2023 marks musical director Andrew Del Riccio’s 25th year at the helm of MSO. He has overseen the growth & development of the orchestra to become one of the leading community orchestras in the state. In recognition of his service Mosman Council honored him with the award of Citizen of the Year.
A gifted musician himself, Andrew strives to extract the absolute best from all his players. He has provided opportunities for many musicians, some of whom are students or budding professionals, others who are passionate amateurs, to perform both within the orchestra and as soloists. He has encouraged young composers, and had the orchestra perform their works. He also instigated the formation of our choir, the Mosman Symphony Chorus. During the difficult Covid years, he made sure that the orchestra continued with what limited performance opportunities there were.
All this has helped to raise the orchestra’s profile in the community and seen audience numbers grow from the early days when the orchestra often outnumbered its audience to the present situation where concerts frequently sell out.
But Andrew’s work for the orchestra doesn’t stop at conducting. He attends committee meetings, plans concert programs, and if you arrive early for a concert you’ll probably have seen him moving chairs and setting up lights!
At our From the Heart concert on March 19th Mosman Mayor Carolyn Corrigan spoke to the audience about Andrew’s achievements and the importance of the arts for the community, and the orchestra & choir presented Andrew with a fine bottle of shiraz and a copy of the Letters of Leonard Bernstein.
Thank you, Andrew, and congratulations on your 25 years of dedication and passion.
Robert Oetomo tells us about his concerto for timpani, which he will premiere with the orchestra on May 29 & 30 2021:
‘Concerto for Timpani’ was commissioned by the Mosman Symphony Orchestra in 2019, in celebration of receiving their brand new set-of-4 timpani.
The concerto is in a standard three-movement form (fast-slow-fast), opening with ‘Overture’. The second movement, ‘Lullaby’ explores purely the melodic and lyrical side of the instrument.
The final movement, ‘Dance’, is a dialogue between the solo timpani and the string orchestra, more percussive in nature, with the use of harder mallets.
‘Concerto for Timpani’ was originally written for solo timpani and full orchestra. Due to constant changes in covid restrictions, this version is reduced for solo timpani and string orchestra. This timpani concerto is the first Australian timpani concerto written in the history of Australian music. – Robert Oetomo.
MSO flute player, Jacqueline Kent, writes about Gounod and his Petite Symphonie for winds. The MSO winds will be performing this charming work on May 29 & 30 at Mosman Art Gallery.
Petite Symphonie by Charles Gounod (1818-1893)
Charles Gounod was born to a family of musicians and artists in Paris, and from his earliest years was determined to be a composer. His father, a painter, died when Charles was five, and his mother taught piano to support the family. At the age of twenty Charles was awarded a Prix de Rome, France’s most prestigious prize for composition; other winners include Berlioz, Massenet and Debussy. Charles studied in Rome for three years, well as elsewhere in northern Europe. In Prussia he met Felix Mendelssohn, whose music had a lasting effect on him; Mendelssohn’s advocacy of Bach’s music was also an important influence.
Having become a fervent Catholic in Rome, Gounod briefly considered becoming a priest when he returned to France; from then onwards he began composing a great deal of church music (including his now-popular ‘Ave Maria’, an elaboration of a Bach prelude) and composed a large quantity of church and vocal music, including operas and songs.
He enjoyed great popular success as a composer until 1870. In that year he, his wife Anna Zimmerman and their children moved to England as refugees from the Prussian advance on Paris. After peace was restored the following year, his family returned to Paris. Charles remained in London for three years, living in the house of amateur singer Georgina Weldon. One biography describes Weldon as ‘the controlling figure in his life’, which leaves plenty of room for speculation. However, he left her after three years and returned to his family in France.
Unfortunately, his absence and the appearance of younger composers, including Debussy, meant that Charles Gounod had forfeited his place at the forefront of French musical life. Though he continued to be respected, he was increasingly considered old-fashioned during his later years, and his earlier success eluded him. He died at his house near Paris aged seventy-five.
The Little Symphonie for Winds was first performed at the Salle Pleyel in Paris in 1885. The highly influential flutist Paul Taffanel – whose work is still well known to today’s flute players – founded the Chamber Music Society for Wind Instruments in 1879 to commission and promote music for the wind instruments newly redesigned and perfected by Theobald Boehm. Gounod responded with the four-movement that the wind section of the Mosman Symphony Orchestra is playing in this concert. It was originally scored for the standard Mozart serenade instrumentation of two oboes, two clarinets, two bassoons and two horns, and Gounod also included a single flute part for Taffanel. The music displays Gounod’s hallmark clarity of form and phrase structure with Romantic harmony and expressivity.
