Hello and welcome to our final Elder Con-versation for this year. I can’t believe how it has flown by and what an extraordinary abundance of great music and other events we have enjoyed here at Elder Hall. You might enjoy listening in again to some moments from several of our concerts... listen again here
I thought that it would be nice to finish the year on a lighter ‘note’ and what better way than with Victor Borge. Enjoy a couple of moments of musical hilarity with him now:
...and enjoy discovering a little more about him further down. But first let’s check out November...
Lunchtimes at ELDERHALL
October was packed with a mix of ensembles and recitals. Many of you will have enjoyed Hoang Pham’s piano recital, an unexpected treat – unfortunately the result of an injury to the cellist in the Melbourne Piano Trio who were originally scheduled to perform. Here are a some pictures from October's Lunchtimes concerts.
Imants Larsens with Timothy Young
Woodwinds from the Band of South Australia Police
- a great moment as they marched on, played a tune, and then marched off again -
Our remaining three concerts bring a year of exceptional concerts to a close. A violin recital by friend and leading violinist Elizabeth Layton, with pianist Clemens Leske
features violin sonatas by Beethoven and Faure. The following week Elder Conservatorium’s talent is on display as 4 rising stars compete for $2400 in prizes in the John Davis Music Classical Music Awards. This year the finalists are Joshua Oates – Oboe, Mandy Jane Hutchinson – Flute, Callum Gunn – Piano and Helen Seppelt – Flute.
This also gives me an opportunity to thank John Davis Music! Sponsor for a number of years, they are passionate about supporting the young people who represent the future of music.
... popular pianist Kristian Chong
performs ‘Inspired by Bach
’ a pianistic tour-de-force on 22 November followed by our traditional post-concert season reception on the green of the Goodman Lawns and under the jacarandas. Hopefully the weather will be on our side again. Below are some photos from last year's reception!!
Concerts are Fridays in Elder Hall from 1.10 – 2pm, until 22 November. Admission is just $10
available at the door from 12.30pm. Browse the Lunchtimes website here
Special Guest for December and January!
Victor Borge (Boerge Rosenbaum) – born January 3 1909; died December 23 2000
(November is skipped as we celebrate the months of December and January with Victor Borge)
Pianist Victor Borge, was known as the unmelancholy Dane of international show business. He would have turned 92 on Jan. 3, 2000. "The cause of death was heart failure," his daughter, Sanna Feirstein, told Reuters. "He had just returned from a wonderfully successful trip to Copenhagen... and it was really heartwarming to see the love he experienced in his home country," she said. Borge was one of five performers selected for the Kennedy Center Honors in 1999.
"He had so much on the table, and to the day he died he was creative, and practicing piano several hours a day," Gurtman told Reuters. "He was just a great inspiration."
Borge made a career of falling off piano stools, missing the keys with his hands and getting tangled up in the sheet music. He said that the only time he got nervous on stage was when he had to play seriously and adds that if it had not been for Adolf Hitler he probably would never have pursued a career as a concert-hall comedian. Until he was forced to flee Denmark in 1940 he was a stage and screen idol in his native country.
But as a Jew who had lampooned Hitler, Borge -- his real name was Boerge Rosenbaum -- was in danger and fled first to Sweden and then to the United States, where he arrived penniless and unknown and by a fluke got booked on the Bing Crosby radio show. He was an instant success. He became an American citizen in 1948, but thought of himself as Danish. It was obvious from the numerous affectionate tributes and standing ovations at his 80th birthday concert in Copenhagen in 1989 that Danes felt the same way. In the concert at Copenhagen's Tivoli gardens, Borge played variations on the theme of "Happy Birthday to You" in the styles of Mozart, Brahms, Wagner and Beethoven -- all executed with such wit that the orchestra was so convulsed with laughter that a woman performing a piccolo solo was unable to draw breath to play.
"Playing music and making jokes are as natural to me as breathing," Borge told Reuters in an interview after that concert. "That's why I've never thought of retiring because I do it all the time whether on the stage or off. I found that in a precarious situation, a smile is the shortest distance between people. When one needs to reach out for sympathy or a link with people, what better way is there? If I have to play something straight, without deviation in any respect, I still get very nervous. It's the fact that you want to do your best, but you are not at your best because you are nervous and knowing that makes you even more nervous." His varied career included acting, composing for films and plays and writing but he was best known for his comic sketches based on musical quirks and oddities. His routines were unpredictable, often improvised on stage as his quick wit responded to an unplanned event -- a noise, a latecomer in the audience -- or fixed on an unlikely prop -- a fly, a shaky piano stool.
Borge was born in Denmark on January 3, 1909, son of a violinist in the Danish Royal Orchestra. His parents encouraged him to become a concert pianist, arranging his first public recital when he was 10. In 1927 he made his official debut at the Tivoli Gardens.
Borge's mischievous sense of humor was manifest from an early age. Asked as a child to play for his parent's friends he would announce "a piece by the 85-year-old Mozart" and improvise something himself. When his mother was dying in Denmark during the occupation, Borge visited her, disguised as a sailor. "Churchill and I were the only ones who saw what was happening," he said in later years. "He saved Europe and I saved myself." From 1953 to 1956, he appeared in New York in his own production "Comedy in Music," a prelude to world tours that often took him to his native Scandinavia.
