2021 Season Announced

18th February, 2021 | Media Releases

Kathryn Selby and her magnificent ‘friends’ are back for live, on-stage concerts in 2021!

It’s all about piano trios, from Schubert to Ross Edwards, Fanny and Felix Mendelssohn, Granados, Shostakovich, Bloch, Ravel and much more. Her ensemble cast of some of Australia’s finest chamber musicians rode the waves of Covid-challenged music-making in 2020 – presenting some of the finest on-line concerts seen world-wide. In 2021 – with audiences ravenous for live performances, her 5 touring concert programs – under continued strict health and safety protocols – will each travel to six centres nationally, including Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Canberra and two centres in NSW – Turramurra and the Southern Highlands.

Full information and bookings at www.selbyandfriends.com.au

In Kathryn Selby’s own words:

“We are excited to return to our concert venues around Australia in 2021 and share with you once again, in person, our love of music and its immense ability to excite, heal, cheer, and inspire. It is a season brimming with variety, complete with compelling works by beloved masters and those whose works deserve wider recognition – all presented by some of Australia’s finest chamber musicians.

Whilst we have all recently faced an extremely difficult series of hurdles, Selby & Friends’ focus now is to continue to bring you memorable musical experiences, to foster emerging talents and to support our artists and our arts community as much as we can. In this, our 15th Season, please join with us in moving forward as I warmly welcome you back to live Selby & Friends concerts in 2021.”

Tour 1, 2021 – Exotic Strudel

This delightful season opener presents a fascinating glimpse of how three important composers of the first half of the 20th Century re-imagined the piano trio in these powerful ‘miniatures’. All composed within 19 years of each other and from vastly different European cultures, they contrast and complement the highly developed piano trio format produced by Schubert 100 years earlier at the end of the Classical Era and on the cusp of the Romantic. Natsuko and Julian join Kathy for the first time together in this program filled with pathos, song and passion.

Ernest Bloch (1880-1959) – Three Nocturnes (1924)
JoaquínTurina (1882 – 1949) – Circulo Op.91 (1942)
Dmitri Shostakovich (1906 – 1975) – Piano Trio Op.8 No.1 (1923)
Franz Schubert (1797 – 1828) – Piano Trio No.1 in B-flat major, Op.99 D. 898, (1827/28)

Natsuko Yoshimoto, violin
Julian Smiles, cello
Kathryn Selby, piano

Tour 2, 2021 – Patriot Games

Opening this concert with one of Australia’s most iconic piano trios, we are immediately conscious of the colours, light sounds, and the mystical relationship Edwards has with the sea and earth of this great land. One of Spain’s great composers follows with a highly expressive, Neo-Romantic and refined work that embodies the composer’s Spanish roots with dance and salon music, hints of the gypsy and the Moor and its many folkloric elements.

The beauty and power of Dvořák’s style exemplifies his fervent nationalist stance in the face of pressure from the prevalent German tradition bringing to a close this powerful program whose flavours are brought vividly to life by three old friends and veteran Australian artists.

Ross Edwards (1943 – ) – Piano Trio (1998)
Enrique Granados (1867-1916) – Piano Trio, Op.50 (1894)
Antonin Dvořák (1841-1904) – Piano Trio in F minor Op. 65 (1883)

Dene Olding, violin
Julian Smiles, cello
Kathryn Selby, piano

Tour 3, 2021 – Mavericks

This program presents the work of three fascinating composers whose impact was both profound and long-lasting. Whilst they experienced the world at very much the same point in time, their view of the piano trio genre was vastly different.

Discouraged by comments made about ‘women in music’ in an American newspaper by Dvořák, Amy Beach wrote a strong rebuttal and when four years later in 1896, her own work was premiered by the Boston Symphony, she became known as the dean of American women composers and a national symbol of women’s creative power.
Englishwoman Dame Ethel Smyth, somewhat marginalized for being a “woman” composer, was nonetheless a powerful force, encouraged by both Dvořák and Brahms and known to Clara Schumann. She was also a vigorous member of the suffragette movement.

Often regarded as one of France’s greatest composers, Ravel also went against the establishment and chose his own path in composition, fusing modern elements with the baroque, classicism and jazz. Bringing together three of Australia’s powerhouse artists, this program represents a perfect synergy.

Amy Beach (1867 – 1944) – Piano Trio Op.150 (1938)
Maurice Ravel (1875-1937) – Piano Trio in A minor 1914
Dame Ethel Smyth (1858 – 1944) – Piano Trio in D minor

Andrew Haveron, violin
Timo-Veikko Valve, cello
Kathryn Selby, piano

Tour 4, 2021 – Natural Wonders

Australian premiered by Selby & Friends six years ago, Tower’s Big Sky is a visceral portrait of the composer riding her favourite horse through a deep Bolivian valley. A Grammy award-winning American composer, Towers’ work is highly evocative, grounded in a love of the natural world. Given his famous long walks and love of nature, it seemed only right to include Brahms’ massive youthful, then much later reworked, B major Trio in the program along with the emotionally driven, very late Mendelssohn Trio as they both resonate with imagery, passion, humour and song. Susie and Umberto work together for the first time with Kathy in this exhilarating program of big works for piano trio.

Joan Tower (1938 – ) – Big Sky (2005)
Felix Mendelssohn (1809 – 1847) – Piano Trio in C minor, Op.66 (1845)
Johannes Brahms (1833 – 1897) – Piano Trio in B major, Op. 8 (1854)

Susie Park, violin
Umberto Clerici, cello
Kathryn Selby, piano

Tour 5, 2021 – “A rose between two ‘thorns'”

Our title for this program is quite obviously tongue in cheek! One cannot possibly label either of the great melody masters, Rachmaninov and Schubert, as anything remotely close to being thorns, but the idiom seemed apt in the context of the largely underestimated Fanny Mendelssohn as a composer to be admired in her own right. Highly intellectual , cultured and a formidable force in the musical life of Berlin, Fanny was also confidante and best friend to her brother Felix who passed away within months of her own untimely death. Book-ending the season with Schubert’s second great final piano trio, this program, which brings together two of Australia’s most gifted musicians of the younger generation with Kathy, is truly an exploration of youth, song and yearning. It is a fitting close to our dazzling exploration of the piano trio repertoire this season.

Sergei Rachmaninov (1873 – 1943) – Piano Trio élégiaque No. 1 in G minor (1892)
Fanny Mendelssohn (1805 – 1847) – Piano Trio in D minor Op.11 (1847)
Franz Schubert (1797 – 1828) – Piano Trio in E flat Major, Op.100 D.929 (1827)

Grace Clifford, violin
Richard Narroway, cello
Kathryn Selby, piano


City Recital Hall, Sydney | Llewellyn Hall, Canberra Tatoulis Auditorium, Methodist Ladies College, Melbourne | Elder Hall, Adelaide
Chevalier College, Southern Highlands, NSW | Turramurra Uniting Church, Sydney

Full details and bookings at www.selbyandfriends.com.au

Media: for interview, images, recordings, season brochure, review tickets and more, contact Geoff Sirmai Arts Marketing (02) 9345 0360 mob: 0412 669 272 e: geoff@sirmai.com.au

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