“Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos are such supreme jewels of Baroque music that 30 years ago I named the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra in their honour,” says Paul Dyer, the Brandenburg’s Artistic Director.
The Australian Brandenburg Orchestra directed by Paul Dyer AO from the harpsichord, performs five of J S Bach’s iconic Brandenburg concertos in commemoration of this anniversary. They will perform in Sydney, Parramatta and Melbourne.
30 years ago, in 1989, the Brandenburg Ensemble company was founded by Paul and Managing Director Bruce Applebaum, leading to the orchestra’s first performance at the Sydney Opera House in January 1990 as part of the Mostly Mozart series.
“When we play five of the concertos in Sydney and Melbourne concerts to kick off our year-long 30th anniversary party – the Brandenburg playing the Brandenburgs – audiences will be able to hear for themselves why Bach is universally held up as one of the greatest, most imaginative and most innovative creative minds of all time,” says Paul.
“Bach uses unusual and innovative groupings of instruments for each concerto. Every single musician on stage has a chance to shine and we’ll also get to hear more rarely used instruments such as the viola da gamba and violino piccolo.”
For Paul, the 5th concerto particularly has been a major part of his career and development as a musician, thanks to its astonishing solo harpsichord cadenza.
“I played it as a student for my graduation recital from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and have since performed it on four continents,” recounts Paul. “I’m excited to be playing this monumental concerto – and in fact all these concertos together – at this stage of my career. After 30 years of working with the incredible musicians of the Brandenburg, I feel we will bring a new level of maturity and also wisdom to these masterpieces of the period.
“Bruce and I started this orchestra to play and share this music with Australian audiences. And here we are 30 years later, still finding new joy on each page of music every time we take to the stage. We are both proud and very grateful.”
The programme: J S Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No. 1 in F, BWV 1046/ Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 in G, BWV 1048/ Brandenburg Concerto No. 4 in G, BWV 1049/ Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 in D, BWV 1050/ Brandenburg Concerto No. 6 in B-flat, BWV 1051
The performers: Australian Brandenburg Orchestra/ Paul Dyer AO Artistic Director & harpsichord