The Young Mannheim Symphonists 2019 Winter School, presented by the Australian Romantic & Classical Orchestra, took place from 8-13 July at Santa Sabina College in Strathfield, and concluded with an inspiring concert at The Hills Grammar School in Kenthurst.
The youth orchestra featured outstanding young musicians from all over Greater Sydney, to the Hawkesbury, the Blue Mountains, west to Orange, NSW South Coast, Newcastle, Melbourne, Queensland’s Sunshine Coast and Hobart.
The concert followed a week of intensive rehearsals and workshops delving into the music and performance styles of the Classical and early Romantic periods. A full house heard these brilliant, young aspiring musicians in action performing Beethoven’s Coriolan Overture, Eberl’s Symphony No.1, Reicha’s Wind Quintet Op.88 No.2 and Haydn’s Symphony No.104 ‘London’.
Directing were the Australian Romantic & Classical Orchestra’s co-artistic directors and internationally renowned Australian musicians Rachael Beesley and Nicole van Bruggen.
This education program of the Australian Romantic & Classical Orchestra is unique in Australia and is aimed at a high level of performance enabling the participants to experience a deep understanding and appreciation of style and context. Established by the late Richard Gill AO, the Young Mannheim Symphonists Winter School continues to flourish, providing knowledge and expertise directly to young musicians by giving them the best insights and opportunities to develop. Bringing together students from NSW, VIC, QLD and TAS, the sense of connection and camaraderie amongst the students is palpable and their high level of engagement in all aspects of the program is admirable.
From the very first rehearsal at Santa Sabina College, it was clear the participants were well-prepared and excited about the adventure ahead of them. Together with an expert team of directors, tutors and guests from the Australian Romantic & Classical Orchestra, the participants explored chamber and orchestral repertoire with orchestral and chamber music rehearsals, tutorials, workshops and in-depth discussions on the historical background of the repertoire, HIP (historically-informed performance) learning opportunities, and listening and singing exercises.
With so many wonderful connections to the Australian Romantic & Classical Orchestra’s founding artistic director the late, legendary Richard Gill AO through both former students and colleagues, the atmosphere again was one of true dedication and passion for the music.
The result? An extraordinary performance at The Hills Grammar School Performance Centre for friends and family along with the general public. The world-class tutors shared their expertise, dedication, knowledge and passion for this music which created a dynamic learning environment during the week, concluding with a brilliant and exciting concert.
Plans to develop and expand these music education activities further are underway to create greater opportunities for the next generation of musicians and music-lovers.