists
2017 Festival program
MondayMelbourne Cello Festival: Kids' Day
Monday 25 September: Kids' Day
1-2pm Musical Chair workshops
2.15-3.30pm Junior Ensemble rehearsal | Parents Q&A (Tallis Wing) | Teachers' roundtable (Heinze Room)
4-5pm Kids’ Day Concert
TuesdayMelbourne Cello Festival Day 2
Tuesday 26 September: Opening Night
1-2pm Chat On Couch I
7pm Opening Concert: Duos
The Festival’s first evening concert features guest artists in pairs presenting duos by ROSSINI, MENOTTI, GRAZIANI, and OFFENBACH.
WednesdayMelbourne Cello Festival Day 3
Wednesday 27 September
1-2pm Lunch Hour Concert: Rising Stars Series I
7pm Concert 2: Kodály
The second evening concert showcases Edith Salzmann and Alvin Wong performing two works by living Chinese composers Gao Ping and Bright Sheng. The concert closes with the monumental 20th century cello masterpiece Kodály Solo Sonata Op. 8, performed by Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi. This work revives the solo cello repertoire since the Bach Cello Suites and continues to inspire many pieces for this genre.
ThursdayMelbourne Cello Festival Day 4
Thursday 28 September
1-2pm Lunch Hour Concert: Special Artist – Yelian He
Australian Cello Award winner Yelian He will give a special recital with pianist Yasmine Rowe as their homecoming welcome performance, after spending over ten years in the UK.
2.30-4.30pm Movie and Chat: “Talent Has Hunger” led by Paul Katz.
This documentary follows six students of Professor Paul Katz over a ten-year period to trace their development as artists – a film that will win the hearts and tears of youngsters, parents and professionals alike.
FridayMelbourne Cello Festival Day 5
Friday 29 September
1-2pm Lunch Hour Concert: Rising Stars Series II
4pm Chat On Couch II: Beyond the Concert Stage with Euan Murdoch
7pm Concert 3: Chamber Music of Schubert and Brahms
Chamber music masters and Viennese composers Schubert and Brahms loved the cello, and enjoyed using not one, but two, in their works. In this evening concert, audience members will enjoy the simple yet complex, and beautifully intimate atmosphere created in these famous and everlasting works.
SundayMelbourne Cello Festival CelloXtravaganza!
Sunday 1 October: CelloXtravaganza!
1-2.30pm MCF Orchestra Soundcheck
7pm Concert Finale: CelloXtravaganza!
Join us for our most popular event during the Melbourne Cello Festival: the CelloXtravaganza! This final concert of the Festival presents cello ensembles from around Australia and New Zealand. In the second half, cellists and double bassists of all ages and levels join together for a musical party: The Orchestra of 100 Cellos (and basses)! This year, in addition to some of our favourite arrangements, we will present selections from film music arranged specially for this occasion.
We invite all levels of cellists to join us in this orchestra, and all you cello fanatics and music lovers to come and share our love for this magical instrument. A concert not to be missed!
2017 festival artists
Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi, an artist who can “add something akin to a spiritual quality (The Herald Times)” to the music, is one of the most notable musicians of his generation and respected mentors of cello performance. Since the debut at the age of 12 with the Tokyo Philharmonic and winning the 1963 International Casals Competition in Budapest, Tsutsumi has performed with the renowned orchestras such as the ORTF, the Berlin Radio Symphony, the Concertgebouw, the Rotterdam, Munich and Warsaw philharmonics and the Chicago, Indianapolis and Vancouver symphonies. One of the most impressive appearances with many great conductors was a concert telecast worldwide at the United Nations with the Toho Gakuen Orchestra conducted by Seiji Ozawa. He is also a champion of premiering new music by Japanese composers, such as Toru Takemitsu, Akira Miyoshi, Toshiro Mayuzumi, just naming a few. Touring the globe as soloist, he also busies himself as an educator, leading master classes in US, France, Netherlands, Canada, Taiwan and other Asian countries. After the almost 20 year tenure as Faculty of the Indiana University, he contributed to his Alma Mater, Toho Gakuen School of Music as President for nine years. He is now Music Director of Kirishima International Music Festival(2000-) and President of Suntory Hall(2007-). He is a recipient of National Academy of Arts Prize in music by the Emperor, Japan's Medal with Purple Ribbon, the highest honor in Japan and awarded Person of Cultural Merit in 2013. He has been a member of the Japan Art Academy since 2009.
