Riccardo Muti Joins the Australian World Orchestra
Australian musicians working overseas — many of them with major orchestras — are a close-knit community. When meeting socially they had often wondered what it would sound like to play together in an orchestra, but it was a pipe dream. 2009年澳大利亞世界管弦樂團（AWO）誕生，彙集了來自全世界頗有名望的澳籍音樂家，得到政府，慈善機構以及各界的支持，至今已經在英國、法國、意大利、日本、印度、新加坡、馬來西亞等多個國家演出。世界頂級的愛樂樂團終身音樂總監Maestro Zubin Mehta稱，「AWO絕對是世界上十大管弦樂團之一。」
One of those dreamers, Alexander Briger, is fortunately also a doer. While once conducting a Japanese orchestra which unites musicians from different ensembles from around Japan, Briger thought: why not in Australia? He canvassed his sister, Gabrielle Thompson, his uncle, the illustrious Australian conductor, Sir Charles Mackerras, and his musician friends. All responded enthusiastically. Yet translating the idea into an orchestra proved a huge undertaking which met with understandable skepticism by the musical establishment. Nevertheless, in 2009 the Australian World Orchestra (AWO) was born. Sir Charles, its inaugural patron, was to conduct its first concert in 2011. Tragically he died prematurely, a brochure for the concert at his bedside.
Since then this young orchestra has garnered universal praise, won the prestigious Helpmann Award (2016) and has been led by some of the world’s eminent conductors: Zubin Mehta, Sir Simon Rattle, Australia’s own Simone Young. This year it will be the legendary Riccardo Muti. Conductors of such stature, whom Australian audiences may hear once in their lifetime, are one of the reasons why AWO plays to full houses despite high ticket prices. Box office sales, financial support from the government wishing to showcase what’s great about Australia artistically, and contributions from philanthropists and sponsors provide the needed revenues.
As challenging as the logistics of bringing musicians from the four corners of the globe together at multiple venues in Australia may be, Briger never had any difficulty in fielding an orchestra: by word-ofmouth, recommendations from trusted colleagues, by invitation but not auditions. Today Briger is able to rotate AWO’S performers from a pool of over 250 musicians. This year 86 will arrive from such illustrious orchestras as the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonic and the Chicago and London Symphony. They will be joined by musicians from Australian state orchestras and the Principal Violinist of the Australian Youth Orchestra whose participation reflects AWO’S educational efforts.
“dream The AWO is a come true. --- Alexander Briger AO, Chief Conductor & Artistic Director, Australian World Orchestra
Alexander Briger是澳洲最有名的指揮之一，很多年前他受邀指揮日本管弦樂團，望著席上全是日本頂級的音樂家，他想著：全世界知名的頂級樂團中都有澳洲人的身影，為甚麼不在澳洲也成立一個頂級的澳洲管弦樂團呢？這樣的想法受到叔叔 - 澳籍名指揮 Charles Mackerras爵士和他音樂朋友的熱情支 持。Alexander將想法付諸實踐，2011年澳大利亞世界管弦樂團（AWO）首場演出來臨之際，原本應該擔任指揮的 Mackerras 爵士猝死家中，而床頭櫃上擺著的就是這場演出的節目冊。
或許樂團乘載了所有澳籍音樂家的夢想與心願，幾年內就獲得極高的讚譽，2016年榮獲澳洲表演藝術界最高榮譽-赫爾普曼獎（Helpmann Award），並受到世界著名指揮家的青睞。澳洲政府稱AWO『展現澳洲藝術的輝煌』。今年5月，曾出任多個世界頂級樂團指揮的 Riccardo Muti 將首次帶領AWO，喜愛音樂的人都知道，Riccardo Muti指揮的演出在全世界任何國家的都以極高價出售門票，但卻是永遠座無虛席。
“澳大利亞世界管弦樂團乘載了夢想。--- AWO創辦人兼首席指揮/藝術總監 Alexander Briger
When such top musicians come together who have trained in the same music schools, rehearsal time can be dramatically shortened. It is “a labor of love” for them to play in Australia again and brings forth a magical quality, a “rich Germanic sound”, that makes the AWO so unique. It is this distinctive style that prompted Maestro Mehta to take the AWO on tour to his native India in 2013 and introduce Don Bradman’s granddaughter, the soprano Greta Bradman, to this cricket-mad country.
For the AWO to perform this May with as celebrated a conductor as Riccardo Muti is no coincidence, and Briger credits Michael Mulcahy for making the connection. Mulcahy has been a trombonist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for 28 years, for the last eight under Maestro Muti, its 10th Music Director. What connects the two beyond music is that Mulcahy’s maternal grandfather lived in the village next to Molfetta (Pulia) where Muti grew up, making them “fellow southern Italians”.
Maestro Muti, brilliant and charismatic, has achieved world fame at the helm of some of the most important orchestras in London, Berlin, Philadelphia, Milan, and Vienna. For only his second appearance in Australia in over 15 years (and perhaps his last, given his wish to spend more time with his family) he has selected Brahms Symphony No. 2, Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 4, and a Verdi surprise. For Muti the German Brahms’ “soul…is Vienna” with a sound “out of Schubert…whose music is always singing.” And if Muti’s Tchaikovsky recordings with the London Philharmonia can be matched, Mulcahy promises an unmissable evening of great “musical intensity”.
Any dreams left? Yes, indeed: more venues in Australia and perhaps touring China.
2 & 4 May - Sydney Opera House 5 May - Arts Centre Melbourne
In music, you cannot order, you have to inspire. My secret to becoming a good conductor is: study, study, study. --- Maestro Riccardo Muti, Music Director, Chicago Symphony Orchestra
即將到來的澳洲巡演中，86名音樂家來自柏林、維也納愛樂樂團，芝加哥、倫敦交響樂團等世界頂級交響樂團，以及澳洲國家管弦樂和青年管弦樂團的團員和首席。「頂級音樂家的組合，奏出魔幻般的音質，豐富原始之音讓 AWO如此的獨特」。Alexander 說道，「澳籍世界著名女高音 Greta Bradman 也將加入」。
這是 Maestro Muti第二次來澳洲，或許也是最後一次，澳籍藝術家、世界頂級長號演奏家Michael Mulcahy 形容，這次 AWO的演出將是場畢生難忘的饗宴。在指揮Riccardo Muti 的帶領下AWO將於五月二日、四日在悉尼歌劇院，五月五日在墨爾本藝術中心演出。而後，樂團將前往中國開始亞洲之旅。
個好的指揮，唯有鑽研、深究、學習。--- 世界著名指揮Maestro Riccardo Muti
PHOTO CREDIT: AWO
MICHAEL MULCAHY ©TODD ROSENBERG