THE BALKANICS play high-energy music from the Balkans (especially Macedonia). The music is energetic, infectious and very danceable. As well as traditional tunes, many of them Gypsy or Roma in origin, their original compositions are inspired by many years of studying, playing and living these most vibrant of musical cultures. Featuring five accomplished musicians who have been playing together in different combinations for several decades, The Balkanics will intoxicate you, the hypnotic energy of their improvisations dragging you onto the dance floor. Cast away your worldly woes and be transported to a universe inhabited by extravagant rhythmic variation and catchy melodic invention.
The Balkanics include ANTHONY PIZZICA (rezouki, tambura), LINSEY POLLAK (sax, gaida, clarini), PHILIP GRIFFIN (electric bass, tambura), RIC HALSTEAD (sax, flute) & TUNJI BEIER (drums). Between them they have performed in many varied ensembles (The Unusual Suspects, Makedonski Bop, Xenos, Okuta Percussion, Ross Daly’s Australian Labyrinth), performed with many international artists (Jimmy Witherspoon, Red Rodney, Elvin Bishop, Charlie Musselwhite, Mick Taylor, Billy Cobham, Nitin Sawhney, Pece Atanasovski) and at venues and festivals throughout the world (WOMADelaide; WOMAD NZ; St Chartier Festival, France; Perth, Melbourne, Sydney & Adelaide Arts Festivals; Vector Arena, Auckland; Barbican Centre, London; Hong Kong Arts Festival; Montreal Jazz Festival)
"Among the plethora of bands playing Balkan and Gypsy music in Australia these days, one rarely encounters high-level musicianship so completely intertwined with sheer gusto as is the case with the Balkanics ” - John Shand - Sydney Morning Herald
Five-time ARIA award-winning artist, KATIE NOONAN has proven herself over the past 20 years, one of Australia’s most hardworking, versatile and prolific artists. Named one of the greatest Australian singers of all time by the Herald Sun, Katie has produced 18 albums throughout her career, with seven times platinum record sales under her belt and 25 ARIA award nominations that span diverse genres.
Katie first came into the nation’s view in 2002 while fronting indie rock band george – their debut album, the two-times platinum Polyserena, rolled in at number one in the ARIA charts. They ultimately won the ARIA award for Breakthrough Artist that same year.
Katie is a rare songwriter; equally at home leading a symphony orchestra as she is performing in a small jazz club, she has the ability to flourish in any genre – whether that’s in gentle folk storytelling or in the grandiosity of an opera performance. Katie has collaborated with Australian electronic producers Flight Facilities on their acclaimed 2014 record Down To Earth and, in 2016, she joined Perth hip-hop artist Drapht on his track Raindrops.
Her curiosity and passion often leads her to transcend the medium of music – Katie has collaborated on multi-disciplinary works from ballet and contemporary dance to live art and circus. The daughter of a journalist and opera singer, she was naturally led to the 2018 collaboration Gratitude and Grief, where she worked alongside esteemed Australian poet and cartoonist Michael Leunig with her jazz trio Elixir bringing Leunig’s poems to life in song.
Inspired by the evocative Australian poet Judith Wright, an environmentalist and advocate for the rights of First Nation peoples, Katie joined the UK’s acclaimed Brodsky Quartet to interpret Wright’s poems in With Love and Fury. “Noonan navigates the challenging territory of this showcase of artful Australian music with unflinching accuracy,” wrote the Sydney Morning Herald.
In the midst of owning her record company and working as an artistic director, Katie remains committed to what sets her artistry apart from the pack: her ability to evolve. “There’s always going to be something to learn or someone who can teach you something,” she explains. Music, for Katie, is a lifelong lesson, a generous act of giving, and a means to change the world.
Seeing THE NECKS in concert is an experience like no other. CHRIS ABRAHAMS, TONY BUCK and LLOYD SWANTON - these three master musicians, who take to the stage with nothing prepared in advance - set out investigating a humble musical notion and then over the course of pieces which sometimes go for an hour or more, conjure textures and aural illusions that defy description.
After a remarkable year in which The Necks got a symphony orchestra improvising behind them in a concert hall down a Polish salt mine, performed a double bill with the Art Ensemble of Chicago, received the Richard Gill Award for Distinguished Services to Australian Music, played on album releases by Underworld and Swans, and performed in a Finnish church carved out of solid rock, The Necks are back touring Australia to promote the release of their 21st album, Three.
Don't miss this chance to see The Necks in concert!
Australian blues musician LLOYD SPIEGEL celebrates his 30th year on tour in 2019. He can’t recall a time before playing guitar. Picking up the instrument at age four, Lloyd played his first professional show at age ten and was touring the east coast of Australia at 12. By 16 he was on tour in the United States, cutting his teeth as a true travelling blues man. Lloyd’s travels not only honed his craft, earned him a swag of awards and brought him to take counsel with the founding fathers of modern blues – it taught him the most important part of being a blues musician: connecting with everyday people.
