Friday, 13 September 2013

QSO Début a Success

In May 2013, Simon Murphy appeared as guest conductor with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra (QSO) delivering sold out performances at the brand new QSO headquarters at the ABC Southbank Studios in Brisbane, Australia. Performing two hand-tailored concert programmes, Roman Holiday and New Generation, the concerts marked Murphy's début with the orchestra (pictured).

Murphy's QSO performances contribute to a busy schedule of guest conducting engagements ranging from Bach's monumental B Minor Mass with the Latvian State Choir to Mozart arias and symphonies with the Strasbourg Philharmonic Orchestra.

Featuring music by Corelli, Handel, Richter, Stamitz, Abel, JC Bach, CPE Bach, Reichardt, Graaf, Schmitt "The Dutch Haydn", Paisiello and Cimarosa, Murphy's performances with the QSO formed the core of the orchestra's popular Baroque Series and saw the maestro introduce audiences to "new" 18th century repertoire as well as delivering fresh perspectives on classic orchestral works.

Roman Holiday explores the inspiration given to Handel by Roman Baroque icon Corelli, centring around Murphy's vibrant new take on Handel's cosmopolitan orchestral masterpiece, The Water Music.

New Generation (a.k.a. The Birth of the Symphony) celebrates the visionary founders of the symphony and symphony orchestra, taking the listener on a symphonic road trip through glittering mid-18th century northern European symphonic epicentres.

Murphy's upcoming guest conducting performances around the world include the programmes It's About Time, Black Magic, Great Scot, Empress of Pleasure and Heaven on Earth variously featuring works by Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, Rossini, Mendelssohn, Marschner and Lortzing.

Murphy's co-operation with the QSO was instigated by the orchestra's artistic director Richard Wenn. Live recordings of the performances were made by ABC sound engineer Costa Zouliou and ABC producer Matthew Dewey and are scheduled for broadcast by Australia's national classical broadcaster, ABC Classic FM, later in the year.

Read the original background story on the Murphy/QSO project and concert programmes

Listen to coverage of the project by ABC radio. Report by the ABC's Emma Sykes

See a selection of Murphy's total package guest conducting programmes featuring engaging titles/themes, fully marked-up parts, programme notes and PR material

Read about Murphy's approach to guest conducting, ensemble building and orchestral development/refinement

Read Murphy's ABC Limelight article "Going Dutch" relating to the 18th century symphonic programme New Generation

Read Murphy's ABC Limelight blog article "Italian Job" on Corelli and Handel's orchestral soundscape relevant to the programme Roman Holiday 

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For further information on conductor Simon Murphy's other projects and performing activities, visit:

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Chart Topper Headlines Murphy's Festival Offerings

Embassy Festival, The Hague, 2013

Held annually in the beautiful, historic centre of The Hague, the Netherlands' Embassy Festival is a vibrant and cosmopolitan celebration of the world's musical and culinary arts.

Curated by Australian/Dutch conductor Simon Murphy, the festival's classical/jazz stage features a rich variety of musical styles performed by leading international musicians in a series of concert programmes of music from 5 continents with repertoire spanning 5 centuries. Music for the ears, eyes, heart, soul and mind.


Festival Programme

Murphy's programme for the inaugural edition of the festival in 2012 was opened by Dutch harp superstar Lavinia Meijer, winner of the 2012 Edison Music Award, and featured a wide variety of other international artists, including Boreas Quartett Bremen and the Rembrandt Frerichs Trio.

Headlining this year's festival programme was UK-based Australian classical saxophonist Amy Dickson whose new solo album Dusk and Dawn (Sony) recently hit no. 1 in the British charts. In her festival concert New World, Dickson (pictured) performed works by French impressionists alongside compositions written for her by contemporary Australian composer Ross Edwards. Performing on her 1725 Guarneri violin, Dutch star violinist Frederieke Saeijs (pictured below) opened the 2013 festivities with a programme entitled Reflections in which she explored intimate, celebratory and virtuoso works for solo violin by Bach and Ysaye.

Other 2013 festival artists included Swedish lute virtuoso Karl Nyhlin performing works from his new CD exploring Jacobean period lute music from England and Scotland, Ukrainian/American opera diva Julia Kogan with a recital of comic art songs entitled Duck Soup, ECM recording artist, Norwegian accordionist Frode Haltli performing a programme of smooth Nordic jazz entitled Northern Lights, and award-winning Canadian soprano Stefanie True presenting lieder by Mozart, Dussek, Schubert and Robert and Clara Schumann.

Murphy also delivered a recital performance at the festival with a programme entitled Summer Serenade featuring works for solo viola by Rolla and Schubert. Other performances featured acclaimed U.S. pianist Bobby Mitchell and Belgian percussionist Koen Plaetinck.



A stone's throw away from the city's historic concert halls, opera houses and art galleries, the tree-lined boulevard of The Hague's Lange Voorhout makes the perfect backdrop for the Embassy Festival's international classical and jazz programme. In this inspiring festival setting, along cobblestone streets once walked by Mozart, Beethoven and Dussek, modern audiences now have the opportunity to savour some of the world's most exciting contemporary performers in a series of engaging concert presentations.

Other 2013 festival offerings included culinary delights from around the world, street art, dance and theatre.

Festival Details

Embassy Festival Classical and Jazz Programme

Embassy Festival Brochure

Festival organiser is Prooost in partnership with the city of The Hague.
Major festival sponsors include APM Terminals and ABN AMRO.

Embassy Festival, Lange Voorhout, The Hague
Saturday 7 September 2013, 12:00 to 21:00
Entrance Free

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For further information on conductor Simon Murphy's other projects and performing activities, visit: