THIS PAST PERFORMANCE TOOK PLACE IN SEPTEMBER 2016
Choir, Orchestra, and Soloists
Emma Griffiths (Soprano), Maartje Sevenster (Alto)
Owen Elsley (Tenor), Andrew Fysh (Bass)
Orchestra led by Leanne Bear
Directed by Andrew Koll
Leader of the Orchestra
Composer and violinist Leanne Bear (BMUS, Qld) travelled around Europe with violin and suitcase, improvising and busking, and learning from acclaimed pedagogues Simon Fischer and David Takeno, having won the Gertrude Langer prize in Brisbane; and given broadcasts and touring for Qld Arts Council with her Piano Trio ‘Icarus’....
Anne Marie Dalseg
Musical Director, Conductor
Andrew Koll is a Performance Teaching Fellow at the School of Music, ANU in Canberra Australia. He is a specialist in aural training, harmony and counterpoint, the science of just intonation, and the works of Johann Sebastian Bach.
Andrew first formed the CANBERRA BACH ENSEMBLE in 1999. He is eagerly anticipating the CBE's return to public performance in September 2016....
Emma Griffiths commenced her singing career receiving invaluable training and performance opportunities with the Sydney Children's Choir, performing in the Sydney 2000 Olympics Opening Ceremony. Her passion for early music developed under the baton of Neil McEwan, conductor of the Conservatorium Chamber Choir and Christ Church St Laurence. Under the direction of Amanda Thane, opera singer and teacher at the Conservatorium of Music in Sydney, she continued her instruction. Emma also spent time in Italy and here in Australia training and performing with Peter Phillips director of the world-renowned Tallis Scholars.
In 2009, Emma earned a scholarship to sing in the prestigious Ormond College Choir led by John O’Donnell and toured with the choir to Europe. She received further coaching in Melbourne by soprano Vivien Hamilton and performed regularly with her choral group, Early Voices. Emma has taken part in album recordings with the Sydney Children's Choir, Early Voices and Sydney group The Parsons Affayre directed by Warren Trevelyan-Jones. In 2012 she recorded with Canberra composer and singer David Yardley on an album of his medieval madrigal compositions, collaborating with some of the best chamber singers in Australia.
Emma established herself in the Canberra choral scene after her move from Sydney in 2010 singing with the Oriana Chorale under the direction of conductor and composer David Mackay, regularly performing solo work. She was one of the founding members of Canberra Critics Award-winning chamber group Coro and continues to sing with them, most notably performing some well-loved soprano solo roles in their 2015 production of Handel's Messiah. Emma has also performed in solo roles for the Canberra Choral Society and sings alongside Tobias Cole in his vocal quartet, Clarion which performs regularly at the National Portrait Gallery.
As well as performing, Emma teaches vocal students of all ages and enjoys passing on the great wealth of knowledge she has learnt from so many talented individuals. She has recently spent two years as a production manager for a community radio station in Canberra and continues her passion for radio at times announcing on ArtSound FM as part of their Concert Hall series. Her 2-year-old daughter keeps her on her toes as she balances her passion for early music with a passion for her family.
Maartje Sevenster discovered serious singing with teacher Susan Ellis when living in Canberra in the late 1990s. Since then, she pursued singing at a high level in the Netherlands, studying part-time with Roberta Alexander, Frans Huyts and Connie de Jongh and participating in master classes with the likes of Evelyn Tubb, Kelvin Grout, Carolyn Watkinsson, Lucienne Bouwman and Richard Jackson. While obtaining a BMus, she sang in professional choirs with renowned conductors such as Yakov Kreizberg, Roy Goodman, Jaap van Zweden, Marc Soustrot and Reinbert de Leeuw. Opera roles include Third Lady in The Magic Flute (Mozart) and La Badessa in Suor Angelica (Puccini).
Recently, Maartje was alto soloist in Copland's In the beginning (“narrated with considerable power by mezzo-soprano Maartje Sevenster” CityNews), Janacek's Dairy of one who vanished, J.S.Bach's Easter Oratorio and Magnificat, J.C.Bach's Lamento, Pergolesi's Stabat Mater and Vivaldi's Nisi Dominus, in performances in the Canberra region. She performed the premieres of David Cassat's Die Hand, for mezzo-soprano, viola, cello, flute and clarinet, and Judith Clingan's In this Fateful Hour in December 2013, and was part of the community oratorio Passion for Peace by Canberra composer Glenda Cloughley. As one of the narrators, “the crystal-clear articulation of Sevenster progressed the narrative elements” (CityNews). In 2016, she sang with the Song Company in Rossini's Petite Messe Solenelle, conducted by Roland Peelman.
