Please read: We are proud to have a full program of seven concerts lined up for the 2021 Season of Song and will do our utmost best to keep it like that. However, please understand that details of each of the concerts can be subject to change even at short notice. Therefore, please keep an eye on announcements on this page or via email regarding changes in program or ticket availability. Subscribe to our email list on the contact page or make sure to check this page a few days before each concert to be aware of changes in performers, times, et cetera. If you have booked tickets for a performance, you will of course be notified of changes if you have provided a valid email address that you regularly check.

For the time being, virus-related physical-distancing restrictions require that the maximum audience capacity of the Wesley Music Room is reduced below 100%. Each concert is therefore planned to be 45 minutes long and to be given twice – once at 3pm and again at 4.15pm. There will be no interval within each concert and no after-concert gathering. Mingling of the two audiences will be strongly discouraged. The Music Room will be thoroughly cleaned between performances. Admission to each concert will be by prior booking, achieved very easily through www.trybooking.com. Bookings will need to be made specifically for either the first performance (3pm) or the second (4.15pm). Life members (entitled to free admission) must still book at no charge; there is provision for this on trybooking. Online booking links will be provided as each concert approaches; special booking arrangements will be offered to Members of Art Song Canberra not having access to online facilities.

For prices please see tickets.

Season of Song Concert 1

Kaleidoscope

Sunday 21st February at 3pm & 4.15pm
Wesley Music Centre, 20 National Circuit, Forrest

Jade McFaul (soprano) and Lucus Allerton (piano)

This concert will feature Australian art songs by Sutherland, Glanville-Hicks, Tregaskis, Bowman and others about the varied and brilliant colours of the Australian landscape in all its moods.

To book tickets online please click here

Concert details may be subject to change. Please read the information at the top of this page.


Season of Song Concert 2

The Time of Roses

Sunday 21st March at 3pm & 4.15pm
Wesley Music Centre, 20 National Circuit, Forrest

Jill Sullivan (mezzo-soprano) and Alan Hicks (piano)

The rose has long been associated with romantic notions of passion, dedication and devotion, both amorous and spiritual. From the first blossoming of Beethoven and Schubert songs to the full flowering of Brahms, Wagner, Grieg and beyond to Mahler and Sibelius, the romantic Lied has revealed the intimate feelings of the often troubled individual. The fears and regrets of the dying soul are poignantly conveyed, never more so than in Grieg’s exquisite song, Zur Rosenzeit (Time of Roses). Beauty, pain, acceptance and gratitude combine as the Romantic era reaches and passes its zenith in Strauss’s Zueignung and Rote Rosen.


Season of Song Concert 3

Fairy Tales from Home

Sunday 23rd May at 3pm & 4.15pm
Wesley Music Centre, 20 National Circuit, Forrest

Susannah Lawergren (soprano) and Maciej Pawela (piano)

Susannah and Maciej will perform music from the great composers of their homelands: excerpts from the great Polish composer Szymanowski’s Songs of the Fairy Tale Princess for coloratura soprano, exquisite miniatures by the great Swedish composer Wilhelm Stenhammar and a song cycle about the many characters of the ocean by major 20th century Australian composer, Miriam Hyde. To bring the concert fully home and to keep stories continuing to be told and retold, they will also perform songs from the Ngarra Burria project, the First Peoples’ Composer Program.


Season of Song Concert 4

Love and Other Traps

Sunday 18th July at 3pm & 4.15pm
Wesley Music Centre, 20 National Circuit, Forrest

Piera Dennerstein (soprano) and Lucus Allerton (piano)

Explore the throes of love and life in four languages, over four centuries. From the imaginations of childhood, to the innocence of first love, to the solemnity of faith, expect no stone of the human condition unturned.


Season of Song Concert 5

Persons of Interest

Sunday 5th September at 3pm & 4.15pm
Wesley Music Centre, 20 National Circuit, Forrest

Christina Wilson (mezzo-soprano) and Alan Hicks (piano)

Passed down the generations are sung stories that celebrate human experience and achievement – continuing still as part of our society’s collective memory. Classical art song composers have added to this human musical history; inspired to write of men and women, real and imaginary, from myth and legend, from history and literature, to make known and keep alive their names and fate. Come and meet some memorable characters, hear their tales and judge for yourself whether they have something to say to us in 2021.


