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News & Recent Performances

classikON Review | "Enormous talent emerging from Sydney Concert Orchestra"


The Verbrugghen Hall at the Sydney Conservatorium was packed to hear the Sydney Concert Orchestra perform their second concert. This new, young orchestra is full of youthful enthusiasm and vigour – not a grey hair in sight! (except of course in the audience).

Their chief conductor, Omid Moheb Zadeh, conducted with passion and flair to achieve the stormy turbulence that characterises Beethoven’s Egmont Overture. Written as incidental music for a play by Goethe, the music describes the tragic heroism of the16th-century Count of Egmont, who was imprisoned and executed for his fight against Spanish oppression of the people of the Netherlands. Omid conducted the orchestra with complete confidence, particularly in the exultant finale when Egmont realises that his death will be the trigger for a popular revolution. Goethe himself praised Beethoven’s genius in expressing his intentions. Omid Moheb Zadeh’s interpretation certainly expressed the intentions of Beethoven (and Goethe).

The podium was then taken over by Sydney Concert Orchestra’s assistant conductor, Ben Fan, who gracefully conducted the world premiere of Como by the young Kailesh Reitmans. With its romantic themes interspersed with moments of tension and the generous use of horns, the work immediately brought to mind a film score, which indeed it was! The film, Como, to be set in Lake Como in Italy, is still in development, but Kailesh hopes his music will feature as its opening when it is completed. This continued the orchestra’s tradition of playing a new composition in every concert.

After the interval, Omid Moheb Zadeh returned to conduct Tchaikovsky’s 5th symphony. This momentous work is also inspired by struggle and fate with its recurring themes that appear in all four movements. Beginning with brooding horns and halting strings, we are taken through an exhilarating ride from the depth of despair to ecstatic heights of joy. The second movement is particularly popular with its famous French horn solo beautifully played by Bryn Arnold, which develops into a sweeping, lyrical melody. We are taken for a waltz or two in the third movement, then again thrown into turbulent extremes in the fourth. Omid took the orchestra and audience on this exhilarating ride with youthful bravado. The audience loved it and showed their appreciation in tumultuous applause.

It is very encouraging seeing such enormous talent emerging in our Sydney Conservatorium. I am very much looking forward to the next concert by the Sydney Concert Orchestra, who have now proved to be a first-rate orchestra with two excellent conductors.


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