Though Gounod is probably best known for his operas Faust (1859) and Romeo et Juliette (1867) as well as his short orchestral piece ‘Funeral March of a Marionette’ which was the theme tune for the popular 1960s TV show Alfred Hitchcock Presents, his Petite Symphonie for winds remains an enduringly popular addition to the international repertoire. J.K.
I suppose with only 6 days before Christmas the term ‘last minute’ is acceptable. Here are a few ideas for a happy, and musical Christmas, that will help you and the orchestra as well:
Mosman Symphony Orchestra Subscription A ‘plus’ subscription to our 4 symphony concerts along with our ‘Happy Birthday Ludwig’ concert is a gift that will keep giving all year round. Completely sustainable (you can even email the tickets so no paper waste), & immensely enjoyable, this will not only give pleasure to the recipient, but also help to support our wonderful community-based orchestra.
Musical Instruments and Accessories
For the musician in your life. AdLib Music at Willoughby has a terrific range of sheet music, musical accessories, & music themed giftware. From the practical (metronomes, cleaning kits) to the fantastical, this lovely shop has it all. There’s nano blocks, jewelry, homewares… a cornocupia of musical ideas. And they’re generous donors to Mosman Symphony Orchestra as well!
Or as Verdi would have it, ‘Libiamo!’ Dan Murphy’s on Spit Rd Mosman have something for everyone – well, everyone over 18. Uncle Dan has been very generous to the orchestra this year as well. Take it away Violetta:
‘Ah, let’s enjoy the cup, the cup and the chants, the embellished night and the laughter; let the new day find us in this paradise.’
For many of us, one of the highlights of the Christmas period is the joyous seasonal music. Mosman residents are spoilt for choice this year, with a feast of Christmas music and carols performed locally.
Mosman Symphony Chorus & Orchestra: Mass For Christmas
Sunday Dec 8th at 2.30 pm. Mosman Art Gallery
Join the orchestra and choir in our final concert for the year. As well as Charpentier’s delightful Messe de Minuit, you’ll hear chamber music presented by players from the orchestra, carols from the choir and orchestra, as well as some carols for the audience to sing. The choir will be preparing a scrumptious afternoon tea to celebrate the season. Bookings available now.
Mosman Christmas Lights Party Sunday, 15th December from 7pm till 8.30pm Prince Albert St, Mosman
Players from Mosman Symphony Orchestra will also be performing at the Mosman Christmas Lights Party. You can stroll along the street, enjoying the many houses on Prince Albert St that are lit up with Christmas lights (the street is closed to traffic).
Visitors enjoy ice-cream, pizza, sausage sizzles and more, along with music, photos with Santa and craft and cake stalls hosted by the children on the street and community clubs. The street party is now in its 5th year with support from Mosman Council, Mosman and North Sydney SES, Mosman Lions, Mosman Rotary, Taronga Zoo, local sporting clubs and businesses.
Manly Warringah Choir: A Classic Christmas Saturday 30th November at 7.30 pm Sunday 1st December at 4.00 pm Cardinal Cerretti Chapel, Darley Road, Manly
Our friends at Manly Warringah Choir will be presenting Mozart’s Great Mass in C minor, extracts from Handel’s Messiah, and Christmas carols for choir and audience, conducted by Carlos Alvarado. Click here for poster
Mosman Musical Society: A Christmas Concert 22nd December at 2.30 Sacred Heart Church Hall, 23 Cardinal Street, Mosman
A concert celebrating the joy of Christmas performed by the choristers of Mosman Musical Society and the Gagliano Ensemble directed by Dr Jim Coyle.
Town Hall Messiah Saturday 14th & Sunday 15th December at 3pm
A bit farther afield, at Sydney Town Hall, you can catch our conductor Andrew Del Riccio, whose Trumpet Shall Sound! This is a wonderful experience with a massed combined choir, terrific young soloists, and a great orchestra, conducted by the ebullient Tim Chung. Click here for website
Rising young star of the violin, Edward Walton will perform at Mosman Art Gallery with the Mosman Symphony Orchestra on June 1st and 2nd. The players are really enjoying rehearsals with this inspiring young man, although some have been heard to wonder what they have been doing with all the time they have spent on this planet!
