• Your Hunter Valley Magazine

ARIA Winners Set to Stun at Sacred Spaces

Known for their dynamic performances, the musicians of the five-time ARIA Award winning Australian Brandenburg Orchestra breathe 21st-century life into centuries-old music. The Brandenburg Ensemble, featuring six members of the orchestra, will perform six concerts around regional NSW in March (following their very popular tour in October 2018) in a series called Ayres and Graces. This tour includes a performance in the Hunter Valley at the stunning Sisters' Chapel Sacred Spaces at the Sisters of Mercy Convent on Saturday 16 March.

This will be an intimate performance that will appeal to fans of classical music as well as people who might be trying it for the first time.

As well as the entertaining and beautiful music, audiences will get a close up experience of some of the more rarely heard instruments, including the Baroque oboe and flute (made from wood, not metal like the modern flute), recorder, viola da gamba and theorbo (a six foot long lute) alongside the more widely known Baroque violin and viola.

Ayres and Graces will feature chamber music from the English and French Baroque, and this tour has again been curated by the Brandenburg’s principal flute player, Melissa Farrow.

''In this rich and diverse program, Ayres and Graces, you will experience all aspects of French and English music from the late 17th to early 18th centuries," says Melissa.

"We take you on a journey from the ‘folk’ music of the streets to the theatres and lavish palaces in London, Paris and Versailles.

"I think people are going to really enjoy hearing this incredible music, especially performed in these intimate venues around NSW.”


“We play on period instruments of the type the composers knew at that time, and for which they wrote their music,” says Melissa.

“For example, I’ll be playing on a wooden flute made of Grenadilla wood, which is very different to play – and sounds very different – to the modern metal flute.

“The string instruments use strings made of sheep gut rather than the steel strings that a modern orchestra plays on.

“It is really exciting for us to get out on the road and bring this style of music and playing to areas outside the capital cities,” adds Melissa.

“Audiences always really engage with the performances, even those that don’t know much about classical music or have experience of it. We select music that tells a story and captures the imagination. Often these pieces have fascinating backstories, and the composers themselves are really interesting characters.”

For more information or to purchase tickets visit www.brandenburg.com.au

Top Image: 2019 ABO Tommie Andersson. Photo by Pedro Greig

Middle Image: Rafael Font - Violin

Bottom Image: 2018 ABO Melissa Farrow. Photo by Liz Ham