Season of Song Concert 6

Schumann and Britten – Love and War

Sunday 10th October at 3pm & 4.15pm
Wesley Music Centre, 20 National Circuit, Forrest

Kent McIntosh (tenor), Robert Johnson (horn) and Sharolyn Kimmorley AM (piano)

The Tasman Soloists are thrilled to return to Wesley with this arresting program. The wonderful combination of French horn, tenor and piano will take you from the depths of love lost to the heights of love gained via the lyrical brilliance of Robert Schumann. The program concludes with Edith Sitwell’s haunting poetry, set by Benjamin Britten, about London’s Blitz in World War 2.


Season of Song Concert 7

Myrtle and Roses

Sunday 14th November at 3pm & 4.15pm
Wesley Music Centre, 20 National Circuit, Forrest

Merlyn Quaife AM (soprano), Christina Wilson (mezzo-soprano), Nicholas Dinopoulos (bass-baritone) and Andrea Katz (piano)

Songmakers Australia are back! A garland of songs, dedications and serenades! A delightful collection of flower inspired songs, duets and trios by Schumann, Mozart, Massenet, Mendelssohn, and some English and Australian classics by Quilter, Tregaskis, Britten and Grainger. Dedicated to our faithful audience on the 10th anniversary of the début of Songmakers Australia, a perfect program to share with their Art Song Canberra friends.

 

The Artists


Winner of the Australian Singing Competition’s Marianne Mathy Award and prize winning graduate of The Canberra School of Music, the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester and the National Opera Studio, London, mezzo-soprano Christina Wilson has appeared in performances throughout the UK, Europe, the USA and Australia. She has sung as a soloist at the Royal Albert Hall, Westminster Abbey, Canterbury Cathedral and in recital at the Wigmore Hall, the Temple Square and the Paris Conservatoire. With Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Wexford Festival Opera, Belfast Opera and the State Opera of South Australia she has sung the roles of Clitemnestre, Carmen, Cenerentola, Rosina, Cherubino, Dido, Dorabella and in recent years for Handel in Theatre, the roles of David (Saul), Irene (Theodora), Dejanira (Hercules) and Storgé (Jephtha) staged at the Canberra Playhouse and conducted by Brett Weymark.
Christina is currently a core member of Songmakers Australia, Australia’s only professional art song ensemble, performing regularly at the Melbourne Recital Centre in concert and broadcast for ABC Classic FM. As an artist with the Flowers of War project, she has sung in concert around Australia, in Paris and Amiens, France and Oxford and London, as well in recordings for the Australian War Memorial and ABC Classics – in 2017 A race against Time, songs of Frederick Septimus Kelly with Alan Hicks, piano and in 2019 with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra in a selection of Kelly songs orchestrated by the project director, Christopher Latham. A lecturer in Voice at the ANU (2009-12) and in Voice and Performance at the University of Canberra (2013-18), she is now Sydney-based and teaches Classical Song and Voice Works at the Sydney University Conservatorium Open Academy and is a Performance Tutor at UNSW. She has given masterclasses at AIM, NIDA, die Universität fur darstellende Kunst, Vienna, and adjudicated at the Sydney, National, Wollongong and Taree Eisteddfods and the Melbourne Liederfest.

