The Shostakovich String Quartets

What follows is a series of Facebook posts, mostly self-explanatory, where I returned to listen to the complete cycle of Shostakovich’s string quartets. Revisited over the course of one week in July of 2020, when Covid restrictions had only just been slightly eased, this journey (originally done on and off over a nineteen year time span) was to some extent a poultice to a wound, having not been able to undertake any conducting for some time, let alone any other performing activity (although I did find some outlets, particularly online).

Sadly, due to the higher restrictions that came into effect today, after the Ady Ensemble’s first session of working on the Brahms 2nd Symphony, we’ve had to postpone the remainder of the project until a later date. However, four years ago on this day Ady had a rehearsal for one of its concerts at the Queensland Con, & it achieved one of those rare things in project rehearsals: full attendance! #adyensemble #conductor #conducting #adrianhead #orchestra #brahms

A quick coffee before finally heading home. It’s been a very long day, but rewarding to see the Ady Ensemble have its first rehearsal since December 2019. Here’s to the rest of the project coming up this week, & thank you, friends, for being a part of this project, recording Brahms’ 2nd Symphony. #adyensemble #conductor #conducting #orchestra #adrianhead #brahms

I’m starting to get a bit excited now, as we get closer to the #AdyEnsemble Brahms Recording Project 2021. Looking forward to catching up with its regular & new members. This is going to be fun #conductor #conducting #orchestra #brahms #symphony

Ten years of the Ady Ensemble

Ten years ago today, the Ady Ensemble had its first performance (although it didn’t know it at the time), having started its very first rehearsals at the end of 2010. I can’t lie: it has been a very long journey, but also a very rewarding one that has involved a veritable roll call of who’s who in Brisbane with regards to ensemble members, composers & soloists. Some have come & gone quickly; some have stayed for a long time; others have gone away & returned at a later date. All have contributed in their own way to not only helping the ensemble grow musically, but to also help foster a friendly, warm, & supportive environment, that has been a joy to both observe & be a part of.

The experience of performing- & often writing- a very diverse range of repertoire has been extremely satisfying, & making that journey with so many wonderful fellow Adyophiles has felt often like a family reunion…the nice kind of family reunions- not the ones that the police end up turning up at! There have been ripples of course- every organisation has them- but good, supportive, people have helped us get to where we needed to get to. For that the ensemble has been very fortunate.

I’d like to thank all those who have performed with the ensemble over that time, & to the composers, soloists, patrons, & organisations who have supported us over that time.

My thanks to each & everyone of you, for without you there would be no heart to Ady.Thank you. #adyensemble #conductor #conducting #orchestra

Nine years ago today, the Ady Ensemble gave its first all strings program as part of the @4MBS Festival of Classics, consisting of a program that included two new works, the Australian premiere of the 3rd Symphony of @phillipglass , and a new arrangement for strings of Debussy’s Clair de Lune #adyensemble #conductor #conducting #strings #adrianhead #glass #debussy

More marking up parts today, with a side of people watching. All up an entertaining afternoon.
Coffee as well of course.
#conductor #conducting #orchestra #symphony #Brahms

Spirit Orphan excerpt 24th of April

Over sixteen hours of work, four hours today of marking up and adding updates, of score prep that’s been going on during my gradually shrinking spare hours this week.
…now I’ve just got to learn the thing!

Next Saturday, the opening scene of Spirit Orphan will have its first performance, as part of the Brisbane Music Festival. Please come and see this collaboration between Corrina Bonshek and Jenna Robertson.

Click here for more info

#conductor #conducting #orchestra #opera #bushfiresaustralia #newaustralianmusic #newmusic

The next couple of weeks are going to be busy. The score arrived in my inbox at 3am yesterday morning (courtesy of a very busy Corrina Bonshek), for Jenna Robertson‘s Spirit Orphan project, which will see the first performance of the first scene of the opera on the 24th of April, as part of the Brisbane Music Festival (see pic 2 for details).