All-Australian orchestra to perform at the City of London Festival

The annual City ofLondon Festival will begin this year on the 26 June and will end on the 16 July. One group you might not have anticipated making an appearance at this festival is London’s all-Australian chamber orchestra Ruthless Jabiru, in its City of London Festival debut.

kelly
Kelly Lovelady, Artistic Director

The annual City of London Festival will begin this year on the 26 June and will end on the 16 July. One group you might not have anticipated making an appearance at this festival is London’s all-Australian chamber orchestra Ruthless Jabiru, in its City of London Festival debut.

Ruthless Jabiru’s concert will take place at LSO St Luke’s in central London on Saturday 9 July, conducted by Artistic Director Kelly Lovelady (pictured). The programme will honour the orchestra’s patron, Australian composer Peter Sculthorpe, as well as including American greats such as Samuel Barber and Aaron Copland, drawing a parallel between the iconic sounds of Australia and the USA.

The orchestra will open their concert with two of Sculthorpe’s best-known orchestral pieces, Small Town and Dillie, setting the scene for the European premiere of Shining Island. This song was written in memory of Polish composer Henryck Górecki ,who developed a close friendship with Sculthorpe at the Vale of Glamorgan Festival in Wales in 1994. Górecki had associated Sculthorpe’s optimism with “that big shining island in the south, Australia.”

Sharing the evening with Sculthorpe will be Copland’s Appalachian Spring and Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915, featuring Australian soprano, Emma Pearson. Miss Pearson has been a Principal Artist at the Hessisches Staatstheater in Wiesbaden, Germany since 2005. This performance with Ruthless Jabiru will mark her highly anticipated London debut.

The orchestra’s name, Ruthless Jabiru, pays tribute to Sculthorpe’s seminal string work in 1990, Jabiru Dreaming, and to the rock formation in Kakadu National Park that inspired it. The Australian jabiru is a species of stork resembling a peacock in colour.

Performing at the City of London Festival will be an exciting step for Ruthless Jabiru. “Recruiting a custom-made orchestra of professional players for this project is not an easy task,” says Kelly. That said, Australian-born musicians hold prominent chairs in almost all of London’s major orchestras, including the London Symphony Orchestra and Royal Philharmonic.

“Ruthless Jabiru is a treat for so many of our members,” says Kelly. “Coming into a rehearsal room full of Aussies is like going home. That energy of camaraderie comes through in the music.”

For more information on the festival visit http://www.colf.org/

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