Moving into their twelfth season, Omega Ensemble is excited to venture into the next chapter of the Ensemble’s history. As Founder and Artistic Director from Omega’s inception David Rowden has introduced a unique and dynamic ensemble group to Australian audiences with a flexible and ever-changing form. Omega Ensemble has had the ability to bring so many exciting programs to the stage. It is the flexible nature of the ensemble that has become their key strength. A mix of string and wind instruments, the repertoire Omega has delivered over the years is something no other chamber music group could deliver. Over the years, we have seen Omega Ensemble deliver intimate performances of two (Rowden and Raspopova) and Trio’s (Beethoven’s Trio) right through to their grand finale performance Three Parts Mozart from 2016 season, which featured 23 musicians in chamber orchestra form led by conductor and soloist Paul Meyer.
There is a lot to get excited about with Omega’s 2017 season and Maria and David are both looking forward to sharing all the highlights and magical moments with their audiences. They share a little more about the season, the highlights and ways in which audiences can get involved.
Tell us a little about the 2017 Season and how it compares to your previous seasons?
“I am personally excited to announce that Russian-born and trained pianist Maria Raspopova will join me as Co-Artistic Director from 2017. She brings with her a wealth of knowledge and fresh approach to programming given her extensive performance experience and background.” David Rowden announced this news as part of the launch of Omega Ensemble’s 2017 Season.
Along with this announcement, David and Maria have delivered an exceptional and exciting program for the 2017 Season. The Ensemble will not only continue to perform its Virtuoso Series in arguably Australia’s finest concert venue - City Recital Hall, but will also be co-presenting a new lunch series, A Taste of Omega. This series, co-presented with City Recital Hall is a great way to get to know the performers and instruments of Omega Ensemble. These one-hour concerts cost $15, bring your lunch and take time out from your busy day with exquisite chamber music performed by some of the finest musicians in the country.
Omega will continue to present it’s Master Series, a three concert series held in the intimate setting of the Utzon Room at the Sydney Opera House. It is within this series where Omega will present three world premieres of new works including Cyrus Meurant’s Clarinet Concertino. Also featured is Ian Munro's "Songs from the Bush”, a tender and lyrical work exploring Australian themes and a new work by Omega’s bassoonist Ben Hoadley.
Along with their core series, Omega will continue its commitment to bring chamber music to regional areas with it’s partnership with Mitchell Conservatorium. This tour takes Omega to the towns of Forbes, Orange, Lithgow and more. Find out more.
Last but not least, Omega will present the Resonate Series at the Art Gallery of New South Wales which will bring to life the cinematic music of Bernard Herrmann who’s iconic scores set the standard of film soundtracks for decades to come.
Both Maria and David are looking forward to the challenge of bringing the music to life and continue to focus on their vision of enriching lives through showcasing world-class chamber music. For 2017, Omega Ensemble’s mission is to shine a light on the musicians and give every instrument its own voice throughout each performance. ‘This year we reveal ourselves by reducing our instrumental forces and presenting artists in candid works where there is no place to hide. This year is all about honesty, and we hope you enjoy this thrilling journey with us this season.’ says Maria.
What concert are you most looking forward to in the 2017 Season?
This season is packed full of wow factors. Whether you are a seasoned subscriber or a first timer to Omega Ensemble’s concert, the goal of Omega is to ensure audiences walk away from the concerts feeling enlightened and enriched.
“I am most excited about performing Schubert’s Octet in City Recital Hall as it is one of the most incredibly satisfying pieces to perform and listen to.” David is also thrilled to be introducing the new lunchtime series – A Taste of Omega as this allows the audience to get up close and personal with the musicians and the music. “I am really looking forward to being closer to the audience and give them an opportunity to develop a greater understanding of the musicians, their individual styles and colours that they contribute to the larger collaborations”.
As for Maria, Russian-born and trained pianist and co-artistic director, Rachmaninoff’s Piano Trio is the performance she is most looking forward to in the 2017 season. “He is a composer very close to my heart”. Maria’s skill and talent will be also be highlighted in Beethoven’s Quintet in E flat major for piano and winds in the Utzon Room, Sydney Opera House concert in October.
What’s it like to perform at City Recital Hall and Utzon Room, Sydney Opera House?