Paul Katz is known as cellist of the Cleveland Quartet, which, during an international career of 26 years, made more than 2,500 appearances on four continents. As a member from 1969 to 1995, Katz performed at the White House and on many television shows, including CBS Sunday Morning, NBC's Today Show, the Grammy Awards (the first classical musicians to appear on that show), and in The Mainstream The Cleveland Quartet, a one-hour documentary televised across the U.S. and Canada. Katz has received many honors, including the "Chevalier du Violoncelle," The Richard M. Bogomolny National Service Award, Chamber Music America's highest honor, an Honorary Doctorate of Musical Arts from Albright College, and the American String Teacher's Association "Artist-Teacher of the Year 2003." Katz served for six years as President of Chamber Music America. Katz's recordings have earned 11 Grammy nominations, Grammy Awards for Best Chamber Music Recording and Best Recorded Contemporary Composition in 1996, and "Best of the Year" awards from Time magazine and Stereo Review. In 2001, Paul Katz joined the New England Conservatory faculty, following five years at Rice University in Houston, and 20 years of teaching at the Eastman School of Music.
German cellist Edith Salzmann studied in Detmold with Irene Guedel and Andre Navarra and in Bloomington (USA) with Janos Starker. As a soloist and chamber musician she has toured Europe, the United States, Canada, Australia, large parts of Asia and New Zealand, and frequently performs at festivals such as the Festival D’Ile de France, the Prussia Cove Festival, the Orlando Festival and the Festival Moulin d’Ande. She performed as a soloist in the Berlin Philharmonic Hall, the Opera Frankfurt, the Lincoln Center and other important venues. She has recorded several CDs for the Italian label Stradivarius and recorded extensively for radio. Edith is the artistic Director of the Pettman National Junior Academy of Music, a NZ nationwide scholarship program for highly talented young musicians. She was also the Artistic Director of the International Akaroa Music Festival since 2004. In 2001 she was appointed Senior lecturer at the University of Canterbury, and since 2014 she is Senior Lecturer at the University of Auckland. Her students have won prizes in national and international competitions such as the Padova Competition, the Viotti Competition, the Int. Brahms Competition, and the Seoul National Competition, and her former students enjoy successful careers in chamber music ensembles and orchestras in Germany, the UK, Holland and New Zealand.
Cellist Alvin Wong has performed across Asia, Europe, Australia, and the Americas in venues such as Carnegie Hall, Seoul Arts Center, and Hong Kong Cultural Center. He appeared as a concerto soloist in Australia, Italy, Thailand and USA, toured in recitals across China, southern Europe and America, and performed as a chamber musician in festivals such as Atlantic (Maine), Ipalpiti (California), Carvalho (Brazil) and Great Mountains (Korea. An advocate in new music, Alvin premiered concertos written for him by Barry Conyngham (ANZAC), James Ogburn (Cello Concerto: Singularity) and Angel Lam (Disappearing Garden, Capital Dream), and solo cello works by Chen Yi, Norbert Palej and Stuart Greenbaum, among others. He has also collaborated closely with composers Aaron Jay Kernis, Narong Prangchareon, Bright Sheng, Augusta Read Thomas and Zhou Long. He was a featured artist at the Thailand International Composition Festival and Intimacy of Creativity (Hong Kong), and presented all-Chinese contemporary works recitals across China and USA. Alvin joined the Faculty of the Victorian College of the Arts and Melbourne Conservatorium of Music (VCA & MCM) at the University of Melbourne (Australia) in January 2014. He has previously taught at Connecticut College (USA), and was the principal cellist of Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra. Alvin holds music degrees from Eastman, Indiana and Yale, where he received the Doctor of Musical Arts and Artist Diploma. His major teachers were Janos Starker and Aldo Parisot. In September 2015, he founded and directed the inaugural Melbourne Cello Festival to great acclaim. Alvin plays a 2003 William Whedbee cello from Chicago.
