In Conversation is brought to you by 2MBS Fine Music Sydney.
In each episode, Simon Moore speaks to a figure in our artistic landscape, delving into all the detailed and interesting facets of their life, from the trivial to the profound. Our guest also introduces some musical extracts that are meaningful to them.
Daniel Rojas: Romancing and dancing with a Latin heart
An award-winning composer specialising in the rich and vibrant Latin American aesthetic, Daniel Rojas is an acclaimed pianist known for his stunning improvisations at the keyboard. Limelight Magazine has said he “is a master of his craft, both as a pianist and composer" and the Sydney Arts Guide has called his performances “energetic and emphatic” and “joyously explosive”.
He's bringing that energy once again to the Willoughby Symphony Orchestra on October 14 and 15, as he teams up with fellow pianist Yerim Lee to premiere his passionate new work Romanza y Danza de los Muertos.
Daniel talks about his influences behind this new composition, as well as his work more broadly, and takes us back to his childhood in Melbourne where his creativity with improvisation and composition developed from a very early age. He also shares his vast knowledge of the origins, characteristics and influences of Latin American music.
Elizabeth Scott: Keeping people singing through life
A true leader of the next generation of choral singers, Elizabeth Scott is a highly skilful choral conductor who has led the Sydney Philharmonia Choirs’ young adult choir Vox since 2008. She’s worked with the Queensland, Adelaide and Melbourne Symphony Orchestras, and is a regular chorus master with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. She also has a passion for contemporary choral composers, and it’s one such composer who is the centrepiece of the upcoming performance she will be conducting with Vox, of David Lang’s The Little Match Girl Passion, which has been defined as one of the most profound choral works of our time.
Elizabeth has spent her career nurturing and developing younger singers so that they have the tools to enjoy music throughout their entire life, including through the commissioning of new music.
Vox performs The Little Match Girl Passion, and other works, at the Verbruggen Hall on Saturday, October 14.
Théotime Langlois de Swarte: The mad lover keeping music new
One of the most promising violinists of his generation, Théotime Langlois de Swarte is already a seasoned recitalist and chamber musician who has performed at prestigious venues all over the world. Captivating audiences since his early teens, Théotime is a regular with several baroque ensembles, including Les Arts Florissant plus his own period ensemble Le Consort. He’s in Australia now to guest direct the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra for a series of concerts with the enticing title of The Lover, at the City Recital Hall and Melbourne Recital Centre until 16 September.
Théotime shares his refreshing take on how to make classical music relevant in the modern era, the links between the classics, jazz and pop music, and gives us a taste of his remarkable career so far.
Emily Sun: La vie en rose
Violinist Emily Sun is in demand internationally for her compelling and captivating interpretations. She has appeared with almost all the major Australian symphony orchestras, as well as orchestras across Europe, China, and the US. She has played in world class venues from the Sydney Opera House to the Royal Albert Hall, and has performed for royalty in both the UK and Belgium. Emily is the 2023 Artist-in-Association with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra.
In this interview, Emily shares memories of appearing as the schoolgirl soloist in the heartfelt 2011 documentary Mrs Carey's Concert, recalls playing for the then Prince of Wales now King Charles III at Buckingham Palace, describes her relationship with her unique instrument, and speaks about the remarkable resilience and resourcefulness of her father as a musician in Mao's China.
This interview was conducted at the 2023 Australian Festival of Chamber Music in Townsville. Emily Sun is in recital at Elder Hall on September 9 as part being Artist-in-Association with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, and plays with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra in the Sydney Opera House on September 15 and 16. She returns to Australia to perform with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra on November 17 and 18. The next Australian Festival of Chamber Music will take place from 26 July to 4 August 2024.
Claude-Michel Schönberg: Composing a musical revolution
A legend of the musical theatre world, composer Claude-Michel Schönberg is one half of the team behind Miss Saigon, Les Miserables, and many other musicals. Of the Boublil-Schönberg writing team, it’s Claude-Michel who provides the music. The pair have been collaborating since their 1973 musical La Revolution Française, but it was their concept album of Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables which led to a West End production, and for their work to be performed in all corners of the world.
Claude-Michel was in Sydney thanks to Opera Australia’s production of Miss Saigon, and in this conversation we hear about the inspiration behind this musical, the course of events which led to their international success with Les Misérables, as well as hearing about his unique relationship with music which has carried him throughout his life.
Rohan Browne: Penguins, cats and candelabras
Actor, singer and dancer Rohan Browne has established an esteemed career spanning 25 years, and counting. His musical theatre credits in particular are impressive, including stints in The Boy from Oz, Singin' in the Rain, Cats, West Side Story and Chicago. On screen, he’s featured in Dance Academy, Miss Fisher’s Mysteries and Secret Bridesmaids Business to name just a few. He’s currently appearing as the illuminating, witty and immensely fun Lumiere in Beauty and the Beast, playing now at Sydney’s Capitol Theatre.
In this conversation, Rohan tells stories from his career, from his first lightning-fast audition to playing some of his dream roles, as well as sharing some of the unique challenges that comes with playing a candelabra!