In 2015 Lee Abrahmsen saved the day when a guest artist had to pull out of an Omega Ensemble concert. Abrahmsen stepped in, on request from close friend and Artistic Director of Omega Ensemble David Rowden, with just four days of rehearsals. “What a mammoth task to bring all that repertoire from nothing to performance standard in 6 days. She gave us an accomplished performance of this often difficult music with her strong, warm and well-centred voice.
Lee Abrahmsen says “after last year’s 11th Hour call to perform Mahler’s 4th and modern Australian works, I am thrilled to perform once again with Omega Ensemble in 2016”. The first concert of Omega Ensemble’s 2016 Virtuoso Series begins with the tragic story of two lovers in Wagner’s revolutionary musical drama, Tristan und Isolde, perfectly captured in excerpts skilfully arranged by Australian composer James Ledger. The program continues with Ledger’s arrangement of Strauss’ Four Last Songs, written by Strauss as he meditated on his imminent death. The soaring melodies are more wistful but no less hauntingly beautiful. Abrahmsen says “the overall lyricism and complexity of sound is a wonder to perform”. Whilst still true to the original works, Abrahmsen says Ledger’s version “is an intimate reveal of this grand work for Soprano and Ensemble”. In the same night Omega Ensemble showcase the World Premiere of Contradance by acclaimed Australian composer Andrew Ford. And, rounding out the program, Omega continue their tradition of performing chamber music rarely heard not just in Australia but around the world with a Piano Quartet from Mahler’s early years.