“Learning from the Masters”
Ensemble Q was formed in 2017 and has already created quite a stir amongst the classical music community in Australia. Directed by Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University (QCGU) Head of Winds and household name of the clarinet world, Paul Dean along with his partner, cellist and Artistic Director Trish O’Brien, the ensemble brings together an impressive array of jewels in Australia’s cultural crown. Ensemble Q is resident ensemble at QCGU on Southbank, and performs in the Conservatorium Theatre, which is widely regarded as one of the best chamber music venues in the country. Familiar names such as Kristian Winther, Andrew Haveron, Daniel de Borah, Greta Bradman and so many more are part of the Ensemble Q lineup, along with QSO wind principals and soloists from across the country.
What makes this ensemble even more special is their side-by-side mentorship program, which is proudly sponsored by Philip Bacon Galleries. The most talented young emerging musicians from around Australia have been selected to play onstage in roles usually reserved for high-level professional players. The mentees are expected to know their music intimately before beginning rehearsals, which are often fairly brief due to the exceptionally busy schedules of these elite players, and a high standard of playing is demanded for all performances. Since it’s inception, Ensemble Q has mentored 4 talented young musicians including Adam McMillan (originally from Brisbane, now completing post graduate studies at the Australian National Academy of Music in Melbourne), Sydney Conservatorium graduate and emerging violist in the Australian Chamber Orchestra Nathan Greentree, Queensland Conservatorium percussion graduate Jacob Enoka, and ANAM graduate flautist David Shaw, who now holds a teaching position in Orange, NSW.
In their upcoming concert on October 15, the brilliant UK solo violinist Alexander Sitkovetsky will be coming to Australia to work with Ensemble Q, and will mentor young violinist Zoe Freisberg (photo attached). Zoe grew up in Brisbane and now lives in Melbourne, where she recently completed studies at the Australian National Academy of Music and is preparing for overseas study.
Zoe has been part of the mentorship program for 2017, and after her first concert with the ensemble said "Being a mentee at Ensemble Q was a marvelous and exhilarating experience. I feel very privileged to have made music alongside musicians of the Queensland Symphony Orchestra and lecturers of the Queensland and Adelaide Conservatoriums.
The Ensemble Q mentors were warm, helpful and extraordinarily inspiring musicians. Witnessing how they took rehearsals was truly enlightening to me. Their vast knowledge of the score, its character and their awareness of ensemble balance and cohesion meant that after 2 days of rehearsal we were able to present these demanding works with a new depth of understanding on my part. I loved every minute."
The two will combine with Paul Dean, Trish O’Brien and Swiss resident violist Shelley Sörensen in an incredible work by Osvaldo Golijov for clarinet and string quartet. “Dreams and Prayers of Isaac the Blind” is a passionate and extraordinarily challenging work centering on the juxtaposition between the age old Klezmer tradition and the finess of the string quartet. To complete the program, Patrick Murphy joins the quartet to perform one of the most popular works of all time, the sublime Schubert String Quintet.
The concert is at 3pm on Sunday 15 October, at the Queensland Conservatorium and tickets are available via the Ensemble Q website www.ensembleqaustralia.com