Hailed as a “consummate master of the bow” by The Strad magazine, Chinese-Australian cellist Yelian He is the winner of the 2009 Royal Over-Seas League String Competition in London and the Grand Prize and Audience Prize winner of the 2014 Australian Cello Awards competition in Sydney (now amalgamated with the Young Performer’s Awards). He has appeared in concert at many venues and festivals including Wigmore Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Bridgewater Concert Hall, City Recital Hall, Melbourne Recital Centre, Hamer Hall, Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Brighton Festival, Deal Festival, Adelaide International Cello Festival and Woodend Winter Arts Festival. In 2017, Yelian and pianist Yasmin Rowe will release their debut CD comprising of an eclectic selection of composers such as Mendelssohn, Kapustin, Schumann-Liszt, Henryson and Piazzolla; the CD includes some of their favourite works both large and small, on and off the stage. They have also released their first and second music videos of Chopin’s Cello Sonata 3rd movement and Nikolai Kapustin’s Burlesque for piano and cello. Commissioned by the City Music Foundation in London and shot inside a Chapel in Peckham, the videos subsequently premiered in the Rebecca Hossack Gallery in central London in October 2016.
Yelian was presented to Her Majesty the Queen Elizabeth II in 2011 at a reception for outstanding Australians in the UK and again in 2013 in a private performance for the Queen and her Commonwealth guests at Buckingham Palace. Yelian currently plays on a cello that is 140 years old – crafted by Hungarian luthier Adolphus Monnig in 1877. To learn more about Yelian, to watch music videos, or to get updates for the release date of his debut CD, please type “heplayscello” into the search bar in Google or YouTube.
Yasmin Rowe is a renowned international concert pianist; she performs as solo recitalist, chamber musician and concerto soloist in many countries and is highly sought after for her chamber music skills. As a UK-born pianist, she recently relocated to Melbourne, Australia to continue her successful young career on the other side of the world, having made the difficult, but rewarding decision of leaving the country where she spent all of her life. Her first commercial CD was released in 2016 and was quickly picked up by British Airways for their on board entertainment system. The CD received high praises by several world-renowned pianists. Yasmin was exposed to music by her mum at a very early age. Even at the age of 4, where she performed her first work in public, Yasmin discovered her love of performing. Luckily, her parents were both nurturing in her passion for the arts, and worked hard to send her to prestigious schools such as Chethams school of Music and the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. Yasmin graduated from the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, UK with an M.Mus (Dist) in 2013. She qualified to undertake the prestigious International Artist Diploma in 2014, where she enjoyed her piano studies with Stephen Savage and was delighted to take part in masterclasses with Andrei Gavrilov, Noriko Ogawa and Artur Pizarro. Upon her graduation from the RNCM, Yasmin performed Mozart’s Piano Concerto K271 with the Manchester Camerata Orchestra at Chester Cathedral. She frequently performs with her cellist Yelian He; they formed the successful piano/cello duo “Y-Squared” after meeting at a masterclass in 2008. Together they’ve won competitions such as the Royal Over-Seas League String Competition and the Australian Cello Awards (now amalgamated with the Young Performer’s Awards). Yasmin has released her first and second music videos with Yelian in 2016, shot in London in conjunction with the City Music Foundation.
All tickets are available to purchase via Eventbrite.
FESTIVAL PASS (ACCESS TO ALL EVENTS)
$160 Student / $200 Full
SINGLE SESSION TICKET (MASTERCLASS OR CONCERT)
$15 Student / $20 Full
EVENING CONCERT TICKET
$30 Student / $40 Full
GALA CONCERT – SUNDAY 1 OCTOBER
$35 Student / $55 Full
KIDS’ DAY PASS – MONDAY 25 SEPTEMBER
Online applications to participate in masterclasses will be available soon.
Melbourne Cello Festival Orchestra
Online registrations to participate in the MCF Cello Orchestra will be available soon.
For enquiries, please email Concerts Coordinator James Hutchinson.
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