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9th Sydney Spring and the Marienberg Awards

Someone ought to give Roger cash prizes for winners, specially

Woodward and his troops an embossed boxed dozens for prize
award. Despite almost negligible winners, and further generous
funding, Woodward managed to donations of wine. Guy Bowen
work his magic again this year of Hill International Wines, the
inspiring performers to reduce or distributor of Marienberg,
waive their fees and encouraging presented the prizes on the
volunteers to perform evening of the final concert.
organisational miracles. No series
of concerts in Australia does this
much for new Australian music This year's winners were:
both locall y and
in te rna tion ally. A cti viti e s
traditionally span the full month Award for an outstanding
of September to provide a rich performance by a solo
confection of new, very new and performer-Marshall McGuire for
extremely new music linked to his performance of Donatoni's
exceptionally interesting pre- Marches and Chantal.
concert talks and the less-well-
known Spring Academy of New Award for an outstanding
Music. performance by duo, trio, quartet
or ensemble-Stephanie
McCallum and Robert Curry for
their performance of James
Through a cooperative
arrangement and a strong link to Dillon's black / nebulae.
radio station ABC Classic FM, all Award for the most outstanding
concerts are recorded, many being performance of the 1998 Sydney (l to r) Anne Boyd, Ralph Lane, and Peter Sculthorpe
broadcast live. Thus tens of Spring Festival of New Music-
thousands of other Australians Brian Buggy for his direction of of the Earth my two-year-old sat at concerts rises for percussion.
share the same experience as the Anne Boyd's Dreams of the Earth. quietly, awed and overwhelmed Perhaps it's the link to jazz. I
audiences of three or four hundred by the Opera House concert hall. wonder what the effect would be
which pack the ABC's Ultimo Award for an original Australian if every program had a percussion
composition-Ian Shanahan for As the opening ppp organ notes
studio. Of particular significance broke the silence, she turned to me component. Are marimbas and
for our overseas image is the range Dimensiones Paradisi. cymbals the gateways to [new
with a radiant smile and said,
of Sydney Spring CDs which are Award for an outstanding "Angel music." musical] perception?
well-respected in the international Australian composition-shared
James Dillon's music. A year ago I Rosalind Halton programs the two
market. by Carlo Giacco for Entity and
met him and couldn't understand Louis (Couperin & Andriessen)
Another link is with the Damien Ricketson for Ptolemy's back to back and argues strongly
Onion. the point of New Complexity. This
University of Sydney Music year black / nebulae suddenly that harpsichords and keyless
Department which hosts the Award for the most outstanding made sense and The Book of flutes are meant for new music.
Spring Academy of New Music. original Australian composition of Elements affected me as Ian Shanahan has Kathleen
This educational component of the 1998 Sydney Spring Festival of profoundly as a Colin Wilson Gallagher doing flute experiments
Sydney Spring is highly valued by New Music-Andrew Ford for "peak ex perience" in his The again after a pre-concert talk which
many music students- Tattoo. Outsider. involves pi, religious arcana, new
particularly composers. I, for one,
age numerology, loud jazz and a
consider that Sydney Spring has
recording of his own virtuosic
contributed as much to my studies Not a review: George Lentz gave an erudite pre- microtonal recorder music. Is there
as a full semester of lectures. concert talk explaining how
Because it's impossible to review anyone else out there who didn't
Part of the Academy offering was three-and-a-half dozen pieces of prepared silences can differ. And throw their squeaker away at the
a 4-hour workshop with the music in this short space here the books inside the prepared end of primary school?
ensemble Sprung Percussion. New instead are some impressions- Steinway do matter-Heironymus
works from aspiring local and Bosch, astronomy, Chinese
invited interstate composers were Calligraphy. Middle 0 tuned Murray Robertson is a post graduate
rehearsed and analysed from a simultaneously a quarter-tone composition student at the University
In Andrew Ford's Tattoo for 12
performance point of view by the sharp and a quarter-tone flat for of Sydney.
timpani and four pianos, there
members of the ensemble assisted "Caeli enarrant..." V opens my
were thirteen timpani. Why? I
by David Lumsdaine-one of ears wide.
wonder if anyone else noticed .
Australia's leading expatriate Didn't matter really. I was Jane Stanley'S Whistling Kite on Marienberg, has extended its
composers who lives and works in reminded of the inexpressible Yellow Water moved from being a most generous support to the
the UK. sadness I felt encountering a lone student piece I first heard battling Tenth Sydney Spring, in 1999.
piper leading a funeral in Scotland. against rattling air-conditioning at The year 2000 Spring will be a
the Conservatorium to gain stature celebration of all Australian
But for many, the high point of John Cage's First Construction music from the whole of the
on a "real concert" program. For
Spring was the six Marienburg surprised me. Expecting at least an century. Next year will see
S-tanley it's arriving somewhere
awards. Marienburg is a local acre of awkward silence, I found Charles Rosen, The Song
she thought she'd never get only
boutique winery which has percussion bashed about so Company, Marshall MacGuire,
to discover that this is the bottom
faithfully supported the concerts traditionally it felt like a Sunday- Ian Shanahan and lannis Xenakis
of a new ladder.
and competition since 1990 with school chorus. as some of the more prominent
The strength of audiences support names in the programme.
Waiting for Anne Boyd's Dreams