14 April 2023

Classical ensemble brings music to the regions on Riverina tour

| Chris Roe
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Members of Inventi Ensemble. Photo: Boroondara Arts.

Almost three million people live in regional NSW and independent touring organisation Music in the Regions is keen to share a genuine symphonic experience with those outside the cities.

“The whole mission of the organisation is supporting classical music where people live,” explained general manager and producer Ian Whitney.

“We’re coming around the Riverina with the Music in the Regions Inventi Ensemble tour in May, which is quite exciting because it’s an itinerary that is almost completely new for us.”

The Melbourne-based chamber ensemble is one of the busiest and most highly regarded in the country and Ian is looking forward to the tour through Junee, Young, Ganmain, Jerilderie and Deniliquin in May.

“It’s our largest ever ensemble with seven players and it’s the first time we’ve toured a full symphony,” he said.

“A big part of our mission is actually going to places which typically don’t get this sort of cultural programming.

“The one thing that is really important for me is about 30 to 40 per cent of our audiences on any tour are actually hearing quality classical music where they live, live for the first time.”

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The program launched in 2022 with five world-class classical music groups touring across regional NSW and performing in churches, golf clubs, railway stations, pubs and community halls.

“Over the past year, we’ve performed in some pretty wild places and this one is actually all halls and town halls, so very much focused on these very beautiful old buildings.”

Ian explained that the intimate concerts provided a positive experience for both the locals and the musicians.

“These regional tours can be really personally rewarding and creatively rewarding where they work together for around 10 days on the road; it’s really good creatively,” he said.

“But the other thing which is really unique and special about these tours is the connection with the audience.

“They are very engaged and very curious and they want to stay and chat after the performance, which you just don’t get in the cities.”

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As they tour, the music companies work with regional conservatoriums, local enthusiasts and councils to invigorate the local music scene and encourage cultural activity in the regions.

The Inventi Ensemble’s program has been dubbed “The Enchanted Forest” and includes three pieces.

“The first two are transcriptions by Glyn Davies, of Beethoven’s Sixth which is the Pastoral Symphony, which a lot of people know from the Disney classic Fantasia, and the Debussy Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun,” Ian said.

“The last piece on the program is a work written for this ensemble by the Australian composer Melody Eotvos.

“The idea of having a full five-movement symphony and also this new work by Melody, written specifically for the talents of this ensemble, shows the breadth of classical music, and having an Australian composer on the program demonstrates that this is a living art form that is constantly growing and changing.”

The tour begins in Albury Wodonga on 6 May and will conclude in Deniliquin on 13 May.

You can find more information and book tickets here.

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