On radio and television, Borge developed the comedy techniques of the bungling pianist that won him worldwide fame. Many of his skits were based on real-life events. One of his classics evolved from seeing a pianist playing a Tchaikovsky concerto fall off his seat. Borge's dog joined the show after it wandered on stage while he was at the keyboard -- an entrance nobody would believe had been unplanned. One incident could not be repeated. A large fly flew on to Borge's nose while he was playing. "How did you get that fly to come on at the right time?" people asked. "Well, we train them," Borge explained. Borge's book, "My Favorite Intervals," published in 1974, detailed little-known facts of the private lives of composers describing Wagner's pink underwear and the time Borodin left home in full military regalia but forgot his trousers.
In 1975, Borge was honoured in recognition of the 35th anniversary of his arrival in the United States and his work as unofficial goodwill ambassador from Denmark to the United States. He celebrated his 75th birthday in 1984 with a series of concerts at Carnegie Hall and in Copenhagen. Borge received a host of honors from all four Scandinavian countries for his contributions to music, humor and worthy causes.
Borge, who lived in Greenwich since 1964, is survived by five children, nine grandchildren, and one great grandchild. His wife of many years, Sanna, died earlier in 2000.
-from Reuters obituary
Evenings at Elder Hall
October was an exciting month with 2 evening concerts presented by the Elder Conservatorium. Jazz at the Scott
was a fantastic success (listen again here
to a special moment with Naomi Crellin from Idea of North, the Adelaide Connection and the Bruce Hancock Trio) as Elder Con jazz stars past, present and future came together for a night of great jazz at Scott Theatre.
And just last weekend the Conservatorium Symphony Orchestra celebrated 3 special birthdays!! Wagner’s 200th and the centenary celebrations of both Britten and Lutoslawski. The orchestra really rose to the occasion and guest artist tenor Patrick Power thrilled in Britten’s Les Illuminations. Advertiser reviewer Elizabeth Silsbury wrote "Power stunned many of us who know his work well with his projection, his volume and the sheer beauty of his tone."
Patrick Power -
Micaela Thomas -
The final two concerts in the very successful inaugural series
of intimate concerts at Elder Hall are nearly here. The specially-commissioned wooden screens, carefully positioned, have ensured that the superb acoustic qualities for which Elder Hall is renowned are maintained. Audiences feel that rather than merely being at a concert they are indeed part of it, making it a really exciting experience! I hope you get a chance to enjoy (see competition below)
Concert 9 - Saturday 16 November at 8pm
Belinda Gehlert violin; Emily Tulloch violin; Jason Thomas viola; Hilary Kleinig cello;
Resonance - The Sounds Around Us
Resonance is a stunning selection of evocative folk songs and music from around the world, hand-picked and arranged by the Zephyr Quartet. This performance features music from five continents and explores the universal language of music and its power to transcend boundaries leaving audiences uplifted and invigorated.
Concert 10 – Sunday 1 December at 3pm
ENSEMBLE LE MONDE
Dean Newcomb clarinet; Mark Gaydon bassoon; Alison Heike violin;
with special guest Kristian Chong piano
FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE
Works by Stravinsky, Glinka and the forgotten Markevitch
All members of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, Ensemble le Monde (ELM) is a group dedicated to contrasts. From rich masterworks to fresh, sparkling modernism and contemporary Australian composers, Ensemble le Monde strives for the exuberant, the effervescent, the crisp and the colourful.
to make a booking online; ring 8313 5925 or just come along to the concert. The box office will be open approximately 45 minutes prior to the start of the concert.
In previous months we've been looking at some of the basics of conducting. Time now to do away with the diagrams, glossaries and orchestral scores, and jump right into the deep end. Click here
for 5 minutes of great insight with the London Symphony Orchestra and conductor Valery Gergiev
We are giving away 3 double passes to each of the last two concerts in this year’s ELDER PERSPECTIVES concert series.
To be in the running just reply with your name and your preference for either:
Concert 9 Zephyr Quartet. Saturday 16 November at 8pm
Concert 10 Ensemble Le Monde. Sunday 1 December at 3pm
Let me know by reply email no later than Thursday 14 November. Winners will be notified by email and tickets will be at the box office for collection under your name approximately 45 minutes before the concert starts.
We had six lucky winners for our two evening concerts in October’s competition.
A BIG CONGRATULATIONS go to...
Anne Jackson, Lily Michailov and Anne Reichstein – Jazz at the Scott
Warren Jones, Davis Mead and Gwendy Hudson – Concerto for Orchestra
Other Events at Elder Hall in November
Sunday 3 November at 2.30pm
Selby and Friends
Three Shades of Melody
Monday 4 November at 8pm
Leigh Harrold - Piano
Wednesday 6 November at 7.30pm
Sunday 24 November at 3pm
Adelaide Youth Orchestra
End of Year Concert
I do enjoy hearing from you – perhaps let me know what your favourite concert or event has been – not just at Elder Hall but a holiday highlight, favourite performer or recording.
Can I wish everyone a very special and safe holiday season – surrounded by friends, family and of course lots of great music!!
I look forward to chatting again in 2014...
Bye for now,
PS I couldn’t choose between these 2 little quotes so have added them both...
"There are still so many beautiful things to be said in C major." -- Sergei Prokofiev
"Already too loud!" -- Bruno Walter at his first rehearsal with an American orchestra, on seeing the players reaching for their instruments