KPO‘s 2023 opening concert presents two much-loved works, Grieg’s Piano Concerto & Tchaikovsky’s final Symphony No 6, the Pathetique, along with two more recent composers’ exploration of pertinent contemporary issues: crime against humanity and connections between man and nature.
Two Australian artists are featured: the esteemed pianist, Kathryn Selby AM performing the iconic Grieg Piano Concerto in A minor and emerging composer, Angus Davison who wrote The Laws of Motion as a participant in the KPO’s young composer workshop in 2020.
Grieg’s first and only piano concerto was written in 1868; it reflects the Norwegian landscape and is full of haunting, lyrical melodies. It established him not only as one of the foremost composers of his time but also as one of the most influential Norwegian artists.
Composer Angus Davison takes Isaac Newton’s laws of motion as the inspiration for his suite. KPO’s Composer Workshop program began in 2003 and has provided a springboard for many young Australian composers.
Czech composer Bohuslav Martinu's Ode to Lidice was written in 1943 after the Czech village of Lidice had been razed to the ground by the Nazis one year before. Martinu's piece is one of the most important and internationally best-known compositions inspired by the Lidice tragedy.
Hailed by the Australian press as a ‘formidable talent’ and ‘Australia’s pre-eminent chamber music pianist’, Miss Selby is the Artistic Director and founder of both the popular nationally touring Selby & Friends concert series and A Little Lunch Music at Sydney’s City Recital Hall. She was honoured with being appointed as a Member of the Order of Australia, receiving the ‘AM’ on Australia Day 2013. She is the recipient of both the prestigious Churchill and Australia Council Fellowships. She began her piano studies at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and then attended the famed Curtis Institute of Music and Bryn Mawr College in Philadelphia, and earned her Master’s degree from New York’s Juilliard School.
Miss Selby has won prizes at the Van Cliburn Competitions, the William Kapell Competition, the Bruce Hungerford Memorial award in New York, the Young Concert Artists Competition in New York, as well as the Ferruccio Busoni Competition giving her a debut at the Carnegie Recital Hall. She spent the summer of 1982 at the Marlboro Music Festival, participating at the special invitation of Rudolf Serkin. During the same year she won the Astral Foundation of New York career development grant. In 1987 she was appointed by Affiliate Artists as Xerox Artist for the 1988-89 season.
Miss Selby has performed with the American Chamber Orchestra and was a founding member of the Philadelphia Orchestra Chamber Group. Those she has been guest artist with include the Philadelphia Orchestra, Boston Pops Orchestra, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, Saint Louis, San Francisco Philharmonic, Hartford Chamber Orchestra, the ACO, and the Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra, and West Australian Symphony Orchestras. She has performed at the Athens, Spoleto, Caramoor, Aspen, Marlboro, Australian Festival of Chamber Music in Townsville, ASQ Festival in Victoria, Sydney Mozart and Sydney Festivals. She has performed with the Tokyo, Endellion, Goldner and Australian String Quartets amongst others.
Dr Paul Terracini was born in Sydney and has enjoyed a career in Australia and internationally as an instrumentalist, composer, arranger, and conductor. He has held permanent positions as Principal Trumpet in the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra; Lecturer in Trumpet, Brass Ensemble and Big Band at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music; and Solo Trumpet in the Danish Chamber Players, Denmark.
As an instrumentalist, he performed as soloist in Australia, Europe, USA, and Asia. Within Australia, his solo performances included concertos with the Melbourne, Queensland, West Australian, and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras.
Paul Terracini has appeared as an opera conductor at the German Rossini Festival in Bad Wilbad, for the Danish Bel Canto Society in Copenhagen, and the Storstroms Symphony Orchestra, also in Denmark. Since assuming the role of artistic director of the Penrith Symphony Orchestra in 2010, he has, apart from programming and conducting the symphonic repertoire, pioneered the performance of chamber opera in western Sydney. For many years he has been invited as a guest conductor/composer to music schools and universities in Europe, USA, China, and Australia. He appears regularly as conductor for the Conservatorium High School, in Sydney. As a choral conductor, he has recorded for ABC Classics with Ars Nova Copenhagen, and the Sydney based choir, Cantillation.
As a composer and arranger, his music has been heard throughout the world in a variety of genres, performed by, amongst others, the Prague Symphony Orchestra, the Australian Chamber Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Brass, the Danish Chamber Players, the Australian Brass Quintet, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra Brass, and at festivals and conferences on every continent. His music for the two part ABC television series, Hymns of the Forefathers, in which he developed many of the traditional English hymns into symphonic poems, received international acclaim and was released on CD and DVD by ABC Classics. His title music for the television series, Classical Destinations, which was produced for three seasons, was featured on the ‘Number 1 Classical Album of the Year,’ released by Decca.
His new CD, Paul Terracini: Music for Brass, was released on the Tall Poppies label in May 2015. On this recording, he conducted his own music with Sydney Brass, featuring members of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.
Paul Terracini also holds a PhD from the University of Sydney, having earlier completed a Bachelor of Theology and a Bachelor of Arts (Honours). His book, John Stoward Moyes and the Social Gospel, was published in 2015.