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Alan Hicks is one of Australia’s foremost vocal coaches and accompanists. Formerly a staff member at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester and Head of Voice (2008-12) at the ANU Canberra School of Music, he currently works in Vocal and Opera Studies at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music as coach, accompanist and tutor in diction. After postgraduate study at the RNCM in Manchester Alan remained in the UK for 15 years, performing in song and chamber recitals at the Wigmore Hall, St Johns Smith Square, the Purcell Room, Three Choirs Festival, for Yehudi Menuhin’s Live Music Now! and in recordings and broadcasts for the BBC.
Recent recital, theatre and festival work include the world premieres of The Diggers Requiem in Amiens, France and The Weight of Light at The Street Theatre, Canberra, where he also performed as Alain/Claude in the award-winning Bijou, subsequently touring NSW and in seasons at La Mama Courthouse, Melbourne, the Depot Theatre, Sydney, and The Butterfly Club, Melbourne. He is a member of the Trio Campanaccio, an official accompanist for the Australian Flute Festival, and the Australian Opera Foundation. A regular performer in The Flowers of War project concerts, in 2016 Alan recorded songs of Frederick Septimus Kelly for the ABC Classics CD A Race Against Time, and in 2018, completed a major project for the Australian War Memorial, recording 100 songs and pieces of music from the AWM’s collection of sheet music which can now be heard via the following website: https://www.awm.gov.au/visit/exhibitions-online/Music-WW1

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Jill Sullivan has performed throughout Australia in opera and concert. In 2016 Jill joined the Opera Australia Chorus as a casual performer and for that company has performed in La Boheme, Tosca, La Traviata, King Roger, Turandot, Verdi’s Requiem and Wagner’s Parsifal. Jill began her professional career as a resident mezzo-soprano for West Australian Opera, singing roles in childrens operas, concert performances, small roles on main stage and in chorus for that company. She has performed also in the chorus of Opera Queensland, recorded for the former Victoria State Opera and was the soloist on the soundtrack for the highly awarded feature film Fade to White.
She has an extensive concert, chamber and recital repertoire. In 2017 Jill performed in recital for Art Song Canberra where reviewers praised the beauty of her voice and deeply moving interpretations. In Hobart’s Epsom House, Jill has performed her own shows of classical and cabaret Salon Rouge and Lady in the Dark to sell out audiences. Reviewers here described her voice ‘as rich toned and full bodied yet with clarity of tone throughout an extensive range.’ Other highlights include alto solos for The Queensland Choir in Brahms’ Alto Rhapsody and Handel’s Messiah.
In 1990 Jill co-founded the Lieder Society of Western Australia (now Art Song Perth) for whom she has sung many recitals including several of the major song cycles. In South Australia, Western Australia and the Queensland Jill has performed with East West Trio, a chamber and voice ensemble. Jill has directed vocal ensembles and choirs, conducted performances of operatic choruses, amateur performances of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas and the musical Fiddler on the Roof, and also lead choral workshops in Tasmania and Western Australia in opera chorus singing for amateurs. Jill holds a Licentiate Diploma of Music (Singing) A.M.E.B. and an Honours degree in Arts (Opera Studies) from the University of Manchester. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in Medicine and Surgery from the University of Tasmania and continues to practise part time as a locum general medical practitioner.

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Soprano Susannah Lawergren has developed a reputation for her versatility, “stunning vocal expression” and “beautifully clear soprano”. From 2011-2019 she was a full-time member of the Song Company, singing an incredibly diverse range of music. She has performed with Bach Akademie Australia, Ensemble Offspring, Sydney Chamber Opera, Cantillation, Opera Australia, MSO, ACO and the Australia Ensemble as well as alongside international artists like Voces8, the Wallfisch Ensemble and Forma Antiqva. She has also performed at many of the major festivals in Australia, including the Sydney Festival, Adelaide Festival and Canberra International Music Festival.
Since the blanket cancellations in early 2020, she has performed twice with the Bach Akademie Australia for Melbourne Digital Concert Hall, recorded with harpist Georgia Lowe at the Art Gallery of NSW for Resonate Online and performed live for their Collection Circle, and is developing a new dance/visual art/music show with Elena Kats-Chernin, choreographer Paulina Quinteros and artist Wendy Sharpe. In 2021 she will again perform at CIMF, sing the beautiful Wedding Cantata with Bach Akademie Australia, perform a harp duo program with Georgia Lowe at Newcastle Art Gallery and in the Art Gallery of NSW’s Resonate Series.

