Concert Program

Olivia Chindamo

Thursday 2 May 2024 6pm
Federation Concert Hall, nipaluna / Hobart

From the 6pm Series

Conducted by Benjamin Northey,
featuring vocalist Olivia Chindamo.
Olivia Chindamo

The Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra acknowledges the traditional owners and continuing custodians of lutruwita / Tasmania. We pay respect to the Aboriginal community today, and to its Elders past and present. We recognise a history of truth, which acknowledges the impacts of colonisation upon Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and stand for a future that profoundly respects their stories, culture, language and history.

About the concert

Works

Bernstein ‘Times Square’ from On the Town (5 min)

Joe Chindamo Fantaskatto (23 min)

6 movements:

  1. Preludio
  2. Tango appassionato
  3. Scherzo
  4. Aria
  5. Circo
  6. Ascensione

Gershwin Catfish Row, Suite from Porgy and Bess (25 min)

5 movements:

  • Catfish Row
  • Porgy Sings
  • Fugue
  • Hurricane
  • Good Morning, Sistuh

💡 FIRST-TIMER TIP

A ‘movement’ is part of a longer work (a bit like the act of a play). Symphonies typically have four movements, concertos have three. There’s usually a contrast between adjacent movements – a fast movement is usually followed by a slow one, for instance. People traditionally clap at the end of the final movement in each work.

Find out more here.

Olivia Chindamo

Olivia Chindamo

Concert 101: Learn about the works being performed

For the enjoyment of all in the concert hall, please only watch Concert 101 before or after the performance. 

Uncover the stories behind the works.

Jazz Hands 

'Times Square' from On the Town

Composed by Leonard Bernstein (1918–1990)

5 minutes

 

American composer, conductor and music educator Leonard Bernstein enjoyed one of his earliest successes with the ballet Fancy Free in 1944. Set during World War II, the story concerns three sailors on 24-hour leave in New York. Tremendously successful, Fancy Free was transformed into a full-length musical that same year, giving us On the Town.

The ‘Times Square’ sequence is set in the city’s theatre and entertainment district. It’s where the three sailors congregate for a night of revelry. Percussive and jazzy with syncopated rhythms galore, ‘Times Square’ showcases wind, brass and percussion instruments above all.

Listen out for solos from the high-pitched E-flat clarinet and alto saxophone. The principal melody is the tune of ‘New York, New York (it’s a helluva town)’, which is introduced by horns and trombones before making its way through most sections of the orchestra.

New York, New York
(it's a helluva town)

Here’s a performance conducted by Bernstein himself:

Shooby doo wop!

Fantaskatto

    1. Preludio
    2. Tango appassionato
    3. Scherzo
    4. Aria
    5. Circo
    6. Ascensione

Composed by Joe Chindamo (1961–)

23 minutes

 

Fantaskatto, by Melbourne-based composer and pianist Joe Chindamo, was commissioned by the Queensland Symphony Orchestra and premièred in 2017. The composer writes:

“In creating Fantaskatto, I envisaged a kind of marriage between Ligeti’s Mysteries of the Macabre and the scat improvisations of Ella Fitzgerald; in essence, to create an operatic world in which bel canto and the urbanity of jazz could co-exist. It has a Felliniesque quality too, in that grotesque circus-like gestures (such as in the virtuosic high-wire act between the voice and clarinet in the fifth movement) are tempered by moments of exquisite solace, ecstasy, drama, triumph, redemption and great human tenderness.”

Vocalist Olivia Chindamo (our performer this evening!) says of the improvised nature of the concert;

“It gives me a whole lot of flexibility as the soloist - I get to be open to influence and inspiration throughout the piece. There are lots of ways in which the performance can change…the conductor plays a huge role, the orchestra has a say, there are lots of little soloists that are placed throughout the orchestra that conversations directly with me….and ultimately the audience can have a huge impact on how it’s performed.”

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The names of movements in symphonies often follow traditional conventions that give insight into the character, tempo, and sometimes the form of each section.

These terms not only instruct performers on the tempo and mood of each movement but also guide listeners through the emotional and narrative arc of the symphony. For example, ‘Allegro’ refers to tempo and ‘molto’ translates to very, so: very fast!