Lloyd has toured extensively throughout Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Canada, Europe and Japan, viewing himself as a social worker more than anything else – someone to help people forget about their worries for a few hours and put a smile on their face. His contributions to music have earned him myriad accolades, such as Best Artist and Best Album at the Australian Blues Awards and being named as one of Australian Guitar Magazine’s Top 50 Australian guitarists of all time.
He has also supported the likes of Ray Charles, Bob Dylan and Etta James, and sat in with masters of the blues genre such as Brownie McGhee and Luther Allison.
In 2019, Lloyd releases his tenth album ‘Cut And Run’, the final part of an unexpected trilogy about personal redemption Lloyd didn’t even realise he was writing until it was finished. Where previous albums ‘Backroads’ and ‘This Time Tomorrow’ had Lloyd asking questions and begging forgiveness for the sins of his past, on ‘Cut And Run’ he has found the tenacity to face the next chapter of his life.
First taste of the album is lead single ‘Track Her Down’, a deep and soulful blues number about the fleeting, yet precious, nature of connections he makes with people on the road and the fragility of personal relationships for a travelling musician.
Since 2004, Lloyd has been the world-wide demonstrator and premier endorsee for Cole Clark Guitars, an Australian company that designs and builds its guitars with Lloyd’s hard-hitting style in mind.
Somewhere between songwriter, social worker and truth-seeker sits Lloyd Spiegel, guitar in hand and a song at the ready.
Don’t miss this incredible talent and charismatic personality!
TRIO ARGENTI brings together three powerhouse Brisbane based musicians in a trio of flute, cello and piano.
Austrian flutist MONIKA KOERNER is Artistic Director of Ensemble Trivium, appears regularly as principal flute with and has appeared as guest artist with Ensemble Q, Southern Cross Soloists and QSO Chamber Players.
Former Sydney Symphony principal cellist TRISH O'BRIEN is co-Artistic Director of Ensemble Q and the Queensland International Chamber Music Competition, and leads an active performing career as soloist and chamber musician nationally and internationally.
Brisbane pianist ALEX RAINERI is a member of Southern Cross Soloists, Artistic Director of the Brisbane Music Festival, and in high demand as soloist and chamber musician.
Weber G minor Op 63
Poulenc Trio FP43, arranged by Trio Argenti
Martinů Trio H.300
Kapustin Trio Op 86
Weber Trio for piano, flute and cello op. 63, J.259
Poulenc Trio FP43, arr for flute, cello and piano
Martinů Trio for flute, cello and piano, H300
Kapustin Trio Op.86 for flute, cello and piano
UMBERTO CLERICI, as soloist he debuted at the age of 17, playing Haydn’s D Major cello concerto in Japan, and has since played with an array of renowned orchestras internationally including St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Philharmonia Wien, Russian State Orchestra of Moscow, "I Pomeriggi Musicali” (Milan). Umberto has performed as soloist at the Carnegie Hall in New York, the Musik Verein in Vienna, the great Shostakovich Hall of St Petersburg and Auditorium Parco della Musica in Rome.
In 2014 he was appointed as Principal Cello of the Sydney Symphony after he had been principal cello at the Royal Opera House in Turin for four years. He made his debut as a soloist with SSO in 2017 with his interdisciplinary project centred on Strauss' Don Quixote and in 2018 he played the Brahms double concerto.
He recorded several CDs with concertos, solo and chamber music and, in 2017, he realized two new solo recordings for ABC Classic.
In 2018 Umberto made his conducting debut with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra at the Sydney Opera House and for the season 2019/2020 his main conducting appearances will include: a series of concerts with Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Canberra Symphony as artist in Residence, State orchestras of Izmir and Istanbul in Turkey, the Turin Philarmonic and Orchestra della Valle d’Aosta.
He is currently the Artistic Director of the Sydney Youth Orchestra Chamber Orchestra.
Umberto plays a 1722 Matteo Goffriller from Venice and a 1758 Carlo Antonio Testore from Milan.
DANIEL DE BORAH is firmly established as one of Australia’s foremost musicians, consistently praised for the grace, finesse and imaginative intelligence of his performances.
Since his prize-winning appearances at the 2004 Sydney International Piano Competition, Daniel has given recitals in
United Kingdom and Australia. As a concerto soloist he has appeared with the English Chamber Orchestra, London Mozart Players, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Australian Chamber Orchestra and the Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Auckland Symphony Orchestras. His festival appearances have included the Musica Viva Festival, Adelaide Festival, Huntington Estate Music Festival and the Australian Festival of Chamber Music. Daniel is a founding member of Ensemble Q, ensemble-in-residence at the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University since 2017. During his studies Daniel won numerous awards including 3rd Prizes at the 2004 Sydney International Piano Competition, the 2001 Tbilisi International Piano Competition and the 2000 Arthur Rubinstein in Memoriam Competition in Poland.
Born in Melbourne in 1981, Daniel studied at the Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, the St. Petersburg State Conservatory and the Royal Academy of Music, London. His teachers have included Zsuzsa Esztó, Mira Jevtic, Nina Seryogina, Tatyana Sarkissova and Alexander Satz. Daniel now lives in Brisbane where he serves on the faculty of the Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University.
