31st May saw the first ever live stream concert from the Coffs Harbour Regional Conservatorium and what a success it was!
Due to COVID-19 the scheduled Sunday Series Concert on the 17th May which is part of the annual concert program at the Coffs Con sadly had to be cancelled. With the program acting as homage to the great Beethoven in the 250th Anniversary year, the Con’s Artistic Director, Pat Brearley, wanted to somehow make sure the Coffs Coast community still got to hear something by the wonderful composer.
Featuring the two newest members of staff at the Coffs Con, Annabelle Swainston (violin) and Georgie Ostenfeld (cello), with guest cellist Caleb Murray, the first live stream concert rose to the occasion and treated the large number of streaming audience to an exciting, invigorating and enjoyable afternoon of music.
Opening with the famous Passacaglia by Handel/Halvorsen, Annabelle and Georgie brought the audience in with their unique and musically exciting performance of the famous duo. This was followed by the beautiful Largo from Bach’s Violin Sonata No. 3 in E major performed by Annabelle Swainston. Audiences were then treated to a world first performance of a composition by local violist and Coffs Con student, Felix Hughes-Chivers. The first movement of his Suite No. 3 for Solo Viola was performed by Pat, showcasing the young composer’s enormous talent for writing, particularly writing for his own instrument, the viola. A quick stage reset saw Georgie and Caleb present a stunning performance of the beautiful Sonata No. 10 for Two Cellos by Jean-Barriere. Not commonly performed in the region, this was a very special treat to hear, particularly with the wonderful guest cellist, Caleb, joining his partner Georgie on stage for the performance. Following this, Annabelle returned to the spotlight to present her own arrangement and variations of the traditional folk song, Bonnie Doon. The final piece in the program was the excitable and dramatic String Trio No. 3 in C Minor Op.9 by Beethoven. This was an extensive composition at the time for the young Beethoven and a full performance lasts for approximately 28 minutes. Annabelle, Georgie and Pat performed this in its entirety, handling the technical and often difficult passages with aplomb and bringing a wonderful afternoon of music to a close.