Aged only 13, Edward has already appeared as a soloist with numerous orchestras in Australia and overseas, including the Czech Republic, Italy and the USA. and he has won many highly prestigious international prizes, competing against older musicians, with a win in London resulting in an invitation to perform at the Royal Albert Hall.
At Mosman Art Gallery Edward will perform the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto, a passionate, virtuosic work that is known and loved by audiences all over the world.
We had a chat with Ted about the concerto.
‘For as long as I can remember the Tchaikovsky violin concerto has been one of my favourite pieces. It is such a great masterpiece and has such beautiful melodies, which then contrast with the last movement which has such energy and is thrilling to play!’ said Edward.
Despite the difficulties of the piece, Edward sees it as fun.
‘I just love the piece so much and was so eager to play it that I never really thought about it as being challenging. I do enjoy playing the fast runs – even though they are pretty challenging and keeping the fun and energy in the stroke in the last movement.’
For this concert, Edward has the loan of a very special violin:
I am so excited about the violin I will be playing on for the concert. It is a Gagliano, kindly on short term loan from Beares London for a competition I am in which takes place in July. It has such a lovely sound – I just wish it was mine forever!’
Edward is grateful for the opportunity to play with the Mosman Symphony Orchestra:
‘It is such an amazing opportunity for me to play this piece with orchestra as the orchestra makes it sound so much more exciting. It is how Tchaikovsky envisaged it would be played and it is great how in the 3rd movement for example the orchestra and soloist can bounce off each other’s energy when they pass the melody back and forth. It is also wonderful to play with other people who love and appreciate music as much as I do. So, I am so grateful to Mosman Symphony for this opportunity!’
The future’s looking bright for Edward, with engagements next year to play with orchestras in Italy and the US.
‘I really hope that I can continue to learn and improve my playing and gain more solo experiences with Orchestra.’ He says. ‘In the future I can only dream that one day I can become a professional violinist, own a great instrument and share my music with the world, but I also really hope that I will be in a position to give back something to those who have helped me along the way, like the wonderful orchestras who have given me an opportunity to perform in such a supportive environment.’
Mosman Symphony Orchestra musical director, Andrew Del Riccio says that it is an absolute delight to work with Edward, who approaches the iconic concerto with consummate musicianship and rigour.
‘My first experience of Ted’s playing was hearing his Bruch violin concerto. I was amazed at not only his technical ability and ease of playing, but also his musicality and wonderful sound. While we have spoken about the Tchaikovsky concerto at length only via Skype, it is clear he is a musician of great passion, maturity and with a natural flair for dramatic performance. I am almost jumping up and down in anticipation of our concerts in June 1 and 2. It will be an event not to miss!’
Andrew said that while tickets will be available at the door, recent performances by the orchestra have sold out early, and he advises people to book online through the orchestra’s website.
By Jove, what a wonderful weekend of music we have had! The players really appreciated so many people coming to support he orchestra despite the wild weather. Soloists Bridget Bolliger and Rachel Tolmie inspired us all with their consummate musicianship, and players and audience alike thrilled to Mozart’s Jupiter Symphony with its astonishing, climactic finale.
It was great to have a big crowd to give musical director Andrew Del Riccio his well deserved applause as he celebrated 21 years as the conductor of Mosman Symphony Orchestra. Orchestra President Bridget Wilcken presented Andrew with a crystal trophy and a fine bottle of wine. (For those of you who are wondering what was in the mysterious blue package on Sunday, it was Andrew’s beloved Tim Tams – a little extra present from the orchestra.)
Our move from Friday to Saturday evenings was well supported with a bigger than usual evening audience. Some people commented that they’d taken the chance to dine in nearby restaurants before the concert. Sunday was sold out.
There were 2 comments in our Guest Book – one from a loyal audience member who has watched the orchestra grow; the other a first timer, for whom we hope the concert will be the first of many:
I have enjoyed the orchestra for 20 years. It continues to be wonderful each performance. Many originals are so passionate about the music, each enjoying their chosen instrument, Mark with viola, all the cellos, oboes, flutes…. Congratulations and well done. Marlene R.
Our first time listening to Mosman Symphony Orchestra – enjoyed it so much. Beautiful music and atmosphere! We’ll be back to listen to more. Thank you. William B.