Felix Mendelssohn: Song without words op. 109 in D Major
Frédéric Chopin: Cello Sonata in G Minor, Op. 65
Frédéric Chopin: Songs without words n. 8 in D Major and n. 9 in G Major from op.74
Felix Mendelssohn: Cello Sonata No. 2 in D Major, op. 58
Led by acclaimed Persian-Australian tar player and composer, HAMED SADEGHI, EISHAN ENSEMBLE draws on contemporary and classical music traditions of both East and West. The ensemble’s repertoire consists predominantly of Sadeghi’s original compositions with diverse improvisatory idioms featured powerfully. Variously described as “Persian chamber jazz” and “Middle-Eastern jazz fusion”, Eishan Ensemble defies neat labels.
With Hamed Sadeghi on tar, PEDRAM LAYEGH on classical guitar, MICHAEL AVGENICOS on saxophone, ELSEN PRICE on double bass and ADEM YILMAZ on percussion, the layered soundscapes Eishan Ensemble create together are driven by the individual talents of each member as much as by the compositions themselves.
Formed in 2016, Eishan Ensemble have performed internationally in Iran, Malaysia, Singapore, The Philippines and Taiwan including Yilan International festival Taiwan, Plucked music festival Philippines, along with local performances across Australia.
Their concert at The Music By The Sea will be part of their 2020 national tour before they head to Portugal and Spain for their European tour.
“... casts a spell all its own... astonishing power and convulsive impact...” – John Shand, SMH ★★★★1⁄2
ELEONORA SPINA and MICHELE BENIGNETTI'S partnership as a piano duo came to fruition in 2013, and was met with positive critical acclaim. In June 2014, they were awarded the prestigious “Diplôme Supérieur d’Exécution” at the Ecole Normale De Musique “Alfred Cortot” in Paris, with mentions “à l’unanimité”. As lifelong learners, Michele and Eleonora are currently studying under the guidance of professors Igor Roma and Enrico Pace. 2019 saw them graduate with masters degrees with honors at the Maastricht Conservatorium of Music in The Netherlands.
Their acclaimed recording of Brahms’s complete works for two pianos for Brilliant Classics Records (2015) has been praised by audiences and critics alike. Many high-profile music magazines in Italy and France (Amadeus, Musica, Suonare News, Le Pianiste) regard the recording as some of their most notable work to date, subsequently awarding it with the highest possible score in 2015.
Italian critic Luca Segalla commented that "...Eleonora Spina and Michele Benignetti, with utmost care and attention to sound, precisely execute the contrapuntal game of variation no. 4, carving out a finale which makes one feel as if he’s listening to an orchestra..." (Luca Segalla of “Musica” Magazine, September 2015).
Their album ‘Lifetime’ was followed up their former work on January 2017. Released on Sheva Collection, it went on to win Gold Medals for Best Album, Best Duo and Best Emerging Artists at the 2017 Global Music Awards in California (USA). These recordings were presented by Radio France, Rai Radio3, Radio Vaticana, Rete Toscana Classica, Radio Popolare Milano, SBS Australia and Radio Suisse.
The duo performs regularly throughout Europe, and they have also toured across South Africa, Asia, Australia and the USA. 2019 has been one of their busiest years to date, with over 50 concerts played in just 6 months.
They are also professors and currently teach at the prestigious Conservatorium of Music “Cité de la Musique et de la Danse" in Soissons, in France. Additionally, they are often invited to give masterclasses in Italy, France and China.
The piano duo are Official Yamaha Artists and have been proudly sponsored by them since December 2017.
Franz Schubert “Grand Duo” Sonata for piano four hands D812
Allegro moderato, Andante Scherzo and Trio Finale
Franz Schubert Variations on an original theme in A flat major D813 for piano four hands
Franz Schubert Fantasia in f minor for piano four hands D940
RILEY LEE began playing the shakuhachi (bamboo flute) in Japan in 1971, studying was with Chikuho Sakai until 1980, and has been a student of Katsuya Yokoyama since 1984.He was given the rank of Dai Shihan (grand master) in 1980.
Riley was born in Plainview Texas USA in 1951, and moved to Shawnee Oklahoma USA in 1957, where, aged 13, he became the bass player of the award-winning rock band “The Workouts”. He and his family moved to Hawai’i in 1966. He first went to Japan in 1970, and returned in 1971, when he began his shakuhachi studies. He lived there continuously until 1977.
From 1973, Riley became the first non-Japanese to play taiko professionally, by touring internationally as a full-time performer of taiko (Japanese festival drums), yokobue (a high pitched bamboo transverse flute) and shakuhachi with Ondekoza (now called Kodo) a troupe of traditional Japanese musicians, performing with such groups as the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and at venues such as Kennedy Center (Washington DC), Roundhouse Theatre (London), Espace Pierre Cardin (Paris), and the Boston Symphony Hall.