Today was our first public performance at the festival, presenting Schubert’s Auf dem Strom in masterclass with pianist David Selig. David was energetic and honestly enthusiastic about the music we were performing. His knowledge of the repertoire, and of the German language, was impressive and he was very encouraging, with some very useful advice on how to better interpret the music and produce a more engaging performance. Even in the short time allowed to us, it was a fantastic opportunity to polish and refine our work in front of an appreciative audience. We were touched by the positive feedback from those watching, who were impressed not only by the initial performance, but also by the opportunity to witness such a knowledgeable musician as David working to take us up another level.
Jacob was page-turning in rehearsal again this afternoon, in preparation for the evening concert at the Townsville Civic Theatre. He page-turned for both David Selig and Benjamin Martin in the first half of the concert, which included a very interesting (and challenging!) mixed ensemble piece, Vocalissimus. This work presented the same short Wallace Stevens poem in eighteen different movements, each written to display a contrasting viewpoint (recluse, formalist, lunatic etc.). We really enjoyed watching the musicians show off their versatility and the way the ensemble was able to capture so many different characters and moods.
The second half of the concert was devoted to chamber music inspired by the tango. These pieces saw unique, engaging and exceptional musicians thoroughly enjoying themselves in high energy entertaining performances. Unlike “regular” concerts, where an audience only sees the individual performers once, the festival structure allows audiences to become familiar with the performers, truly hearing and experiencing the differences and uniqueness of each individual. The festival has so far felt like a genuine community experience, as we get to know each performer more through not only their repeat appearances on stage, but also through our encounters behind the scenes.