Clas­si­cal col­lab­o­ra­tion strikes a chord

Dubbo Photo News - - Emergency report - BY NATALIE LEWIS

IN a style of mu­sic that goes back cen­turies, a group of per­form­ers will also span two gen­er­a­tions when they visit Dubbo as part of a re­gional tour of Aus­tralia.

The Seraphim Trio with Martin Alexan­der is a cham­ber mu­sic col­lab­o­ra­tion that has its roots with the Aus­tralian Na­tional Academy of Mu­sic (ANAM).

The ANAM Artists Pro­gram brings to­gether es­tab­lished mu­si­cians and grad­u­ates for an ex­cit­ing mu­si­cal pairing.

In this in­stance, the Seraphim Trio – vi­o­lin­ist He­len Ayres, pi­anist Anna Goldswor­thy and cel­list Tim Nankervis – are per­form­ing with fel­low alum­nus, Martin Alexan­der, also a vi­o­lin­ist.

The Seraphim Trio have been per­form­ing to­gether since they were stu­dents them­selves af­ter con­nect­ing through the pro­gram in the late 1990s.

Ayres said they clicked two decades ago and have con­tin­ued mak­ing mu­sic to­gether ever since.

“We felt the same about mu­sic. We get along to­gether. You need that chem­istry when you start.”

They have per­formed to­gether on stages around the world, played at in­ter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tions and re­mained close-knit through in­di­vid­ual pur­suits, fam­ily and teach­ing com­mit­ments.

“We all started play­ing at school then at uni,” Ayres said.

“One of the ANAM judges wanted to work with an ensem­ble so we ended up liv­ing in Mel­bourne and trav­el­ling in­ter­na­tion­ally to do com­pe­ti­tions.

“That was two decades ago and we have played in Aus­tralia, Ja­pan, Italy, Eng­land, Ger­many, Noumea and sep­a­rately in New Zealand.

“We all have fam­i­lies now and we have re­lied on the his­tory that we have to­gether, the trust and reper­toire mean we can pick it up and have that con­nec­tion and un­der­stand­ing.”

Work­ing with Alexan­der brings a new bal­ance to the trio.

“He re­ally brings down the av­er­age age of the group!” Ayres laughed.

“It’s re­ally pos­i­tive hav­ing that sense of col­lab­o­ra­tion. With a new player, the dy­namic does change. It brings in a new bal­ance. It gives us youth­ful en­thu­si­asm.

“It cre­ates a more sym­phonic at­mos­phere.”

As a mu­si­cian, Alexan­der adds an ex­cit­ing el­e­ment as well.

“I think he was daunted at the start but his voice is def­i­nitely heard in the group.

“He is a pos­i­tive col­lab­o­ra­tor and an en­er­getic player. He is also a con­sum­mate pro­fes­sional who is open and hon­est.”

Another col­lab­o­ra­tion which has been a high­light for the trio was work­ing with Paul Kelly on Thir­teen Ways to Look at Birds which was named Best Clas­si­cal Al­bum at the 2019 ARIAS.

It was an ex­cit­ing ex­pe­ri­ence for the Seraphims.

“Ini­tially I was star struck but by the first re­hearsal we were just there work­ing to­gether,” Ayres told Dubbo Photo News.

“It re­ally opened up new sounds col­lab­o­rat­ing with com­pletely dif­fer­ent peo­ple. We en­joyed it, learn­ing from the best peo­ple in the room.

“He’s un­com­pro­mis­ing in his stan­dard, no non­sense and very hon­est, very hard­work­ing.”

The trio is en­joy­ing their tour to re­gional ar­eas and Ayres said they look for­ward to the ex­pe­ri­ence.

And as the year winds down, they al­ready have a busy sched­ule for 2020.

“Next year we are play­ing with Brett Dean who is a vi­ola player, we are per­form­ing at the Women in Mu­sic Fes­ti­val, and work­ing with com­poser El­iz­a­beth Younan.”

And while other mu­sic fads may come and go, cham­ber mu­sic re­mains a clas­sic style.

“There’s some­thing vi­brant about the need for cham­ber mu­sic. We just love the feeling, the beauty and the in­flec­tions. On the pro­gram, I am most look­ing for­ward to the Dvorák. The feel­ings of light and shade, it’s a joy to our ears.” „

z Seraphim Trio with Martin Alexan­der, at Mac­quarie

Con­ser­va­to­rium to­mor­row (Fri­day, Novem­ber 22) at 7.30pm. Tick­ets from www.123tix.com.au, the Mac­quarie Con­ser­va­to­rium of­fice and at the door.

Anna Goldswor­thy

z (pi­ano) is one of Aus­tralia’s most ac­claimed and ver­sa­tile mu­si­cians. She has per­formed ex­ten­sively through­out Aus­tralia and in­ter­na­tion­ally. She has pub­lished two mem­oirs, Pi­ano Lessons and Wel­come to Your New Life, and is cur­rently a Re­search Fel­low and Lec­turer in Ensem­ble at the Elder Con­ser­va­to­rium of Mu­sic and the Ken­neth Moore Me­mo­rial Mu­sic Scholar at Janet Clarke Hall. She is also artis­tic di­rec­tor of the Co­ri­ole Mu­sic Fes­ti­val. z He­len Ayres (vi­o­lin) is a doc­toral grad­u­ate of the Univer­sity of Mel­bourne who has ap­peared with nu­mer­ous Aus­tralian small en­sem­bles in­clud­ing Flin­ders Quar­tet, Syzygy, the Aus­tralian Octet and Mel­bourne Cham­ber Or­ches­tra. She has also per­formed with the BBC Scot­tish Sym­phony and Lon­don Phil­har­monic Or­ches­tra and now teaches vi­o­lin at Elder Con­ser­va­to­rium’s Cen­tre for Young Mu­si­cians. z Ti­mothy Nankervis (cello) is a mem­ber of the Syd­ney Sym­phony Or­ches­tra, the Aus­tralian World Or­ches­tra and the Sonus Pi­ano Quar­tet. He has per­formed in the Beethoven Triple Con­certo, Brahms Dou­ble Con­certo and Dvorák Cello Con­certo and as a soloist with Or­ches­tra Vic­to­ria. He also teaches cello and cham­ber mu­sic at the Syd­ney Con­ser­va­to­rium of Mu­sic, and tu­tors reg­u­larly for Syd­ney Sin­fo­nia, Syd­ney Youth Or­ches­tra and Aus­tralian Youth Or­ches­tra. z Martin Alexan­der (vi­ola) com­menced his ter­tiary stud­ies in pi­ano be­fore switch­ing to the vi­ola. He grad­u­ated with a Bach­e­lor of Mu­sic from the Queens­land Con­ser­va­to­rium of Mu­sic and Hon­ours at the Univer­sity of Tas­ma­nia. He com­pleted his Masters in Mu­sic at the Univer­sity of Mas­sachusetts (USA). He is a reg­u­lar guest with the Aus­tralian Cham­ber Or­ches­tra, Syd­ney Sym­phony and Opera Aus­tralia Or­ches­tra and has per­formed with the Queens­land, Mel­bourne and Tas­ma­nian Sym­phony or­ches­tras. He also par­tic­i­pated in the Syd­ney Sym­phony Or­ches­tra’s Fel­low­ship pro­gram.

The Seraphim Trio will per­form in Dubbo to­mor­row (Fri­day, Novem­ber 22) at 7.30pm. From left, He­len Ayres (vi­o­lin), Anna Goldswor­thy (pi­ano), Martin Alexan­der (vi­ola), Tim Nankervis (cello). PHOTO: PIA JOHN­SON

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