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Maciej Pawela is a piano teacher and performer who was born in Poland, and after immigrating to Australia in 1983 now lives and works in Sydney.Maciej attended the State School of Music in Bytom and went on to study piano performance at the Szymanowski Academy of Music in Katowice. He completed his Master of Arts degree with Distinction in 1981.
During his student days he was awarded the Frederic Chopin Society scholarship in Warsaw twice, was awarded first place at the Prokofiev competition in Katowice, was a prize-winner at the Polish Pianistry Festival in Slupsk, and was the winner of the Piano Trio category in the All-Poland Chamber Music Competition in Lodz. He then held a piano teaching position at the Silesian University in Katowice. After immigrating to Australia, he has taken an active role in the musical life of his new homeland, including recordings for ABC radio and television, SBS radio, 2MBSFM radio, and Channel 7 TV. His chamber music collaborations include Richard Tognetti, Georg Pedersen, Wanda Wilkomirska, Natalie Chee, Alex Todicescu, Christina Leonard, amongst many others. Maciej has also organised several concerts as the president of the Chopin Society of Sydney for young Australian musicians and contemporary Australian composers.
Maciej currently runs a busy studio on Sydney’s North Shore, in addition to teaching at Sydney Grammar School and in association with the University of New South Wales. In his teaching Maciej aims to broaden the musical horizons of students by studying music of a variety of genres and music by lesser-known composers of a number of cultures, to encourage students to participate in ensemble groups, and to gain experience teaching for themselves. Maciej has assisted numerous students to forge successful musical careers in a broad range of contexts, including academic, compositional, educational and performative, and wishes to assist future students to reach their musical goals.

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Piera Dennerstein secured a place on 3MBS Radio’s The Talent program in 2020. In 2019 Piera performed her first leading role in a grand opera: Adina in Melbourne company, GBD Productions’ tour of L’elisir d’amore by Donizetti. The second half of the year was spent engaged with the legendary Finucane & Smith as a guest artist in international performances of The Rapture and The Rapture Chapter II. She continues to perform regularly at corporate events, particularly for Vavachi Productions and Entertainment International. In the first half of 2018, Piera travelled to France to take her place at the Fabrique Lyrique Operatic Young Artist program in Bourges where she played the Coquette in the world premiere of Fêtes et Cendres. The second half of 2018 had her in China, performing as Constanze Mozart in the children’s show Magical Mozart for Australian International Productions. She reprised this role in 2019 owing to the success of the initial production. In 2017, Piera covered the title role in L’incoronazione di Poppea for Lyric Opera of Melbourne. The year before, she toured China playing the Second Spirit and covering Pamina in Die Zauberflöte with the Australian International Opera Company. In addition, Piera performed the roles of Virtù and Pallade in L’incoronazione di Poppea at the Trentino Music Festival in The Dolomites in Italy. She also toured a mixed genre program in regional Victoria with associate artist Pamela Christie. Piera completed a double Bachelor in Music and Arts degree with First Class Honours at The Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music at Monash University. Upon graduating, Piera was awarded the Friends of the Opera Studio Fellowship to study for a full year as a Studio Young Artist in the 2015 Performance Program at The Opera Studio Melbourne – Gertrude Opera.

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Lucus Allerton graduated from the ANU School of Music with Honours in Piano in mid-2013. At the piano, Lucus enjoys ensemble and accompaniment work most of all, in 2012 winning the Margaret Smiles Accompaniment Prize, and reaching the Finals of the Sydney Eisteddfod’s 2013 Victoria Jennifer Warren Piano Accompaniment Award. Now employed as an accompanist for vocalists at the ANU School of Music, Lucus is active on the art song scene, travelling to Perth for masterclasses run by the venerated art song master Graham Johnson. In Melbourne, he hunted down more masterclasses held by members of Melbourne’s Songmakers Australia (whose ranks include Art Song Canberra familiars Andrea Katz, Christina Wilson, Merlyn Quaife, and Nicholas Dinopoulos). Lately Lucus worked with both Peter Coleman-Wright OA, and Cheryl Barker OA, as a pianist for The Cuskelly College of Music’s Academy of Vocal Performance’s opera production of Puccini’s Il Tabarro, Suor Angelica, and Gianni Schicchi in 2020. Lucus has very much enjoyed a number of musical partnerships and ensemble memberships, through and outside the ANU School of Music. He continues to accompany around Canberra, is regularly involved in the Canberra’s choral scene and conducts the Centauri Voices choir at the Woden Valley Youth Choir.

