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AUSTRALIA'S DEDICATED BACH ENSEMBLE

 

ARTISTIC DIRECTOR - MADELEINE EASTON

PATRON - SIR JOHN ELIOT GARDINER

'With fire in her belly and a spirit of enterprise, Madeleine Easton is a musician after my own heart. Her project of forming and moulding a 'Bach Akademie Australia' is much sexier than its title suggests.  Knowing Maddie as I do, it will combine cutting edge scholarship, imaginative musicianship and playing of dazzling virtuosity. Australian audiences are in for a treat -  of superb music-making which she and her colleagues will, no doubt, communicate with skill, charm and real flair.' 

Sir John Eliot Gardiner

About

 

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Bach Akademie Australia’s raison d’etre is  to create a natural extension of my work over the last 15 years in Europe. During this time, I have worked closely with some of the world's greatest Bach exponents such as Sir John Eliot Gardiner, John Butt, Peter Shrier, and Richard Egarr from whom I have learnt and absorbed an enormous amount. The very name itself, ‘Bach Akademie’, is intended to resemble as European an ensemble as possible, thereby bringing the great musical tradition of Europe to Australia. Most importantly, the music will be at the heart of the undertaking. I believe the time is right in to create an ensemble such as this to enrich and enhance the musical life of my country.

Close links are being forged with academic institutions around Australia to establish an atmosphere of learning and education around the ensemble. Every international soloist performing with the Akademie shall give masterclasses, individual lessons and lectures in Australia to impart their learning and performance skills whilst in Australia, therefore enhancing the entire Australian early music world. 

I am extremely fortunate to have the support of Sir John Eliot Gardiner who is the patron of Bach Akademie Australia. As a result, I have had the opportunity to perform at the Bach Festival in Leipzig where Sir John Eliot Gardiner is the current president where I will continue to perform every year. I have also received pledges from international experts in Bach performance world wide such as Mark Padmore, Peter Harvey, James Gilchrist, Carolyn Sampson, Neil Brough, Leo Duarte, Jasu Moiso, Anneke Scott, Michael Niesemann, Reginald Mobely, Hiroski Amako and Adam Woolf to travel to Australia to perform with the orchestra and further our education goals.

Bach Akademie Australia will aim to perform all of Bach's music, coming up with inventive and interesting concerts within the context of series of concerts, or one off performances.  A Cantata series will be established in collaboration in order to properly explore and showcase these wonderful works. There will also be an annual St Matthew and St John Passion With my fellow musicians and Sir John Eliot Gardiner's support, we will bring to Australia an ensemble of the absolute highest standards and put Australia on the map as a place of international regard and repute for the performance of J.S Bach.

 

 

MADELEINE EASTON

Photo courtesy of Bridget Cambridge

Photo courtesy of Bridget Cambridge

The Australian violinist Madeleine Easton is an established star on the international stage known for her versatility and expertise in the world of violin playing. Throughout her career, a desire to combine period and modern playing has led to unique opportunities for playing with many wonderful and varied ensembles world wide. She performs at the highest level both in Europe and in Australia, appearing as both soloist, concertmaster and director of some of the worlds most respected ensembles and orchestras.

 

 
"Under precise and accurate guidance from artistic director Madeleine Easton, who conducted with her violin bow as is the European custom, Bach Akademie Australia produced a lush, full ensemble sound that truly did allow the beauty of Bach to wash away the concerns of the outside world." Canberra City News
Photo courtesy of Steven Godbee

Photo courtesy of Steven Godbee

Education and awards

Madeleine studied with Alice Waten and Chris Kimber at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music where she graduated with first class honours. Along side her degree, she studied baroque violin with Lucinda Moon. She was awarded scholarships and was successful in competitions winning the Sydney Conservatorium Concerto Prize with Bartok's 2nd violin concerto, and was a finalist in both the 1999 Richard Goldner Concerto Competition and the 1998 Gisbourne International Music Competition in New Zealand. In 2000 she was a recipient of a full scholarship to attend the Meadowmount Summer School in New York State winning the chamber music prize, and a year later won a place to study at postgraduate level at the Royal College of Music with Dr Felix Andrievsky where she graduated with distinction winning the String Prize for most outstanding performer.