Omega Ensemble has performed at both City Recital Hall and the Utzon Room, Sydney Opera House for the past four years. ‘It is an honour and delight to play at both venues’ explains David. Whilst there is a completely different feel when performing at these two venues, David is very aware of the type of music that is suited to particular rooms; for instance, the Utzon Room provides a more intimate setting for smaller chamber works that highlight the intricate nature and delicacy of the music, while the City Recital Hall opens up the flood gates of opportunity allowing larger scale works and larger scale performances.
Whether in the intimate setting of the Utzon Room with the backdrop of Sydney’s iconic harbour or in the City Recital Hall, Omega Ensemble provides a feeling of friendliness and being at home with their performance, their persona and their presentation. Each concert Omega ensemble is focused on making you feel comfortable and enjoy the experience, as though you were in your own home.
What would you say to someone who has never seen Omega Ensemble perform? What should they expect?
Omega Ensemble looks forward to welcoming new audiences to their performances. Over the years, Omega’s audience has grown especially at the City Recital Hall where they have developed a loyal and strong audience, many of whom subscribe to the whole season. The beauty of what Omega presents in a season is that each concert is incredibly different. From the number of musicians on the stage to the repertoire, Omega’s flexible approach to programming means that the ensemble is curated to the program. As Artistic Directors, David and Maria hand-pick the best mix of musicians and instruments that will deliver the best possible performance.
“We hope that our audiences are able to develop a greater understanding of chamber music and feel much closer to the music than ever before. This is not only because of the intimacy of chamber music, but also because of the Ensemble’s unique freedom of programming and approach to performance.” sum up the Aristic Director duo in articulating the uniqueness of Omega which has given them rave reviews over the years.
“... chamber music all-stars.” - Sounds Like Sydney
“... Sydney’s crack chamber group.” - The Daily Telegraph
“ Sydney’s rock stars of chamber music.” – Cut Common
It is no surprise that Omega Ensemble has developed a large and loyal following, with many asking how they can be involved to support the ensemble and help them continue to grow and showcase their talents through their ongoing performances. It was at this point that Chairman of Omega Ensemble, Robert Titterton decided create a platform for supporters and philanthropists to support Omega Ensemble. The Patrons Program has since been bridging the gap between box office earnings and the growing costs of showcasing live music. This program has been the catalyst to Omega’s continued growth and development.
Tell us about the Patrons Program and how important it is to Omega’s future success?
‘Our patrons are the link between the existence of the music and the presentation of this music”. David and Maria are particularly honoured and humbled by this support. As part of this program, Omega Ensemble try to give back and show their gratitude by offering several exclusive functions such as private recitals, access to rehearsals and exclusive performances at Omega’s Annual Fundraising Dinner where guests can enjoy fine dining, fine music and conversation with fellow patrons.
The Patrons’ Program is critical for Omega Ensemble’s ongoing success. By becoming a Patron you will assist in ensuring that the Ensemble will continue to achieve its goals. Become one of our Patrons by donating (our suggested minimum of) $250. Your donation is fully tax deductible.
By becoming a Patron you will receive invitations to private Salon style concerts in homes, be invited to rehearsals and other special occasions to meet the musicians and be invited to our Annual Gala Dinner. Your patronage will be acknowledged in our concert programs and on our website, unless you wish to remain anonymous.
This year we are introducing the Artistic Director’s Circle. This will be formed through like-minded patrons who share Omega’s vision for bringing major chamber projects to life. Omega are solidly focused on expanding their repertoire and of course bringing new works to the stage. Patrons who donate $20,000 or more will be recognised as bringing these milestone projects to life and shaping Omega Ensemble’s future. Jas as past patrons supported and funded historical moments from greats such as Mozart, Beethoven and others, Omega’s hope is to create history and bring to life new history-making moments in chamber music in Australia and on the world stage.
So, whether you decide to subscribe to a series, or become a patron, Omega Ensemble’s main goal is to delight their audiences both new and seasoned and continue to showcase the talents and artistry of the musicians.
In partnership with their sponsor, Omega Ensemble is offering a bonus celebratory bottle of Champagne POMMERY to kick off the festive season. Subscribe now to either the Master Series or the Virtuoso Series and receive a complimentary bottle of Champagne POMMERY Brut Royale. This is the ideal gift for a classical music lover and a great way to introduce a friend or family member to Omega Ensemble.