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.
In Conversation: Jack Liebeck
This week, In Conversation is on tour, coming to you from the Australian Festival of Chamber Music, in Townsville.
The Festival’s new Artistic Director is British/German Violinist Jack Liebeck. His music ranges from the intricacy of Mozart through to the passion of contemporary Australian works by Brett Dean. He’s on a whopping 17 albums, including playing on the film scores of Jane Eyre and Anna Karenina, has a keen interest in science to the extent that he’s collaborated with Professor Brian Cox, and he’s been described as possessing “flawless technical mastery”.
Jack shares with Simon Moore his vision of the Festival, taking to the violin as a natural which had him playing Paganini concertos within a couple of years, plus some fascinating thoughts on performance and bringing classical music to a wide audience.
Photo: Andrew Rankin
In Conversation: Simon Burke AO
An actor whose career on the stage, film and television is approaching half a century and still going strong, Simon Burke burst onto the scene in the highly acclaimed Devil’s Playground at the age of 13. He won the AFI Award for Best Actor for that performance – still to this day the youngest person to receive that honour. His career since has included appearances on television which are embedded in the Australian psyche – from The Sullivans through to Rake and everything in between, including the remarkable Brides of Christ, and of course Play School. He has a long list of stage credits here and overseas, in both straight and musical theatre – as Marius in the original Australian run of Les Misérables, Phantom of the Opera on the West End, and other musical theatre mainstays such as The Sound of Music and A Little Night Music. He’s currently in what could be regarded as the hottest show in town, appearing as Harold Zidler in Moulin Rouge! The Musical, playing now at the Capitol Theatre.
In Conversation: Hayden Tee
Hayden Tee is not just a triple threat, he’s more of a quadruple one – an actor, singer, make-up artist, and also now a director. He knows a thing or two about musical theatre, having played Javert in Les Misérables in multiple countries, including on the West End, Broadway and on these shores. He’s appeared in Matilda, South Pacific, My Fair Lady, and Into the Woods, to name just a few, his cabaret shows have been a hit in New York and in Australia, and he’s released three albums. Based in New York, Hayden is in Sydney to direct the musical Jekyll and Hyde, on at the Hayes Theatre from the 29th of July.
In this conversation, Hayden talks about his innovative staging of Jekyll and Hyde including his incredible cast, and takes us on his journey into singing and musical theatre with an infectious positivity and "can do" attitude.
In Conversation: Simon Tedeschi
One of Australia’s most beloved and renowned pianists, Simon Tedeschi has played with all the major Australian orchestras, and is a seasoned chamber musician and collaborator too. He’s recorded a vast swath of albums covering music from JS Bach and Domenico Scarlatti to Mark Isaacs and Mike Nock, with a decent chunk of George Gershwin too. He’s also a writer, with his first book, Fugitive, published in May, simultaneous with winning the Calibre Essay prize for his essay This Woman, My Grandmother.
In this wide-ranging conversation, Simon discusses his writing, including the award-winning essay about his late grandmother, a Holocaust survivor, and reveals what it’s like to learn more about a loved one after their death than was ever known while they were still alive. Also, he compares his writing with his music, and how his early experiences as a proclaimed child prodigy began to shape his psyche and his career.
Simon is one of the 2MBS Fine Music Sydney artistic patrons, and is a long-time friend of the station.
In Conversation: William Barton
Australia’s foremost Indigenous classical composer and performer, William Barton has performed internationally with the London and Berlin Philharmonia Orchestras, and in this country with all the premier orchestras. From Kalkadunga heritage, he has vastly expanded the horizons of the didgeridoo with his prodigious musicality.
Simon Moore speaks to William as part of NAIDOC Week 2022. William shares insights about the importance of the instrument and how it varies in different parts of the country. He also talks about his experiences in the classical music industry and the importance his family had on his musical development, including his uncle who introduced him to the instrument. Listen out for his special live performance in the studio!
In Conversation: Leah Crocetto
American soprano Leah Crocetto continues to astonish audiences with her moving portrayals of opera’s greatest heroines. She has performed across America, in such seminal operas as Turandot, Otello and Norma, in venues from Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Centre to the Metropolitan Opera. She’s also sung the title role of Aida with Opera Australia, and is about to appear as Leonora in Il Trovatore.
Leah has a particular love of music and shares some works that are very special to her which provide a soundtrack to her life. She speaks about her special relationship with her family which was vital to her path in becoming an opera star, and delights with stories from her career.