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Jade McFaul was born in 1996 in South Australia and moved to Canberra at the beginning of 2014, recently completing a Bachelor of Music (Honours) degree at the Australian National University. She was a recipient of the 2014 ANU Christel Larko Music Scholarship, the 2015 Bill Hyslop Prize in Voice, the 2016 Llewellyn Choir Prize, and was the ACT Young Virtuoso of 2016. She has been a chorister with Gondwana National Choirs since 2011 and is regularly involved in local ensembles, including the Canberra Bach Ensemble and Kompactus Youth Chamber Choir. She conducts Nova Voices of the Woden Valley Youth Choir. Her recent research advocates for the programming and performance of Australian art songs, exploring the relationship between poetry and music in this form.

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Born in Auckland, Kent McIntosh began his professional musical life as a French horn player in the RNZ Navy Band. He studied voice performance in NZ, Sydney and Canberra, where he graduated M.Mus in 2001 and won the Kornfeld full scholarship. Roles include Tamino/Monostatos/Armoured Man: The Magic Flute, title role: Albert Herring, Quint: The Turn of the Screw, Don Basilio: The Marriage of Figaro (Canberra) Servant/Chauffeur: Capriccio, Registrar: Madama Butterfly (Opera Australia). Kent is a hugely experienced song recitalist and oratorio soloist. Repertoire includes: Evangelist, St John Passion: Soloist, Messiah: Haydn, Creation: JS Bach and CPE Bach, Magnificat: JS Bach, Mass in B minor: Mendelssohn, Elijah: Monteverdi, Vespers: Puccini, Gloria: Beethoven, Symphony No.9: Schubert, Die Schöne Müllerin: Schumann, Dichterliebe, and Liederkreis Op 40: Janacek, Diary of one who disappeared: Britten, Winter Words, and On this Island. He has been broadcast twice live on ABC Classic FM, most recently in the Britten Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings in 2012. Kent is a senior chorister with Opera Australia and has sung over 2500 performances with the company.

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Robert Johnson studied the French horn at the NSW Conservatorium of Music. After holding the principal horn positions with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra and Opera Australia Orchestra, he was appointed Principal Horn with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra in 1986, a position he retired from in 2017. During his time with the SSO, he performed as soloist in works by Mozart, Richard Strauss, Benjamin Britten and Ross Edwards, and in 2005 he was the horn soloist in the SSO’s first performance of Messiaen’s From the Canyons to the Stars. In 2009 he commissioned and premiered with the SSO a new horn concerto, Lightfall, by Sydney composer Christopher Gordon. He has also appeared as guest principal with all the major Australian orchestras, the Australian Chamber Orchestra and New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. He has played chamber music with the Australia Ensemble, Sydney Soloists and New Sydney Wind Quintet, and has appeared at the Huntington and Townsville chamber music festivals. As a teacher he has worked as Senior Horn Lecturer at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and Canberra School of Music, and he has appeared as Artist in Residence at universities and music schools in Brisbane, Hobart, Melbourne, Perth and Hong Kong. In addition to playing the horn, he sings Mediæval and Renaissance songs in his ‘other life’ as a countertenor and has conducted ensembles of musicians from the SSO on a number of occasions as The Chamber Soloists of Sydney in “off the beaten track” repertoire.

