Firebird & Strauss
Saturday 17 March, 7.30pm
The Concourse, Chatswood
409 Victoria Av, Chatswood, 2067 Directions
Paul Terracini: Conductor
Ayse Göknur Shanal: Soprano
Wagner: Lohengrin Prelude
Strauss: Four Last Songs
Ross Edwards: Emerald Crossing & White Ghost Dancing
Stravinsky: Firebird Suite
The Ku-ring-gai Philharmonic Orchestra is excited to work with renowned soprano Ayse Göknur Shanal, who will step in for Taryn Fiebig, in a performance of Richard Strauss's supremely beautiful Four Last Songs. Ayse Göknur Shanal is one of Australia’s most versatile classical singers, with guest performances at Opera Australia, Turkish State Opera, Aldeburgh Festival (UK) and the Sydney Festival, as well as with the Symphony Orchestras of Sydney, Queensland, Melbourne, Adelaide, West Australia, and with the Australian Haydn Ensemble.
In contrast to the Strauss, Stravinsky's thrilling Firebird Suite captures the initial success of a young composer destined to shape music history in the space of just a few years with three extraordinary ballet scores. Commissioned for Sergei Diaghilev's Ballets Russes, The Firebird received a highly successful premiere in Paris in 1910, paving the way for Petrushka (1911) and Rite of Spring (1913). Less radical than its successors, The Firebird sits more clearly within the tradition established by Stravinsky's teacher Rimsky-Korsakov and his contemporaries, and yet intimations of the later works are not difficult to find.
Complementing the Stravinsky in our program is White Ghost Dancing, by distinguished Australian composer Ross Edwards. This is paired with his Emerald Crossing—a calmer work but still dance-like, described by the composer as having the characteristics of a barcarolle. Setting the scene for the Four Last Songs is Richard Wagner's dignified and atmospheric Prelude to Act 1 of Lohengrin.
Ayşe Göknur Shanal - soprano
"Göknur is a soprano gifted with a voice of great beauty...she has the ability to hold an audience with both the intensity of her performance and her musicianship." - Conductor Richard Bonynge AC, CBE, Commandeur de l'Ordre National des Arts et des Lettres
Brisbane born soprano Ayse Göknur Shanal is one of Australia’s most versatile classical singers. She has performed in England, USA, Germany, France, Ireland, Japan and Turkey. As the Dame Joan Sutherland Scholar, she studied at London's prestigious Royal College of Music and was an adjunct member of the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program at the Metropolitan Opera in New York.
Ayse has won many prestigious awards and scholarships including the Australian Singing Competition, the Dame Joan Sutherland Scholarship and Award, Opera Foundation Australia’s Metropolitan Opera Award (New York), McDonald’s Operatic Aria, the Queens Trust for Young Australians, Symphony Australia’s Young Performers Award (Vocal Category), and the Sonderpreis der Loreley-Festspiele at the Neue Stimmen International Singing Competition (Germany).
Ayse has collaborated with Australian and international composers, including Ross Fiddes, Paul Terracini, Michael Williams, Erberk Eryilmaz, Yiğit Kolat, Reza Vali, Diana Blom, John Wayne Dixon and Phillip Wilcher. She played a significant role in developing and performing major vocal works for the commemoration of the ANZAC Centenary in both Australia and the United States.
Ayse has appeared as a guest artist with Opera Australia and Turkish State Opera. She has performed at the Aldeburgh Festival (UK) and the Sydney Festival, and has been featured as a soloist with the Symphony Orchestras of Sydney, Queensland, Melbourne, Adelaide, West Australia, and with the Australian Haydn Ensemble.
Last year, Ayse performed at the Sydney Cricket Ground and Woolloongabba for the Commonwealth Bank Test Cricket Series between Pakistan and Australia which was broadcast live worldwide with audience capacity of half a billion viewers. With pianist Patrick Keith, she presented a concert series in Çanakkale and Ankara, Turkey. In May, she returned to the Sydney Opera House to present a recital series, Les Chemins de l'Amour, with pianist Andrea Katz. She was also invited to present a concert that same month at the Mersin International Music Festival, where she was joined by pianist Ashley Hribar. In June, Ayse was the guest artist in 2x20, presented by Andrew Bukenya at Sydney's Angel Place City Recital Hall. She has performed as guest soloist with Excelsis, conducted by Tom Buchanan, in Melbourne’s St Patrick’s Cathedral and with the Australian Welsh Male Choir at Beleura House in Mornington Peninsula. In September, she returned to the Sydney Opera House to present Songs for Refugees to a capacity audience.
This year, Ayse will be performing at Sydney Opera House, Melbourne Recital Centre, Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre, Beleura House, Bowral Autumn Music Festival, Albury Chamber Music Festival, Art Song Canberra, as well as touring England, Wales, Scotland, Bosnia and Turkey. She will also be embarking on recording projects with pianist Ashley Hribar.
Ayse has released two CDs. The first of these, called Love and Life, with Evgeny Ukhanov, features Schumann’s Frauenliebe und Leben and Wagner’s Wesendonck Lieder, and is released through Taslig Records. The second CD, called Çanakkale-Gallipoli Songs, with pianist Patrick Keith et al., features commissioned works for voice and piano by Australian, New Zealand and Turkish composers, and is released through Wirripang.
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.