Photo courtesy of Nick Gilbert

Photo courtesy of Nick Gilbert

Director and concertmaster

Foremost, Madeleine is forging a career as a director and concert master. She has performed as both guest and permanent concertmaster of many leading orchestras worldwide. Engagements include the Orquesta Sinfonica de Madrid under the batons of Thomas Hengelbrock and Paul McCreesh, the Gulbenkian Foundation Orchestra of Lisbon, The English Baroque Soloists under Sir John Eliot Gardiner, the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, The Kings Consort, The Gabrieli Consort, the Musicians of the Globe, The Independent Opera Company, London Orchestra da Camera, Orchestra Nova, the Guildford Philharmonic, Bath Philharmonia, Southern Sinfonia, Florilegium, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and the Northern Ballet Orchestra of England. She was appointed concertmaster of The Hanover Band in 2006 and continues to perform with them as both leader, director and soloist.

Madeleine also performs with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the City of Birmingham Symphony, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the Academy of Ancient Music, and the Orchestra Revolutionaire et Romantique.
Her special talent of combining both period and modern styles of violin playing has led her to form a special relationship with the Royal Academy of Music in London. She has directed the Bach Cantata Series since it's inception in 2009, has directed the Baroque Orchestra, the first year String Orchestra and the Modern Instrument Period Orchestra. Other educational opportunities have included teaching period style on modern instruments for the World Orchestra at the Schleswig Holstein Festival in Germany, the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester and Monash University in Melbourne.

Madeleine has performed on many award winning recordings including the Bach Cantata series with the Monteverdi Choir and English Baroque Soloists, the recently released Bach B minor Mass recording with the same ensemble, Haydn's 'Creation', Mendelssohn's Elijah and Mozart's C Minor Mass with the Gabrieli Consort to name a few. She has released the complete piano trios of Alexis de Castillon with her piano trio 'Trio Castillon', available on Peyrole Records. She has also recorded the Antoine Reicha Bassoon Quintet and variations with the all Australian ensemble, 'Island' available on the ARS label.

Concerto performance now forms a large part of her life. Orchestras of which she has performed with include La Philharmonie de Toulouse, the New Queens Hall Orchestra, London Orchestra da Camera, the Bath Philharmonic and the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra. In addition, she was the concerto soloist for the prestigious London Conducting Workshops in 2012.

Madeleine is proud to be part of the internationally acclaimed Australian World Orchestra. She is also the artistic director and founder Australia's newest dedicated Bach ensemble, 'Bach Akademie Australia'.

Madeleine plays on a 1682 Giovanni Grancino violin and a 1704 Jo. Bapt. Rogeri baroque violin.

2019 season

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ASCENSION

Friday 29th March - 8pm - St Francis of Assisi Church, 457-459 Oxford St, Paddington, Sydney 2021

Saturday 30th March - 8pm - St Patrick’s Cathedral, 1 Marist Pl, Parramatta, Sydney 2150

Bach Akademie Australia and their newly formed choir present two of J.S. Bach's greatest cantatas and the rarely performed Ascension Oratorio to Sydney Audiences. Join us for the heartbreaking BWV 12 featuring the world renowned Australian Oboist Emma Black, the thunderous BWV 20, Bach's homage to the French musical style, and for the joyous Ascension Oratorio.

For the first time, Bach Akademie Australia will perform with a full choir of hand picked singers from around Australia plus four internationally regarded vocal soloists.

Amy Moore - Soprano, Tobias Cole - Alto, Carmel de Jager - Alto, Richard Butler - Tenor, David Greco - Bass

PROGRAM:

BWV 12 ‘Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen’

BWV 20 ‘O Ewigkeit, du Donnerwort’

—— interval ——

BWV 11 ‘Lobet Gott in seinen Reichen’- Ascension Oratorio

CANBERRA INTERNATIONAL

MUSIC FESTIVAL 2019

No need to go to Leipzig. The music of J.S. Bach is alive in Australia’s capital. The essential and the unexpected collide in glorious counterpoint, with artists from around the world amongst Canberra’s natural and cultural treasures. With no less than six appearances, the 2019 Festival shows Bach, Bach Akademie Australia– and the capital – in a new light.

Madeleine Easton/Emma Black/Korneel Bernolet

Madeleine Easton/Emma Black/Korneel Bernolet

Concert 1 - A WORLD OF BACH

2nd May - 7.30pm Fitters Workshop

Bach’s greatest concertos and chorales are presented by artists from around the globe featuring Emma Black and Madeleine Easton in Bach’s ever popular Oboe and Violin concerto and Korneel Bernolet to perform Bach’s masterful Harpsichord concerto in D minor.