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After studying at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Sharolyn Kimmorley joined the Music Staff of The Australian Opera and has assisted in the preparation of a vast range of works with many distinguished singers and conductors. In 1985 she became Principal Repetiteur for The Australian Opera and in 1987 was appointed Head of Music Staff. From 1994 to 1999 she was the company’s Artistic Administrator, following which she was Opera Australia’s Director of Music Administration until June 2003. Sharolyn is regarded as one of Australia’s finest vocal coaches and accompanists. She has recorded for ABC Classics, taken part in Chamber Music Concerts, and accompanied some of the world’s most distinguished recitalists including Dame Joan Sutherland, Håkan Hagegård, Neil Rosenshein, Bryn Terfel, Wilhelmenia Fernandez, Sir Thomas Allen, Désirée Rancatore, Barbara Bonney, Teddy Tahu Rhodes, David Hobson, Keith Lewis, Yvonne Kenny, Inessa Galante, Dennis O’Neill, Ian Bostridge, Kathleen Battle, Jonathan Lemalu, Peter Coleman-Wright and Cheryl Barker.
In January 2009 Sharolyn became a Member of the Order of Australia in recognition of her work as an accompanist and the nurturing and mentoring of emerging artists. Sharolyn is currently Artistic Adviser to the Dame Nellie Melba Opera Trust, Artistic Director of The Opera Club (Christchurch) Chorus Director for Opera New Zealand (Christchurch) and Guest Vocal Coach at the Tiroler Festspiele in Erl, Austria.

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A performer of great versatility, the distinguished soprano Merlyn Quaife received an Order of Australia Award in the Queen’s Birthday 2013 Honours List for significant service to music. Merlyn continues to perform opera, oratorio, Lieder, chamber music and contemporary music to great acclaim throughout Australia and Europe. Merlyn has appeared with all the State Opera Companies in roles ranging from the bel canto Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor to the minimalist Chiang Ch’ing in Nixon in China.
She has performed with all the Symphony Australia orchestras, featured in repertoire of every conceivable style from Handel to Ligeti, as well as recorded a number of CDs including Aria for John Edward Eyre by David Lumsdaine which won her a Sounds Australia Award. Of recording labels, she appears on Naxos, Move, Tall Poppies and ABC Classics.

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The young bass-baritone Nicholas Dinopoulos studied at The University of Melbourne with Merlyn Quaife AM and furthered his training at The Opera Studio Melbourne. A prolific concert artist and recitalist, he is frequently heard in live-to-air broadcasts on ABC Classic FM and 3MBS FM and is a core member of Songmakers Australia under the artistic patronage of Graham Johnson. He recently created the role of The Poet in the world premiere performances of Constantine Koukias’ The Barbarians (Helpmann Award nomination, Best Opera category) for IHOS Opera / MONA FOMA 2012. The 2013 season marked debuts for both Victorian Opera (Melbourne) and Pinchgut Opera (Sydney).

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A pianist, accompanist and vocal coach of extraordinary versatility, Argentine-born Andrea Katz is equally at home with chamber music, German Lieder and grand opera. She studied piano with Vlado Perlemuter in Paris and Alexander Tamir in Jerusalem and specialised in the interpretation of German Lieder with Graham Johnson in London. A prolific recital pianist, she performs regularly with prominent Australian and international singers and ensembles, including a yearly season at the Art Gallery of New South Wales. She is the founder of Songmakers Australia. Since 2009 she has been Director of the Vocal Ensemble at the University of Melbourne Conservatorium of Music.
She has released two CDs with soprano Merlyn Quaife, Lest we Forget and Fortune my Foe.

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Unique in the musical landscape of Australia, Songmakers Australia brings together some of the country’s leading singers and instrumentalists in a diverse repertoire comprising some of the pinnacles of all chamber music. Under the artistic patronage of Graham Johnson, founding director of the acclaimed London-based Songmakers Almanac, pianist Andrea Katz teams with soprano Merlyn Quaife, mezzo-soprano Christina Wilson, tenor Brenton Spiteri and bass-baritone Nicholas Dinopoulos in inspired programs that feature a dynamic interplay of song and chamber music. The ensemble presents a yearly subscription series at the Melbourne Recital Centre, where they have been Local Heroes since their foundation in 2011. They enjoy numerous invitations to perform at leading festivals and recital series Australia-wide (Melbourne Festival, Art Gallery of NSW, Peninsula Summer Music Festival, Art Song Canberra and the Port Fairy Spring Music Festival) and they are regularly heard in national live-to-air broadcasts.

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