When in Rome



Date: Sunday 12 September, 2pm

Where: Verbrugghen Hall, Sydney Conservatorium of Music

Repertoire:  Edward’s Symphony No. 1 & Respighi’s The Pines of Rome

Tickets: Book Here

It’s spring! SYO’s taking a punt on better times ahead and throwing the switch to sonic Cinerama for big-picture works spanning three centuries.

Prepped by workshops on correct Baroque performance practice with Australia’s leading experts Julia Fredersdorff (violin) and Neal Peres da Costa (Sydney Conservatorium), our strings ensure Christmas comes early in Corelli’s Concerto grosso Op 6/8, known in English as the ‘Christmas’ concerto. Normally the province of smaller ensembles, you’ll hear what a full orchestral string section playing in historically-informed style, plus the Verbrugghen Hall organ, can do!

Ross Edward’s Symphony No 1 is an Australian modern classic dedicated to the memory of former SYO Chief Conductor Stuart Challender. Conceived during the 1990-91 Gulf War and based on the medieval plainchant Da Pacem Domine (‘Give Peace, Lord’), this sombre work finds a further resonance in this performance marking the 20th anniversary of 9/11. The composer will attend the concert and visit SYO during rehearsals.

Respighi’s The Pines of Rome is one of the most spectacular works ever written for orchestra, ranging from the sound of a single nightingale to slamming drumbeats, volleys of extra brass from the Verbrugghen side galleries and organ turned up to the max as Roman legions march down the Appian Way. It’s a finale worthy of The Eternal City.

We’re delighted that Edwards and Respighi works will be directed by guest conductor Matthew Coorey, the Australian now making an impressive international career from his base in London.

Conductor: Matthew Coorey

Matthew Coorey began his conducting career in 2003 when he was appointed Assistant Conductor to the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. This initial one-year contract then became a three-year commitment when he was appointed the RLPO’s first Conductor in Residence.

Debuts soon followed with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Sydney Symphony, the Philharmonia, the Hallé, Ensemble 10:10 and the London Mozart Players – all of whom offered further invitations.

Matthew has a great interest in all forms of music and art forms and has collaborated with Rosas Dance Company and Ictus Ensemble, innovative rock bands These New Puritans and Efterklang and has worked with Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra.

Matthew has a strong commitment to working with younger musicians and regularly conducts and teaches at the Royal Northern College of Music. He has also worked with the orchestras of the Royal College of Music London, the Felix Mendelssohn Hochshule Leipzig, the Trinity-Laban Orchestra London, the Sydney Youth Orchestra, the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, the Australian National Academy of Music and the Australian Youth Orchestra.

Initially self-taught as a conductor, Matthew auditioned for Seiji Ozawa and was invited to the Tanglewood Music Festival where he worked with Jorma Panula who became his principal conducting teacher. The following year he attended the Aspen Music Festival where studied with David Zinman. For two years, Matthew was Junior Fellow in Conducting – under Sir Mark Elder – at the Royal Northern College of Music. He was a finalist in the Maazel-Vilar Conducting Competition, a fellow of the Allianz International Conductors’ Academy and a prize-winner at the Georg Solti Conducting Competition.

Matthew is an SYO alumni (1986 – 1995) playing the French Horn in numerous orchestras, including The Sydney Youth Orchestra, which he will now conduct.