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CONCERT 2 - BACH’S ORBIT

Sunday May 5th - 11am Fitters Workshop 

In 1705, twenty-year old Bach walked almost 400km to hear the aging Buxtehude play the organ. A year later, when the post became vacant, the condition of marrying the master’s daughter did not appeal. Bach moved to Mülhausen instead. He never travelled to Italy, but Italian music did land on his desk, inspiring numerous concerti and organ transcriptions. This concert features the music that Bach himself was drawn to, above all Pergolesi’s timeless Stabat Mater.

Program:

Vivaldi Violin Concerto RV 208 'Grosso Mogul'. Soloist - Madeleine Easton

Buxtehude 'Mit Fried und Freud ich fahr dahin'

Pergolesi Stabat Mater

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CONCERT 3 - ST JOHN PASSION

Monday 6th May -6.30pm Fitters Workshop

Bach never wrote an opera but realised the perfect music drama with his superlative Passion according to John. First performed in 1724, the work propels the drama through a vivid narration of the Evangelist and inspired musical dialogue between the main characters offset by reflective chorales and memorable arias. Led by Andrew Goodwin as Evangelist and Jeremy Kleeman as Jesus with Bach Akademie Australia, this superb ensemble of singers and musicians are directed by Korneel Bernolet.

Program:

J.S. Bach,  Passio secundum Joannem BWV 245

CONCERT 4 - A TASTe OF THE COUNTRY

Thursday 9th May - A FESTIVAL TRIP

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By popular demand, the yearly festival trip returns in 2019 with a finger licking itinerary that takes you from Bungendore to the historic settlements of Braidwood and beyond. Exclusive festival coach tour to surrounding NSW wine, food and cultural treasures. Enjoy a day in the country with fellow festival-goers. The price includes transport by coach, morning tea, wine tasting, two-course lunch with wine and coffee.

Program:

Alvaro Zambrano, voice and guitar

Organ and trumpet recital - Jonathan Lee and Richard Fomison

Haydn Fortepiano Trios - Korneel Bernolet, Anton Baba and Madeleine Easton

CONCERT 5 - BACH THE TEACHER

Friday May 10th - 11am Canberra Girls Grammar School Chapel

Art of Fugue: everything you always wanted to know about the fugue but were afraid to ask! This public talk by Festival director Roland Peelman will include the public analysis of one of the great Bach fugues performed on saxophones as well as Bach Akademie Australia principal strings.

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CONCERT 6 - TESTAMENT

Sunday May 12th - 6.30pm Fitters Workshop

Bach’s final choral variation on “Before your throne I now appear” is steeped in myth and mystery. According to the legend, the ailing and, by then, blind composer dictated the work from his deathbed. The end of his final fugue in ‘The Art of Fugue’, is even more contested. On this occasion it will be performed in the edition of his son Carl Philipp Emanuel, with voices and left unfinished after the entry of the third subject, his name’s musical signature: B-A-C-H. These final moments bring back the memories of happier times. Bach Akademie Australia and Korneel Bernolet return to the stage for Kantatas 202 and 147, some of Bach’s most joyful and life-affirming statements.

PROGRAM

J.S Bach, Choral: Vor deinen Thron tret ich hiermit, BWV 668
J.S. Bach, Contrapunctus XIX  from The Art of Fugue BWV 1080
J.S. Bach, from Kantata BWV 202, ‘Weichet nur, betrübte Schatten’
J.S. Bach, Kantata BWV 147 ‘Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben’  

ARTISTS

Bach Akademie Australia led by Madeleine Easton
Andrew Goodwin, David Greco, Andrew Fysh, Tobias Cole
Anna Fraser, Amy Moore, Chloe Lankshear
Luminescence Chamber Singers
Clarion
Directed by Korneel Bernolet and Roland Peelman

News & Updates

Bach Akademie Australia is very proud to announce that our first recording for the ABC is now being broadcast on high rotation around Australia consisting of the wonderful Easter Cantata BWV 4: Christ lag in Todes banden and the joyous Brandenburg concerto no.4.

Our Brandenburg Concerto was selected by ABC Classic FM for their top 100 pieces that move you. A full broadcast of our concert at the 2018 Canberra International Festival can be listened to HERE. 

REVIEWS:

Garrison Church, Sydney -April 29th 2017 - Limelight Magazine: Read full review HERE

Canberra International Festival - May 7th 2017 - Canberra City News: Read full review HERE

Israel in Egypt at the Canberra International Festival - May 2nd 2018 - Limelight: Read full review HERE

The Sacred Music of J.S. Bach - Sydney - April 21st 2018 - Sounds like Sydney: Read full review HERE

The Sacred Music of J.S. Bach - Sydney - April 21st 2018 - The Daily Telegraph: Read full review HERE

 

 

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