Maartje founded the new ensemble Adhoc Baroque with Greta Claringbould and Peter Young. She is a member of Coro Canberra and works with coaches Louise Page and Dianna Nixon. She conducts a small community choir in the village of Gundaroo. Next to performing, Maartje has an ongoing interest in the acoustics of the vocal tract. The active control of resonances and the role of so-called formant theory in vocal training were the central topics of her bachelor thesis. She participated in the Estill Voice Training System level one and two courses in 2015. (Photo © Peter Hislop)
Owen is a Sydney based singer, pianist, actor and composer. Born and raised in Newcastle, NSW, Owen has always had a passion for music, performing in numerous local productions. Since moving to Sydney in 2011 to attend university, Owen has been an active member of the music scene, singing with the St Paul’s College Chapel Choir under David Drury (2011-2013) and as a chorister with the Choir of St James’ Church King St under Warren Trevelyan-Jones (2012-present), with which he toured to Europe in April 2016.
In 2014, Owen was a member of the Song Company’s Young Artists Program, a position which saw him performing for Musica Viva, at the Canberra International Music Festival and at the Moorambilla Festival, and has continued to perform with the ensemble as a guest artist through 2015 and 2016.
Recent stage credits include the role of Bobby in Stephen Sondheim’s Company and Henrik in A Little Night Music, both with the Sydney University Musical Theatre Society, Chamberlain in Cupid and Death and the Narrator in The Raven with Pearl and Dagger Company, ensemble in Pinchgut Opera’s Iphigénie en Tauride, as well as director and musical director for numerous other shows including a production of Dylan Thomas' Under Milk Wood at the Sydney Fringe Festival.
As a composer, Owen has had his work performed by The Choir of St James’ Church King St, The Leichardt Espresso Chorus, The Sydney Children's The Hunter Singers, the St Paul’s College Chapel Choir, Moorambilla Voices and the Leichardt Children’s Choir. Owen has completed his A. Mus. A in piano and in 2014 graduated from Sydney University with First Class Honours in Applied Mathematics. Since 2015, Owen has worked as Operations Coordinator with Gondwana Choirs.
Originally from Hobart, where he began his singing career forty years ago as a boy chorister at St David’s Cathedral, Andrew has considerable experience as both chorister and soloist throughout Australia. In 2004-06, he sang with the Choir of the London Oratory, England’s pre-eminent Catholic church choir. On return to Australia in 2007, he joined the Choir of St James’ Church, Sydney, with whom he still performs occasionally. Earlier this year he joined the choir's European concert tour, including a week as choir-in-residence at Westminster Abbey.
Andrew’s particular interest lies in the music of the Renaissance and Baroque eras, nurtured through fourteen years as a permanent member of Melbourne’s acclaimed Ensemble Gombert under the direction of John O’Donnell. He has rejoined the ensemble for its four overseas concert tours, most recently to Germany and neighbouring countries in 2015. In Canberra, Andrew is a founding member of the Clarion vocal quartet with Tobias Cole, and sings with Coro. Coro's program of Renaissance polyphony, 'Music by Numbers', which Andrew devised and co-directed, was named by the Canberra Times as one of the top five concerts of 2015.
Since 1992, Andrew has appeared many times as a guest artist with the Song Company, including three CD recordings — among which the 1996 world-premiere recording of Heinrich Schütz's Der Schwanengesang received Soundscapes magazine’s Editor's Choice award.
Andrew's solo engagements have included Bach's Cantata 130 and Mozart's Requiem with The Song Company and Wallfisch Band (2014 Canberra International Music Festival), Bach's St John Passion (St Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney), Mozart's Requiem (2014 Festival of Voices, Hobart), and the latter two works again at St James’ Church, Sydney, in its 2014 concert series. Andrew performed various roles in the Canberra Choral Society's semi-staged productions of Handel's Alexander Balus (2014) and Theodora (2015), and was bass soloist in both Coro's and Canberra Choral Society's acclaimed sellout performances of Messiah in 2015.
Andrew balances musical pursuits with a full-time career as a naval officer, facilitating his numerous geographical moves over the last three decades. In the 2012 Queen’s Birthday Honours List, he was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for his service to marine engineering in the Royal Australian Navy.