Harrison's Centrifuge

Holly Harrison & the TSO

Holly Harrison

Sydney-based award-winning composer Holly Harrison has a long and growing history with the TSO. Selected for the two-year TSO Australian Composer School program in 2018, Harrison shone bright enough to garner a special extension of the program, becoming our first Composer in Residence from 2020-21.

During this period Harrison composed five works for a variety of TSO ensembles, including two for the full orchestra. The last of these works is Centrifuge, which we're delighted to premiere in this concert.

 

Centrifuge (17 min)

Centrifuge is the last in a series of works written for the TSO by Holly Harrison during her time as composer in residence.

 

Centrifuge is inspired by the sounds of demolition, an MRI machine, and the idea of spinning or circling at different rates. As I began writing the work, demolition began next door. The more I listened, the more I detected rhythmic patterns in the thudding and crushing of excavators and dozers.

At the same time, I had an MRI scan and though I had heard that the machine would be loud, nothing could prepare me for the incessant banging and whirring. As the machine beeped and stuttered, soothing piano strains from the offered headphones could faintly be heard across the top.

The idea for each movement is predominately texture driven, where large slabs of sounds are contrasted with threads that peek through, only to be swallowed up again. This happens at different rates across each movement, starting ferociously in the first and stretching into a type of slow-motion in the final movement. The second movement takes on a ballad-like blues form, with violin as soloist, while the third embraces disco influences, underpinned by groovy bass.

In a true centrifugal way, musical material from each movement spins outwards into the next.

Holly Harrison, composer

 

An American Classic

Catfish Row, Suite from Porgy and Bess

  • Catfish Row
  • Porgy Sings
  • Fugue
  • Hurricane
  • Good Morning, Sistuh

Composed by George Gershwin (1898–1937)

25 minutes

A decade before On the Town, another American composer, George Gershwin, composed his so-called ‘folk opera’ Porgy and Bess, the last of his many works for the stage. Premièred in 1935, Porgy and Bess was groundbreaking for a number of reasons, not least its predominantly African-American cast (it is set among the dwellers of Catfish Row, a fictional poor neighbourhood in the southern American city of Charleston).

While it enjoyed a strong run in its inaugural Broadway season, Porgy and Bess was not a financial success for Gershwin, which no doubt prompted him to arrange music from it – the five-movement suite heard in this concert – to bring it to a wider public.

Catfish Row, Suite from Porgy and Bess was created in 1935 and conducted by Gershwin in 1936 and 1937. For reasons which remain unknown, it then slipped out of circulation and was forgotten until the original manuscript was discovered in 1958.

Catfish Row blends orchestral episodes from the opera and instrumental arrangements of popular numbers such as ‘Summertime’, ‘I Got Plenty O’ Nuttin’, ‘Bess, You Is My Woman Now’ and ‘I’m On My Way’. Over a period of time, Porgy and Bess would come to be regarded as an American classic but, sadly, Gershwin didn’t live to witness its long-range success. He was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 1937; he underwent surgery but never recovered.

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Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra on stageEmma McGrath performing Chindamo.
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Musicians

Eivind Aadland

Chief Conductor & Artistic Director

Supported by Anonymous

Image

Eivind Aadland is one of Norway’s most respected conductors. Since 2020 he has been Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra. He was Chief Conductor and Artistic Leader of the Trondheim Symphony Orchestra for seven seasons from 2004, during which time he conducted the complete Beethoven and Mahler symphony cycles. His extensive work with Scandinavian orchestras includes regular guest engagements with the Oslo and Bergen Philharmonics, the Stavanger Symphony, the Gothenburg Symphony and the Swedish Chamber Orchestra. In addition, he has conducted acclaimed productions of Don Giovanni, Le nozze di Figaro, Die Zauberflöte and Die Fledermaus for Den Norske Opera, Oslo.

He has also worked extensively in the Far East and Australia. He is a frequent visitor to the WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne, the National Orchestra of Belgium and Iceland Symphony Orchestra. He has also worked with Orchestre national du Capitole de Toulouse, Gürzenich-Orchester Cologne, Strasbourg Philharmonic, Lausanne and Scottish Chamber Orchestras and the symphony orchestras of Melbourne, Finnish Radio, Bamberg, Staatskapelle Weimar, SWR Stuttgart and Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra. In addition to his career as a conductor, Eivind Aadland is a devoted collector of, and authority on, contemporary art. His private collection encompasses works in the diverse media of painting, photography, video and installation.