This December, audiences in Sydney’s north will have the chance to hear two very different settings of the Magnificat. On December 2nd and 3rd, Manly Warringah Choir will perform J.S. Bach’s version and the following week, Mosman Symphony Orchestra and Chorus will perform the setting written by Durante, but more often attributed to Pergolesi.
Our musical director, Andrew Del Riccio will be involved in both performances, playing trumpet at the Manly concert, and conducting the concert at Mosman.
The Magnificat, also known as the Canticle of Mary, is particularly appropriate for the Advent season. The text comes from the Gospel of Luke (1:46–55) where it is spoken by Mary when she visits her cousin Elizabeth. The virgin Mary has been told by the angel Gabriel that she is going to have a child who will be the Son of God. When she asks how this could happen, the angel tells her she will be visited by the Holy Spirit so that the child’s conception will be divine. The angel gives proof that nothing is impossible by telling her that her cousin Elizabeth, who is old and past child bearing age is also pregnant. So according Mary goes to visit Elizabeth, and when Mary greets her, Elizabeth feels the baby (who is to become John the Baptists) move. Elizabeth praises Mary for her faith and Mary responds with what is now known as the Magnificat.
My soul magnifies the Lord And my spirit rejoices in God my saviour For he has looked on the humility of his handmaiden And behold, from henceforth all generations will call me blessed For he who is mighty has magnified me and holy is his name And his mercy is on those that fear him from generation to generation. He has shown the strength in his arm He has scattered the proud in the arrogance of their hearts He has brought down the powerful from their thrones and lifted up the lowly The hungry he has filled with good things and the rich sent away empty. As he promised our fathers, Abraham and his descendants forever. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit As it was in the beginning, is now, and always will be, forever and ever. Amen.
And for any Latin scholars out there:
Magnificat anima mea dominum Et exultavit spiritus meus in deo salutari meo Quia respexit humilitatem ancillae suae ecce enim ex hoc beatam me dicent omnes generationes Quia fecit mihi magna qui potens est, et sanctum nomen eius Et misericordia eius a progenie in progenies timentibus eum Fecit potentiam brachio suo Dispersit superbos mente cordis sui Deposuit potentes de sede,et exaltavit humiles. Esurientes implevit bonis et divites dimisit inanes. Suscepit Israel puerum suum recordatus misericordiae suae Sicut locutus est ad patres nostros Abraham et semeni eius in saecula Gloria patri, et filio, et spiritui sancto sicut erat in principio, Et nunc, et semper, et in saecula saeculorum. Amen
Many of you will remember that last year Mosman Symphony Orchestra gave the world premiere performance of Danza Arabica by Kim d’Espiney, who also plays oboe in the orchestra. That piece was characterised by sorrowful Moorish style melodies contrasting with vibrant energetic dance rhythms and was received with great enthusiasm by both orchestra and audience.
On Sunday June 4 the Bourbaki Ensemble, conducted by David Angel will premiere a new piece by Kim. Con Fuoco, composed for strings, brass and percussion, will be the finale of a concert that also features Rachel Tolmie as cor anglais soloist in Richard Percival’s Sicilienne and Alan Ridout’s Concertino as well as works by Sibelius, Bartok and Vaughan Williams.
The concert will be at 2.45 at St Stephen’s, Newtown. I’m sure Kim would appreciate some friendly faces in the audience. Could there be a better way of spending a sparkling Sunday afternoon than in the company of exciting new music, with the coffee shops of Newtown beckoning for afters?
Our fledgling choir, Mosman Symphony Chorus, is up and running, with rehearsals already beginning for our June concert when they will join the orchestra for a performance of Schubert’s Mass No. 2 in G. By all accounts the small, but very enthusiastic group is having a ball at Monday night rehearsals, with the joy of singing being augmented by the bliss of Rufina’s baking at supper. They would warmly welcome new members of all voice types.
In the meantime our friends at Manly Warringah Choir will be performing Brahms’ German Requiem at the Cardinal Cerruti Chapel in Manly on Saturday May 6th at 7.30pm. This will be their last performance in Australia before heading to Carnegie Hall to perform the same work with choirs from all over the world at the invitation of Distinguished Choirs International New York, DCINY.
The Manly concert will be conducted by the wonderful Carlos Alvarado, who conducted our Movies concert last year. There will be 2 outstanding soloists in Anita Kyle and David Greco. It would be great if we could support our fellow musicians by attending what promises to be an inspiring performance.