Australia Ensemble UNSW takes to the digital stage

Concerts live-streamed from Sir John Clancy Auditorium are engaging audiences across Australia as well as supporting the classical music industry.

Australia Ensemble UNSW musicians

Australia Ensemble UNSW, left to right: Geoffrey Collins, flute; Dene Olding, violin; Julian Smiles, cello; Irina Morozova, viola; Dimity Hall, violin; Ian Munro, piano; David Griffiths, clarinet. Image: Keith Saunders.

Music Performance Unit UNSW and UNSW Hospitality have partnered with Melbourne Digital Concert Hall (MDCH) to live-stream concerts from Sir John Clancy Auditorium.

Australia Ensemble UNSW, Australia’s leading chamber music ensemble, will perform a program of Sculthorpe, Beethoven, Puccini and Edwards on Saturday 15 August as part of the series.

Head of Cultural Networks and Communities at UNSW Sonia Maddock says this is a great opportunity both for UNSW and for classical music.

“Partnering with MDCH is a tangible way that UNSW can support the classical music industry and provide opportunity to audiences across Australia. We are delighted that other leading performers will be able to come to this fantastic space, home to Australia Ensemble UNSW for over 40 years,” she said.

Launched in March 2020, MDCH has presented over 50 concerts and engaged more than 200 musicians. It has raised almost $450,000 in ticket revenue for the musicians in its opening months.

The concept is straightforward: MDCH broadcasts a range of concerts online with the support of presenting partner 5stream. Each is performed once at a set time, just like a regular recital. ‘Seats’ are sold online, with the full $20 ticket price going directly to the artists themselves. A modest booking fee of $4 covers transaction costs and contributes towards a piano tuner and broadcast technician.

MDCH Co-Director and UNSW alumna Adele Schonhardt said she is thrilled by the partnership with UNSW.

“I couldn’t be prouder of UNSW for displaying such leadership in supporting Australian musicians. My heartfelt thanks on behalf of all MDCH artists,” she said.

Chris Howlett, MDCH Co-Director, also welcomes the opportunity.

“This partnership with UNSW enables musicians to continue to share their artistry with Australia and the world. MDCH is helping musicians to continue to make a living through performing and also to bring a level of normality and connection for audience members, many of whom are feeling the effects of isolation. We are excited about the broadcasts from the Sir John Clancy Auditorium.”

Due to border closures, the full ensemble can’t reunite for the 15 August concert. The four musicians who will feature instead are: Dene Olding and Dimity Hall, violins; Irina Morozova, viola; and Julian Smiles, cello.

The Faces of Sydney Festival concerts will live-stream from Sir John Clancy Auditorium on Saturday 1 August and Sunday 2 August.

Australia Ensemble UNSW – Cristantemi will live-stream on Saturday 15 August.