 

Olivia Chindamo

Vocal soloist

Supported by Dr Peter Stanton

Olivia Chindamo

Olivia Chindamo is a New York-based jazz vocalist from Australia whose unique voice effortlessly carries and delivers stories and melodies with the highest level of integrity, honesty and musicianship. With a special love for improvisation, Olivia's musical endeavours offer a fresh combination of old and new as she continually fuses an ever expanding knowledge of jazz history with her modern sensibilities, impressive technique control and textural versatility. 

Having studied under the tutelage of some of America’s finest jazz musicians at the Banff International Workshop in Jazz & Creative Music in 2016, Olivia felt more drawn to the United States than ever before, inspiring her bold move to relocate to the other side of the world and fully pursue her love and passion for jazz music. 

Since her arrival, Olivia has performed extensively in the United States at various world-renown venues such as The Kennedy Centre, Dizzy’s Club, The Lincoln Centre and Birdland Jazz Club, and has toured internationally to Switzerland, Liechtenstein, France, the Netherlands, Austria and Poland in recent years with her own projects and as a guest to others’. A 2023 highlight was performing for artistic director and legendary conductor Alondra De La Parra's 2nd annual Festival PAAX GNP in Cancún, Mexico, where Olivia's extraordinary vocal versatilities were spotlighted throughout the 10-day-long program. Performances included the Northern Hemisphere premiere of Fantaskatto: Fantasy for Voice & Orchestra, collaborations with world-renown choreographer Christopher Wheeldon and dancers from the New York City Ballet, The Impossible Orchestra, latin-jazz icon Paquito D'Rivera and with her own jazz trio. 

Olivia is a 2021 Master of Music graduate of The Juilliard School, where she made history as its first ever jazz voice graduate student, and was honoured upon graduation with the Joseph W. Polisi prize for “Artist as Citizen” for her work as a jazz division student representative, Gluck Fellowship leader and Community leader for Juilliard International Students. 

Orchestra List

Benjamin Northey Conductor

Olivia Chindamo Vocalist

William Newbery Host

Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra

Violin

Emma McGrath Concertmaster

Ji Won Kim Associate Concertmaster 

Lucy Carrig-Jones Principal Second

Jennifer Owen Principal First

Kirsty Bremner

Miranda Carson

Yue-Hong Cha

Tobias Chisnall

Frances Davies

Michael Johnston

Elinor Lea

Susanna Low

Lynette Rayner

Hayato Simpson

💡 FIRST-TIMER TIP

Did you know our Concertmaster plays a violin hand-crafted by one of the finest and most important luthiers (a string-instrument maker) of the nineteenth century, Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume (1798–1875).

He crafted 3000+ instruments in his time and we’re very proud to have a violin made in 1845 on loan from two of our generous Tasmanian patrons.

Viola

Caleb Wright Principal

Douglas Coghill 

Anna Larsen Roach

William Newbery

Ariel Postmus

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Jonathan Békés Principal

Nicholas McManus 

Martin Penicka

Georgia Shine

Double Bass

Stuart Thomson Principal

Matthew McGrath

Adrian Whitehall

Flute

Katie Zagorski Principal

Rachel Howie Guest Principal Piccolo

Oboe

Celia Craig Guest Principal

Dinah Woods Principal Cor Anglais

Clarinet

Andrew Seymour Principal

Eloise Fisher Principal Bass Clarinet

Derek Grice

Robin Henry

Bassoon

Tahnee van Herk Principal

Evan Lewis Guest Principal Contrabassoon

French Horn

Greg Stephens Principal

Roger Jackson Guest Principal

Julian Leslie

Trumpet

Shane Hooton Guest Principal

Mark Bain

Melanie Wilkinson

Trombone

David Robins Principal

Iain Faragher

Bass Trombone

James Littlewood Guest Principal

Tuba

Rachel Kelly Principal

Timpani

Matthew Goddard Principal

Percussion

Gary Wain Principal

Stephen Marskell

Tracey Patten

Harp

Jessica Fotinos Guest Principal

Piano/Celeste

Jennifer Marten-Smith Guest Principal

Banjo

Matt Tzivakis Guest Principal

*Correct at time of publishing

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