Classical Musicians Visiting in 2013

The year has well and truly started back with the usual grind and it’s about this time that we start seeing if there’s anything to look forward to in the year. We’re always really lucky in Melbourne to get a lot of visitors from overseas; some of the best performers currently in the world land on our doorstep on a regular basis.

(Meanwhile, as we wait for them to arrive their extensive recording catalogues can keep us occupied…)

In Mid-March we’re going to see the full majesty of Jordi Savall at work. Performing with equally brilliant musician, Andrew Lawrence King, their duets of Harp and Viola da gamba are going to be unmissable. It doesn’t matter whether you like baroque music or not, this musician is one of the best alive.

Philippe Jaroussky is the divine countertenor from France and along with the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, will be presenting a concert of divine arias. In the meantime, check out his extensive catalogue.

One of the most famous string quartets working, particularly in the world of contemporary and ethnic music, are the Kronos Quartet. They have some truly spectacular recordings available including the work by Reich marking the tenth anniversary of 9/11.

kronos_quartet Kronos Quartet

I was very sad to hear the news of the imminent disbanding of the Tokyo String Quartet. This will be their final season so don’t miss the last opportunity to see one of the longest running string quartets live in performance - with a heavy discography and world-wide reputation to uphold this will be a performance to remember.

Claudio Abbaddo was so taken the with students in the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra in 1997 that he founded the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and we’re incredibly lucky that they’re coming out here. Not just that but they are performing two completely different recitals. Together with British conductor, Daniel Harding, they’re covering works from Beethoven’s Violin Concerto to Brett Dean’s Testament.

Angela Hewitt is the darling of piano world. A specialist in Bach, her two programs feature the music of both Bach and Beethoven in a delightful combination.

Andreas Scholl is the German compatriot of Jaroussky. An equally gifted singer and musician he will be visiting in October and presenting his concerts with the Australian Chamber Orchestra. Check out his Wanderer album, featuring German songs from Brahms, Mozart, Schubert and Haydn. Also joining the ACO later in the year is eminent cellist, Steven Isserlis. A truly remarkable cellist, he’ll be here as early as February.

Murray Perahia has been recording since the 1970s and even with various enforced breaks due to hand injuries his catalogue is quite extensive.

When we start looking at the world of opera, the first is the presentation of Philip Glass' Einstein on the Beach. While this is not for everyone, this is not an opera that is frequently performed. There are couple of recordings available but nothing would quite compare to the majesty of seeing this opera on stage.

nwslt-einstein Einstein on the Beach

Although there are a number of other truly fantastic performers coming this year, both overseas and interstate and local, the last one I want to bring your attention to is the complete Wagner Der Ring des Nibelungen. It’s the first complete Ring Cycle that Opera Australia have ever done and in November and December it’s a not to be missed opportunity. You probably know how many recordings are out there, and most people who like it already have one but if you don’t, try this one.

Kate Rockstromis a Classical Specialist at Readings Carlton. She regularly performs as a flautist as well as writing about music and books, follow her at