A beautiful soundscape produced with deep musical textures and individual virtuosity. Complemented by simultaneously painted sounds that transported the audience on an auditory journey of reflection and serenity.
The Kuringai Youth Orchestra is as professional as they are talented. Just last year they were crowned Champions of Sydney’s Eisteddfod, an event dedicated to the development of the city’s Performing Arts culture and an extremely prestigious festival to win.
Their autumn concert is one of five events they will be featuring in this year and it was a true testament to their coveted title. A range of traditional classics and some modern favourites from the Star Wars soundtrack kept the audience entranced and mesmerised with the skill and precision of the performers.
At their head is conductor Alex Pringle, a man with a long list of musical accomplishments, including playing with the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra as a violinist and participating in the Symphony Australia Young Conductors Program. He is both a talented and enthusiastic individual and this is evident in the way he leads his young musicians.
The concert begins with a rendition of Franz von Suppé’s ‘Light Cavalry Overture’ and it is a light and bubbly piece that highlights the lively dynamics of the strings section. It is hard to believe that the majority of these kids are still in High School and they emphatically display qualities of dedication and teamwork.
The next piece is one of the most popular compositions of its creator, Sergei Rachmaninoff and was constructed following a period of depression due to the failure of his preceding work. Naturally, ‘Piano Concerto Number 2, 1st Movement’ requires a pianist and how fortunate Kuringai are to have such a dynamo in their ranks. Enter James Kwong.
Kwong plays double bass in the orchestra due to the fact the piano is not a conventional orchestral instrument. Nevertheless, his first and most successful love is the piano, in which he began at the age of four and gained his AMusA with distinction at seventeen. He has won many awards and prizes and just to place the garnish on his already commendable youth is studying to become a lawyer.
The piece terrifically displays the personal lyricism and dexterity of Kwong yet also exhibits the brilliant interplay between the orchestra and the piano, culminating in wonderfully layered climaxes and delicate interludes. The combination between both sources of sound is rich and transcends Turramurra Uniting Church to a plateau of musical effervescence.
To finish off the afternoon the musicians provided a vibrant delivery of some popular Star Wars songs. The wildly recognisable deep and sinister tones of Darth Vader’s theme and the uplifting score of the main track were a great way to conclude what was an impressive display of the musical proficiency of the Kuringai area.
Kuringai Youth Orchestra is underpinned by a fantastic community of family and friends that have a passionate desire for the cultivation of the children involved. It was a great event to be a part of and I’ve never gorged myself for so long at a refreshments table.
Sunday 14th September: 5pm – Abbotsleigh