About Selby & Friends
Selby & Friends presents “chamber music at its best” (SMH) with six subscription seasons around Australia in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Adelaide, Turramurra and the Southern Highlands, each presented five times per year. Australian pianist Kathryn Selby, AM, created the concert series in 2007 and her guest artists include many of the finest solo and ensemble performers from Australia and around the world. The series is widely considered “world class” and of “the highest possible level of performance” with many hailing Ms Selby as not only an “entrepreneurial force” but amongst the finest of Australian artists. She was awarded the ‘AM’ as part of the Australia Day Honours, 2013.
Selby & Friends originally began as a series of concerts introducing music to children presented by Kathryn Selby at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney with a second series for general audiences in the evening, supported by IBM Australia from 1988-1993. Re-established in 2007 as a new, nationally touring series with Selby and invited guest artists, Selby & Friends has continued to present concerts of the highest quality with stunning reviews and a large and loyal audience. ABC Classic FM and the MBS network record for broadcast each tour program.
Selby & Friends is unique in that it was amongst the first in Australia to feature the artists speaking directly from the stage about their personal experiences, historical and amusing anecdotes, creating an intimate and long-lasting connection with audience members that is reflected in the consistent loyalty of returning patrons. Selby & Friends is also unique in that it is the only Australian series to mentor brilliant young Australians in a touring capacity so as to learn from within an ensemble with artists older and more experienced. Selby & Friends is also unique in that it was the first Australian series to encourage children to learn about chamber music by inviting kids 14 and under to attend the concerts for free.
Our goals are to present memorable experiences with world-class events, to support young people in a learning capacity and to help them reach their professional potential, and to support Australia’s cultural life as a vital balancing element within strong communities. To that end we have been extremely successful as our strong subscriber base, mentoring programs and consistently stunning reviews from audience and critics alike (and our popularity with national radio broadcasters) will attest.
Our 2019 Season marked 30 years since pianist Kathryn Selby returned home from the US and began creating concerts around Australia. S&F is thrilled so many who joined Kathy then are still enjoying our concerts now and we are always delighted to welcome new patrons to our extended ‘family’!
The 2020 season was interrupted by COVID-19, but our concerts continued through filmed live performances presented online and available through our Online Concert Content page here on the website. Selby & Friends is still welcoming back many old friends with whom we have shared wonderful moments of music-making and introducing brilliant young Australian guests as part of Kathy’s program of supporting young artists on their professional journey.
"titans of chamber music..." - Adelaide Advertiser
"This was a magical performance with energy, control, sublime beauty and rhapsodic moments. Where the music had to have aggression and power this was supplied in good measure and all elements were in excellent proportion. There was an almost symphonic breadth to these three and four instruments that was breathtaking. When chamber music is like that, it is at its best." classikON
"It's quite remarkable, really. When Kathryn Selby gets a couple of friends together to play a concert, it’s as though they’ve been playing together forever, such is their unity in music-making. With Selby and three friends playing in different trio combinations, this concert was even more remarkable than usual." Canberra City News
"In sum, this concert is a truly satisfying evening of chamber playing from five brilliant musicians. Transfigured is a must-see, and because it is online you not only must see it, you can! While it is a shame to be deprived of the live experience, what a boon that such enjoyable, expert music making should be preserved for the future." Limelight
"Sydney pianist and concert promoter Kathryn Selby has brought her virtual concert season to a magnificent close with the fifth recital in ‘the year that never was’." Wentworth Courier
"Selby & Friends is very much about Kathy Selby’s dedication to chamber music but it’s never all about her. The ‘friends’, the hand-picked guest artists, are always front and centre stage and are given every opportunity to shine. " Artshub
"There was perfection in timing, incredible dynamics, emotional fluidity and uncommon empathy with the music and the musicians’ reading of what was in the composers’ heads." Limelight
" While we all look ahead to the return of live music concerts, we will remember these performances by Selby and Friends as oases in the strange 2020 world of Covid-19." Canberra Critics Circle
"Tight ensemble work and three master musicians at the top of their game ensured that this was an excellent evening of chamber music featuring works seldom heard." - Daily Telegraph
"It's a commonplace that Selby and Friends always deliver the goods at a high standard, but even by that measure, the Proud Folk concert in their third tour of the year was a cracker." - Adelaide Advertiser
"As music with nowhere to hide, this is tricky stuff indeed, but these three players delivered a blockbuster performance that had the audience literally cheering." - Limelight Magazine
"Yesterday, in the hands of Selby and her latest friends, cellist Clancy Newman and violinist Grace Clifford, I think I heard Dvorak’s quirky, lumpy, gushy, graceful trio as I’ve never heard it before. This was the real thing." - SMH
“This was first-class chamber music from all involved, with scarcely a moment of insecurity or incoherence. It is to Selby’s credit that she is able to employ an ever-changing ensemble of musicians, whilst maintaining a symbiosis that most established piano trios would kill for. There are few musicians in the country who could achieve this so consistently.” - Dylan Henderson, Limelight, June
“The successful blend and closeness Selby achieves with her trio performers despite them being guests and not a permanent ensemble is always to be greatly admired.” - Paul Nolan, Arts Hub, April
“Put all … elements of this night together and you had a solid taste of Beethoven’s accomplishment across a productive span of 22 years, delivered with remarkably few slips and an impressive breadth of interpretative insight.” – Clive O’Connell, September 2016
"… At every point, this trio [Park, Newman, Selby] showed their partnership was far from an ad hoc arrangement but a true alliance of like minds in a congenial collegiality of top-notch quality.” – Clive O’Connell, April 2016
“In her concert tours Kathryn Selby has created a space in which the audience experiences living music introduced with personal reflections on the repertoire by each of the performers. It is a unique intimacy, and the consistently full houses she plays to are a testament to the wise choice of presentation for her chamber music concerts.” – Jennifer Gall, Canberra Times, February 2015
“The consistent quality of Kathryn Selby's concerts make her offerings always something to anticipate.” – Martin Duffy, The Age, November 2014
“This was chamber music playing of the highest quality…” – Peter McCallum, SMH February 2015
“Mendelssohn's Sonata for Cello and Piano No 2 impressed for the unanimity of approach from both artists – uncompromisingly ardent in its opening, a mischievous scherzo and Selby's superbly voiced Adagio chorale marvellously introducing [Clancy] Newman's exquisite, lyric cello.” – Martin Duffy, SMH/The Age, February 2015
“This is exactly what chamber music is meant to be: intimate, conversational, captivating, the music of friends, and a thoroughly enjoyable, personal experience. Kathryn Selby, with friends like these, we can’t wait for the 2014 season.’ – Gordon Forester, GLAMAdelaide, November 2013
“It is a measure of the spell cast by these performers that the transition from second to third movement, and from third to fourth, passed with scarcely a noise from the auditorium; just the sound of 1000 people holding their breaths. This is chamber music at its best. Hear them if you can.” – Harriet Cunningham, SMH, July 2013