The Australian World Orchestra (AWO) will perform the world premiere of Symphony, a newly commissioned work by Paul Dean, as the centrepiece of concerts in Canberra, Sydney and Melbourne in June this year.
Under the baton of AWO Artistic Director Alexander Briger, fifty-two AWO players (forty-eight from across Australia and four from overseas*) will celebrate the tenth anniversary of the AWO and its first performance in over eighteen months.
Also on the program is Schumann’s Symphony No 2 – one of the great works of the romantic era and arguably Schumann’s greatest symphonic work and Beethoven’s Coriolan Overture.
Written during 2020 as Australia faced bushfires and then the world faced the COVID pandemic, Paul Dean’s new piece is Australian by birth, yet global in nature.
“The first movement describes daybreak at our local park where we walk the dogs every day. Daybreak is of course a special time everywhere but by the river in winter here at this park, it is beguiling. The birds wake slowly but in full voice (played by five of the wind players scattered throughout the hall). Such beauty I have never experienced anywhere despite travelling the world to find it. And there it was ¬ a 5-minute drive from where I live. What is remarkable are the storms that hit Brisbane periodically. Daybreak descends into a storm, an allegory for the plight of where we are… The storm comes and shatters the peace but what happens after the storms is always gentler and more beautiful than before… The movement ends in peace as it started” says Dean, describing the first movement of Symphony.
The award-winning Australian World Orchestra (AWO) is one of the most exciting initiatives in Australia’s cultural history. Founded in 2010 by Artistic Director and Chief Conductor Alexander Briger AO, AWO’s mission is to bring together Australia’s finest classical musicians – from ensembles in Australia, as well as all around the world – to create a unique ensemble. Performing around Australia and overseas, the AWO has earned an enviable reputation and reached out to new audiences for classical music, while its education program has helped foster the next generation of Australian musicians.
Totalling 250 players drawn from over 50 of the world’s finest orchestras and ensembles, the AWO can call on leading musicians from Australia’s state orchestras as well as their ex-patriate colleagues from prestigious ensembles such as the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra and London Symphony Orchestra. The sheer array of talent, coupled with the orchestra’s plush, award-winning sound, has seen many of the world’s greatest conductors leading the orchestra both in Australia and overseas.
*Correct at time of writing. Please check website for updated details of musicians.
The programe: Beethoven Coriolan Overture, Op.62, 1807/Paul Dean Symphony, 2021/Schumann Symphony No.2, Op.61 in C major, 1847
Wednesday 2 June 7:30pm, Llewellyn Hall, Canberra/ Friday 4 June 7.30pm, The Recital Centre, Melbourne