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Peter McCallum

Australian chamber music group. Founded by Murray Khouri and Roger Covell in 1980 as the University of New South Wales Ensemble, it aimed to present varied chamber music programmes with a substantial commitment to new Australian music. The founding personnel were David Bollard (piano), John Harding (violin), Irina Morozova (viola), David Pereira (cello), David Stanhope (horn/second piano) and Murray Khouri (clarinet). Harding was replaced by Dene Olding in 1982 and the flautist Geoffrey Collins joined the group after the departure of Stanhope in 1983. In 1984, with an expanded international touring programme, the name was changed to the Australia Ensemble, reputedly to avoid confusion with groups from Wales. Donald Westlake took over as clarinettist in 1986, and was succeeded by Nigel Westlake (1987), Alan Vivian (1992) and Catherine McCorkill (1995), while Julian Smiles became the group's cellist in 1992. The ensemble is noted for its high performing standards, its variety of repertory and its championship of Australian music. It has toured throughout Australia for Musica Viva and internationally to North and South America, Europe, New Zealand, China, India and Japan. The ensemble's recordings range from Mozart and Beethoven to Dallapiccola and the complete string quartets of Peter Sculthorpe. Its numerous commissions, including works by Gordon Kerry, Roger Smalley, Andrew Schultz, Carl Vine, Nigel Westlake and others, have made a significant contribution to contemporary Australian chamber music....

Article

Jonas Westover

Australian pop group formed by Barry (b Douglas, Isle of Man, 1 Sept 1946), Robin (b Douglas, Isle of Man, 22 Dec 1949; d London, England, 20 May 2012), and Maurice Gibb (b Douglas, Isle of Man, 22 Dec 1949; d Miami Beach, FL, 12 Jan 2003). They were raised in Manchester, England, until 1958, when the family moved to Brisbane, Australia, where the brothers formed a trio called the Rattlesnakes. They soon began writing their own music, often composed by Barry, and attracting media attention. In 1963 the group signed a deal to record singles as the Bee Gees with Festival Records and two years later released their first album. After moving to Polydor Records, they released two songs, “New York Mining Disaster 1941” and “To Love Somebody,” which became hit singles. Both were included on the album Bee Gees 1st (Polydor, ...

Article

Michael Webb

(Tok Pisin for ‘bamboo band’).

Both a struck aerophone (alternatively, an idiophone) comprising a set of three or five tuned bamboo tubes, and the name for an ensemble including these instruments. It was featured in popular music in the Solomon Islands (its place of origin) and parts of Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu for several decades from the 1970s. The primary instrument is derived from the handheld tuned stamping tube, and comprises a set of 7- to 9-cm-diameter bamboos, open at both ends and graduated in lengths of up to 2 metres, arranged in raft form. A band will include at least three sets; each set is commonly tuned (to a guitar) 1–3–5–6–8 (or 1–3–5), usually in a low register, to sound one of the three primary chords in a given key. With flexible paddles players vigorously slap in succession one open end of each bamboo in a boogie-woogie rhythmic-melodic pattern that outlines a triad; sets alternate according to changes in harmony. The ensemble includes guitars and accompanies harmonized singing. A related Solomon Islands ensemble without guitars yet employing Westernized tuning, involves multiple sets of panpipes, ‘pantrumpets’, and the rack-mounted bass ...

Article

Roger Covell

Australian chamber music network. Unrivalled in the thoroughness with which it serves a single country (with more than 2000 concerts annually), the network presents ensembles in subscription seasons in Australian capital cities and elsewhere and in regional and school touring. It was founded in Sydney in 1945 and initially funded by a Romanian-born Viennese-educated emigrant musician and inventor, Richard Goldner, as a consortium of string quartets (modelled on the rehearsal practices of Simon Pullman in Vienna), later comprising a core membership of piano (Maureen Jones) and four strings (with Robert Pikler as first violin). The organization then ran into financial difficulties, suspended its activities in 1951 and was revived in 1955 as an entrepreneurial touring vehicle for established and independent ensembles, beginning with the Pascal and Koeckert quartets. Its subscription seasons in Sydney, drawing on much voluntary support, prospered and extended to other capital cities under the honorary stewardship of Charles Berg and Kenneth W. Tribe, with Goldner continuing as artistic director for nearly two decades and Regina Ridge as its dedicated manager. It has taken most of the leading international chamber ensembles to Australia for well-organized and extended tours, sponsored inter-state tours by groups based in Australia, and organized tours abroad for many Australian ensembles, often with support from the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Australia Council, as well as commissioning new works from Australian composers. A number of the most capable of Australian music administrators have filled the office of general manager. Musica Viva Australia has continued to assemble large audiences for major concerts by instrumental and vocal ensembles of many types, including early music groups and modern ensembles led by Reich and Glass, and has supported extensive patterns of regional touring. Since ...