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Coffee Cake & Culture 2014

Plans for 2014…

I’ve just finished writing the final class in my 3rd series of Coffee Cake and Culture. That’s 19 classes in total (an extra one was added in for the Limmod Oz conference earlier in the year)! Not bad for someone who thought a 6 class series was going to be a huge undertaking.

I’m so thrilled at how it has grown and that each time I come to the end of a series each group asks.. .’So what’s next?’

Well next year 2 new types of series are starting.

The first is a continuation of the CCC series. These 6 classes are going to look at the 20th century and try and demystify this most complex century. There is virtually nothing about 1900 which was the same in 2000. Styles, ideas, forms, instrumentation, concerts, audiences, performance techniques, musical trends etc etc etc have come and gone at lightning speed unlike any other period in history. And at many times the listening public has not caught up with the advances made by the composers. Our ears seem to be going backwards while composers are striving for the new. By understand why these changes have occurred we can come to appreciate the amazing beauty in 20th century music.

Earlier this week I was chatting with my sister about the next stage in CCC’s development and we came up with a new concept whose working title is either CCC’s Creative Concerts or Homage to Historical Highlights. I have chosen 7 concerts being performed by the SSO, ACO, ABO, Musica Viva, OMEGA and AO in Sydney in 2014. Prior to each performance I will give a class discussing the programme. We will look at the musical, historical and social background to the pieces as well as highlighting various ideas throughout the music.

The concerts are:

  1. ABO (Australian Brandenburg Orchestra) – Bach Magnificat= Bach and Kats –Chernin – 19,21,26,28 Feb, 1March

  2. SSO (Sydney Symphony Orchestra) –Elijah= Mendelssohn – 14,16 17 May

  3. ACO (Australian Chamber Orchestra) – Timeline – 20,23,25 May

  4. AO ( Australian Opera) – Don Giovanni= Mozart – 25 July-30 August

  5. OMEGA ENSEMBLE – Carnival François – 15 August

  6. SSO – Symphony 6 = Bruckner and Piano Concerto = Dvorak – 17,19,20 September

  7. Musica Viva – Borodin Quartet – Beethoven, Shostakovich, Tchaikovsky – 11 Oct

Each of these concerts has been specifically chosen, not only because I want to hear them but also as a vehicle for an in-depth look at various musical styles. The first concert of example starts with J.S. Bach played on period instruments which we have talked so much about. There is nothing like actually seeing and hearing these magnificent instruments to send you back to the 18th century. The concert finishes with the acclaimed Australian composer Elena Kats-Chernin’s Bach Homage Tones. Kats –Chernin wrote the music for the Sydney Olympics and has been performed throughout the world. I can’t wait to hear this new work of hers.

Please join me in any or all these concerts. I’ll send you the dates I have chosen later. This is not a formal series, come to some that interested you and not to others and please feels free to ask friends to come along too.

I’m really looking forward to where Coffee Cake and Culture is headed next year and I hope you enjoy the ride as well!!

Love me


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