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Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Canberra Symphony Orchestra looks to new beginnings

Late last month, the Canberra Symphony Orchestra (CSO) unveiled a dynamic 2021 season thematically focused on taking “audiences on a journey to the heart of the human condition”.

The theme comes as they enter a transitional phase with incoming Artistic Advisor Jessica Cottis taking the reins from outgoing Chief Conductor and Artistic Director Nicholas Milton, who wraps up a highly successful 15-year tenure.

The Orchestra will also make their mainstage return later this month to close out their heavily disrupted 2020 season on a positive note.

An internationally accomplished Soprana with local roots, having lived and studied in Canberra for almost 10 years, Lorina Gore will be the CSO’s Artist in Focus for their 2021 season.

“I’m so thrilled to have this wonderful opportunity to work again with an orchestra I sang with many times when I was studying and living in Canberra,” she said.

Having performed “quite a lot” with the CSO previously while living here, Gore said she’s long appreciated the “continued support of many Canberrans” throughout her career.

“Canberra was an incredibly supportive place to study and learn,” she said.

“People in Canberra really do seem to have such an appreciation and love of music, so I always had somewhere interesting to perform.

“To be able to sing in Canberra again for all of these wonderful people is a really special privilege.”

2021 CSO Lorina Gore
An internationally accomplished Soprana with local roots, having lived and studied in Canberra for almost 10 years, Lorina Gore will be the CSO’s 2021 Artist in Focus. Photo: Sam Tildsley.

Her role as 2021 CSO Artist in Focus will see Gore perform at four concerts with the Orchestra over the course of the season, all of which she is “incredibly excited” for.

Her first performance will be in March for Llewellyn One when she will perform Weil’s Seven Deadly Sins with Cottis conducting.

“Kurt Weill’s Seven Deadly Sins is such a fantastic work, and it’s so rarely performed in Australia,” she said.

Then an intimate recital in Gandel Hall at the National Gallery of Australia in June will see her team up with renowned pianist Alan Hicks.

“The recital will be wonderful as it’s a more personal way to connect with an audience, to share my love of art songs, and to sing some of the pieces that you can really relish in when you have a more intimate performing space,” Gore said.

In July, Gore will play an Australian Series concert curated by Professor Deborah Cheetham AO at the National Museum of Australia.

“It’s also really special to be involved in creating brand new music with the Australian Series – a world premiere of a new work is always an exciting occasion!”

Rounding out her CSO involvement for 2021, Gore will perform one of her “all-time favourite works to sing”, Mahler’s 4th Symphony at Llewellyn Three in September.

“Mahler’s 4th Symphony is just one of the most charming and touching orchestral works to listen to; I absolutely adore singing it,” she said.

Prior to their eagerly awaited 2021 season, the CSO are now back before audiences and shaping up to close their heavily disrupted 2020 season in style.

Following their Spring Sojourn at Wesley Music Centre over the weekend, the Orchestra will make their mainstage return later this month following a COVID-imposed hiatus since March.

Live at Llewellyn on 25 and 26 November will see a reduced-size CSO return to the Llewellyn Hall mainstage, conducted by Simon Hewett and featuring guest cellist Julian Smiles.

Based in Sydney but Canberra raised, Smiles told Canberra Weekly he’s eager to return to Lllewellyn Hall.

“It’s a terrific venue, I actually sang at the opening of it when I was about six in the Canberra Children’s Choir for a performance that opened the hall. I’ve been performing there since it opened,” he said.

Alongside the Orchestra, it will be the biggest crowd for which Smiles has performed since March, too.

“It’ll be very special for everyone, I get the impression many, many audience members have been missing the opportunity,” he said.

“I think there will be a great sense of occasion to it and relief and joy to be able to perform live music the way it should be.”

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